When Theresa May called an election in 2017, Brenda from Bristol exclaimed: “You’re joking – not another one!”. Now that Theresa May’s successor is seeking a new vote in 2019 – albeit with less initial success after the request was rejected by MPs in Parliament – we decided to poll the public to explore whether Britons feel like Brenda did in 2017, or whether there is an appetite for a fresh trip to the ballot box.
So, what does the poll tell us? The first thing to note is that that preferences as to the next election’s timing is mixed, with no single option commanding the support of any more than 22% of voters, with as many as one in five stating don’t know (26%).
That said, the poll conducted between 3rd and 6th September shows that the most popular single option was an election before October 31st of this year, supported by some 22%, with a further 16% wanting an election after October 31st but before the end of year. So, with two in five (38%) wanting an election in the next few months, it appears that election fatigue is perhaps not as widespread as one might expect.
Even still, almost as many want an election in 2020 or later (37%): 14% wanted an election at some point in 2020; 6% at some point in 2021; and 16% on the next scheduled date of June 2022 (as dictated by the Fixed Term Parliament Act).
The call for an election by the Prime Minister comes in the midst of considerable constitutional and political difficulties for the government, with the issue Brexit sure to form the backdrop of any electoral context. However, our polling shows very little difference between Leave and Remain voters in terms of whether an election should be scheduled on 31st October; 23% of leave voters want an election before October 31st compared to 21% of remain voters. However, more Leave voters than Remain voters want to wait until June 2022 (23% versus 13%).
Indeed, despite an election being called by Boris Johnson and rejected (for the time being) by Labour and opposition parties, those that say they would back Labour in General Election are more likely than Conservative voters to support a new poll before the end of the year. A combined 52% want a new election before the beginning of 2020, which compares to 35% of Conservative supporters.
Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.
0121 333 6006
Paul Bedford – Research Executive
Robert Struthers – Research Manager