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Opinion Poll graphic

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  • If the Conservatives win an overall majority on Thursday, 96 per cent of party member respondents believe that he should remain Party leader – and 4 per cent disagre
    • If Labour wins an overall majority, 23 per cent of party member respondents believe that he should remain leader – and 77 per cent disagree.

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    • If the Conservatives are the largest party, and form either a coalition or a minority government, 90 per cent of party member respondents believe that he should remain leader – and 10 per cent disagree.
    • If Labour are the largest party, and form either a coalition or a minority government, 35 per cent of party member respondents believe he should remain leader – and 65 per cent disagree.

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    • If Labour is the largest party, but the Conservatives are none the less able to form a government, whether coalition or minority (because the alliance it can form in the Commons is a larger one), 83 per cent of party member respondents believe that he should remain leader – and 17 per cent disagree.
    • If the Conservatives are the largest party, but Labour is none the less able to form a government, whether coalition or minority (because the alliance it can form in the Commons is a larger one), 57 per cent of party member respondents believe that he should remain leader – and 43 per cent disagree.

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    It isn’t hard to follow the thinking of our Party member respondents on what should after Thursday.

    • Support for Cameron is much stronger than opposition – once again demonstrating that what’s written on threads below articles on this site isn’t always representative of what Party members believe.  That 4 per cent who want him gone even if the Conservatives win a majority are the Cameron-haters – a tiny minority.  The 23 per cent who want him to stay even if Labour wins outright is almost a quarter of the whole sample.  There is real respect at least and affection at most for him among a big tranche of Party members (which is as it should be).
    • However, that support has limits.  Even if Cameron falls short of a majority, but is none the less able to form a coalition or a minority government, an additional six per cent of Party member respondents believe that he should go, taking the total of those thinking so to 10 per cent.  And even if he is able to do the same despite the Conservatives winning fewer seats than Labour, an additional seven per cent of Party member respondents believe that he should leave, taking the total of those thinking so to 17 per cent – between a sixth and a fifth of the total.
    • The crunch question is whether Cameron should leave or stay if the Conservatives win more seats than Labour – but Miliband is none the less able to lead a government, presumably because of support from the SNP. A clear majority of Party member respondents think Cameron should stay as leader: 57 per cent.  None the less, 43 per cent think he shouldn’t – that, in such circumstances, he would essentially have lost the election despite winning more seats than Miliband, and that’s that.  The percentages are only a point off last month’s.
    • My personal reading of this answer is that Cameron would not be able to continue as leader with over two in five party members opposed to him doing so.  Nor, I suspect, would Conservative MPs have it otherwise – or Cameron and his family themselves: after all, he would no longer be Prime Minister.  But there is a good argument to the contrary, especially if he wins not only more votes and seats than Labour but a higher share of the vote than in 2010.  In such conditions, Peter Franklin has put a powerful case for Cameron staying on.

    We have tidied this question up by presenting six options rather than four, in order to make it clearer than last month’s equivalent.

    Almost 875 Party member survey respondents replied to it.  And only three of them skipped it – proof that an overwhelming majority think it appropriate even at this stage of the campaign.

    The replies are tested against those of a control panel that was supplied by YouGov.

    189 comments for: If the Conservatives win more seats but Labour gains office, over half of party members think Cameron should remain Party leader

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