Sunday, April 04, 2010

Poll: How Will Expenses Scandal Affect Voting Patterns?

From the Total Politics Party Lines blog

The expenses scandal defined the current generation of MPs and many believe it will continue to have a long-term effect in the upcoming general election. However, an Ipsos MORI poll for Total Politics suggests that voters would rather choose the party they want to win the election, even if that mean voting for a candidate caught up in the expenses scandal. Over half of the public, 53 per cent, backed that choice while 38 per cent would vote for a different candidate who was not criticised for their expenses, even if that meant voting against the party they want to win the election. Though this represents a drop of 14 per centage points since May 2009, the fact that almost two fifths of the public will decide their vote based on the expenses scandal is still significant.

For the full results click HERE.


Silent Hunter said...

If they're THAT stupid, then they deserve to be ripped off by their MP, if they vote for a crook.

Have we all become so inured to corruption that we simply accept it as normal behaviour?

If the answer is YES; then Labour will have succeeded in debasing not just our political system but our society as well.

Good grief! . . . and 25% of the population want to vote for these corrupt B*****D's. So perhaps Labour are a quarter of a way towards their goal of making us all as corrupt as they are.

Joe Public said...

Why use the euphamism "Expenses Scandal"?

I & many others will not vote for our incumbent Thief, again.

BrianB said...

Which is more important: voting to punish an MP who has been ripping us all off, or helping to determine whether we are going to be governed for the next five years by the party of big business and bankers which has already demonstrated its servile subservience to greedy, wealthy chief executives, or by the party which, for all its faults, will give priority to protecting the jobs and homes of the most vulnerable in society rather than rushing to use the money of ordinary working families to pay back the debt incurred in bailing out the bankers?


Unsworth said...

Maybe this is an indication of some sophistication. Voters possibly regard the future of the nation as more important than locking up some thieves. Time for that luxury later, perhaps.

However, there's enormous emotional capital bound up in the forthcoming elections. Many regard this as the opportunity to rid themselves of the incumbents - much as those elections thirteen years ago.

What is certainly clear is that most voters simply do not trust the Labour government - despite all the bollocks about Brown being an economic genius - to tell the truth about anything, ever. And the financial chickens are coming home to roost.

Michael Heaver said...

The question is, will enough be discontent AND vote to the point of UKIP, Green and dare I say the BNP gaining a foothold in the House of Commons?

Or will those eyeing up alternative choices at the polls simply stay at home in disgust?

Me, I predict a big turnout.

The Remittance Man said...

Actually I don't think this shows what people think it does at all.

While a flawed and corrupt system allowed MPs to steal almost at will, the acts of theft were actually individual ones and crossed party lines. Thus the issue is more likely to be seen as important at a local level rather than a national one.

Basically there are three types of sitting MP at the moment: Those who did not steal, those who stole but are quitting parliament and those who stole but think they can brazen it out and get re-elected.

Obviously in the case of the innocent, thievery will not be an issue with their constituents and we can assume they will continue to make their electoral choices for the traditional reasons.

The situation is similar in those constituencies where the incumbent thief is resigning. Voters in those seats will have a full choice of supposedly clean hands and, as in the example above, will probably base their choice largely on traditional grounds.

Only in those seats where the incumbent is both a thief and refuses to stand down is his/her villainy likely to an issue but only to those in that constituency who voted for the thief at the last election.

By my estimate that would apply to between 10 and 20 percent of the electorate. If nearly twice this number are actually going to change their vote because of the theft of taxpayer money by MPs then I'd say the politicians have a serious problem on their hands (which is good - the more crap they have to deal with on their own doorstep, the less time they have to come and crap all over ours).

DespairingLiberal said...

I kind of think voters have almost forgotten the expenses thing - there's just a vague memory of parliamentary corruption left, which will result in a low turnout. That will favour the Tories, as low turnouts always have.

However, I am still not expecting a thumping Cameron majority as I also expect more votes to go to the fringes this time, particularly Ukip and the BNP, taken direct from the Tories and I expect the LibDems to do well from respect for Cable.

Cameron would have done better to have a Blair-style "knocking conference" a couple of years ago where he visibly pounded on some right-wing nutters in the party - that would have reassured voters that he has control of the agenda. As it is now, although he and the depressingly inadequate Osborne are clearly centrist, many will feel they do not have control of the Right and this causes anxiety. In particular, many worry that there will be a palace coup after the election and that Cameron's people will be replaced with the Nutters.

Peter Cook said...


I still feel strongly about this and have been compelled to write a rock song about the financial and moral meltdown of UK politics.

You can see the homemade youtube video of this at

If I had bought a second house and a bathplug from my business I would now be in jail. They are not.

Peter Cook

Antisthenes said...

Every time I open one of your blogs there is a picture of you smiling at me. It is most disconcerting.

trevorsden said...

Its a good question.

The number of 'others' is double that in 1997. if that is piled up in safe seats it will not matter but it would in marginals. But will people in marginals realise this.
Will people in marginals behave differently because they know their vote means something?

abe said...

Well I think that people should be reminded. I recommend that you watch this

Peter Cook said...

There was a piece on the issue of moral meltdown on radio 5 Live yesterday - see

Download the track for charity at