Another tranche of results from our latest monthly survey, although these are results that we haven’t looked at for a while. They concern party members’ attitudes towards the Coalition. And here’s the thing: those attitudes haven’t fluctuated very much over the past year. Party members may not be particularly enthusiastic about this union with the Lib Dems, but their antipathy isn’t really rising in anticipation of the general election. That’s a noteworthy finding in itself.
This is demonstrated by the responses to our first question on the Coalition: when should it end? Sure, the number of respondents saying “as soon as possible” has soared to a new high in the past couple of months. But that increase has come mostly from a decline in people saying “some time this year”. This is only to be expected as the year approaches its end, when “some time this year” becomes the same as “as soon as possible”. Here’s the graph:
As for the prospect of another Coalition after the election, there’s some consistency in party members’ views here, too. In January of this year, 54.2 per cent of respondents were opposed to the idea of a second marriage, with 35.0 per cent supportive. Now those figures are 56.3 and 33.1 per cent. Perhaps the most striking change over that period has been the increase in those who are “completely opposed” rather than just “broadly opposed”:
And two more graphs to finish. One for whether the Coalition has been good for the nation:
And the other for whether the Coalition has been good for the Conservative Party:
You’ll notice that both of those show, if anything, a slight warming of attitudes towards the Coalition in the past month. The politicians in Westminster may be reaching for their knives and nunchucks, but the Conservative grassroots are much friendlier than that.