IN a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll among 1,156 Canadian voters, the majority, close to 6-in-10, agrees a coalition is appropriate if no party wins a majority of votes (57%), and this is especially the opinion of Liberals (67%) and New Democrats (75%), while not being the view of many Conservatives (36%).
Coalition favoured if no party wins majority
When voters are asked what kind of government they would support in the event of a minority, the plurality, a third, opt for a coalition (33%), while just fewer say they will support the party with the most seats (29%). Half as many choose the constitutionally correct answer – whomever has the confidence of the house (14%). About one quarter don’t have an opinion (14%) or would favour another arrangement (10%). Conservatives strongly favour supporting the party with the most seats (52%), while Liberals (40%) and New Democrats (45%) favour a coalition.
Liberal/NDP coalition is favoured
When asked if they would support each of the three possible coalitions implied in a three party system, one half of voters will support a Liberal/NDP coalition in the event of a Conservative minority (49%). Half this many would support an NDP/Conservative pact (26%) or a Conservative/Liberal pairing (27%). New Democrats would be most in favour of an NDP/Liberal coalition (75%). Conservatives are the most likely to favour a Conservative/Liberal pairing (39%) while both Conservatives (39%) and New Democrats (25%) are apt to favour a Conservative/NDP cooperative government.
“A coalition is most popular when it is a union of the progressive parties against the one right wing party. Any other pairing attracts limited interest. Unfortunately, coalitions can’t be voted for, they must be arranged by the parties after the election, and most of the interest appears to be as a fallback in case neither of the progressive parties wins the election,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.