You know what I’ve missed? Opinion polls. It feels like a whole couple of days since we last had one, and quite frankly I’m getting withdrawal symptoms – how else are we going to know what government people want???
Populus for the Times obliges, finding that people are split very evenly on most of the conceivable options (except for a Tory-DUP deal, which is strongly disliked).
53% would support a Tory minority government that had the backing of the Lib Dems and 47% would oppose it. 46% would support a full Con-Lib coalition, with 52% opposed. A Labour government “in a formal agreement with the Lib Dems” would get 51% support and 45% against. Ambivalence reigns.
The Times report adds: “The public are evenly split — 43 to 45 per cent — on Gordon Brown remaining as Prime Minister.” It doesn’t say which number is for and which against, but that hardly matters.
Certainly, the common assumption that it would be a popular outrage for the Lib Dems to ‘prop up a decisively rejected Labour government’ appears to be rubbish.
(I still think a minority Tory government with limited Lib Dem support is likeliest.)