At the mid-point of the parliament a narrow majority of voters say they want a general election before 2015, according to a new Survation poll (pdf) commissioned exclusively by Progressive Polling.
Fifty one per cent of voters would like to see a general election earlier than 2015, and of those, 75% want an election in 2013 while 25% opt for 2014.
While there are strong calls for an early election from those who voted Labour in the 2010 election (75%), they are also joined by 56% of people who voted Liberal Democrat, 30% of those who supported the Conservatives and 72% who voted UKIP at the last election.
Among those wanting an early election, 80% of women would like to cast their vote in 2013 compared to 20% in 2014; meanwhile, 69% of men not wanting to wait until 2015 prefer a 2013 general election and 31% choosing 2014.
This could suggest women may be more likely to want to give a swift verdict on the coalition government.
Although the coalition parties passed legislation to require a 66% Commons threshold to seek to dissolve parliament before May 2015, there is already press speculation the Coalition may not last until 2015 and calls for an earlier election could increase. Today’s poll shows many voters would prefer for this to happen sooner rather than later. It is a question we will continue to track.
More significantly, the poll also shows voters are twice as likely to blame the banking sector for causing the UK financial crisis as the last Labour government. As Chart 1 shows, sixty two per cent of voters say the banking sector was most to blame for the crash; 29% blame the last Labour government; and 9% blame previous Conservative governments the most.
A notable minority (37%) of current Conservative supporters blame the banking sector, however the majority of all other party supporters feel most blame lay with the banks. Sixty five per cent of current Lib Dem supporters, 76% of Labour voters, and 55% of UKIP voters all blame the banking sector for the 2008 financial crash more than they do the last Labour government or its Conservative predecessors.
This is also a view shared across all regions and devolved nations including the south east where Labour is most underrepresented in parliament. Here in this region, 58% blamed the banking sector, 30% blamed the last Labour government and 11% said previous Conservative governments were most responsible.
Despite both coalition parties frequently attempting to pin responsibility for the country’s economic crisis with their Labour counterparts, it seems the public take a different view four years on since the crash. Today’s poll finding should give Labour some confidence in defending its past record while at the same time encourage greater focus on reforming the banking system and outlining safeguards for the future.