London – 30 April – A poll conducted by TNS UK reveals that almost half of voters (47%) think that it will be bad for the economy if the election results in no party having a majority. This is higher amongst women than men (52% v. 42%) and older people (60% for over 65’s and 33% for 18-24).

The TNS Public Opinion Monitor also shows that women are more pessimistic about the current state of the economy. When asked about the economy almost a third of women (32%) say their household is finding it harder to meet their budget than a year ago – only one in five men (22%) say the same. Men also tend to be more positive about the wider economy with almost a third (31%) saying the economy will be doing better than a year ago compared with a quarter (24%) of women.

The research also shows that few voters expect an outright winner in the upcoming General Election, with 81% saying they think no party will get a majority.

The poll also shows that one in five voters (18%) are not paying any attention to the election campaign at all. This is higher amongst women (20%) and those aged 45-54 (30%). However, Scottish voters are paying the most attention to the General Election campaign with 90% saying they are paying attention compared to the national average which is 82%.

The Green Party is seen as running the most positive campaign with a third of those that have been paying attention to the campaigns (33%) saying their campaign is ‘focused on the positives of their own party’. Indeed, they are the only party where more people thought that they are running a positive campaign than a negative one (+5%).

Those members of the public that have been following the campaigns say that the campaigns run by the three main parties are negative. Almost half (49%) say the Labour campaign is ‘focused on the negatives of the other parties’ (compared with 28% saying they have run a positive campaign). The Liberal Democrats have 44% thinking they are running a negative campaign and 26% positive. The Conservatives have 47% saying they have run a negative campaign and 30% saying they have run a positive campaign.

When asked whether the overall campaigns have led to people being more or less likely to vote for specific parties, no party has ended up with a net gain in supporters, but the Liberal Democrats have fared the worst, with a 24% deficit (6% v. 30%). The party which fared the best were the Conservatives, with only 5% more people saying that they are less likely to vote for them than those saying more likely (24% v. 19%). For Labour 19% said they are now more likely to vote for them whereas 29% said they had been put off.

Only 50% of people trust the parties to follow through with promises that they are making in their election campaigns.

Commenting on the findings, Jamie Willard, Director at TNS UK said “This TNS research reveals that voters are finding the campaigns run by the political parties negative and uninspiring. This demonstrates that cynicism and a lack of trust in the political process remains high.

“With the possibility of coalition negotiations increasingly likely, the real excitement may start after polling day. This is indicative of a political system and Britain in flux”.

Notes to editors

  • Latest poll on the campaigns and coalitions: TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,199 adults in Great Britain between the 21st and 23rd April 2015. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion – detailed tables are available here.
  • Public Opinion Monitor: TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,199 adults in Great Britain between the 16th and 20th April 2015. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion – detailed tables are available here.

The data was weighted to match population totals for age, sex, working status, presence of children, 2010 General Election voting patterns and region.

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