The poll, conducted between the 10th and 11th of March of 1,728 GB adults, asked respondents a whole range of questions on the possible outcomes of the general election. With the election expected to result in neither the Conservatives nor Labour getting an overall majority, such polling comes at an interesting time.
Respondents were asked:
“Do you think Ed Miliband should or should not rule out doing a deal with the SNP in a hung parliament?”
Out of all voters, 43% said Mr Miliband should rule out such a deal, ahead of the 32% saying he should be open the possibility of a deal with Ms Sturgeon’s party. A total of 25% of voters said they did not know.
However, the numbers are different when only those intending to vote Labour are examined. 56% of such voters think that Labour should be open to the possibility of some sort of deal, whilst 24% would like a deal ruled out, suggesting significant demand within Labour for there to potentially be a post-election deal with the SNP. A further 21% said they did not know.
As well as this, the poll indicates that most Scottish voters would think that the possibility of a deal should remain open, with 49% saying Labour should be open to the idea and 34% saying that a deal of some sort should be ruled out.
The poll tells an interesting story - it gives us a snapshot of what the public are thinking and speculating about after the general election. As for the SNP, it suggests good things as it indicates that most Labour supporters do not think a deal should be ruled out. It is unlikely that such a deal would take place in the form of a coalition, for reasons outlined here, however, a deal of confidence and supply with the SNP supporting Labour on key motions in exchange for more powers for Holyrood - amongst other things - looks to be a viable option - provided the numbers add up.
However, to voters who would prefer the largest party in government to be Labour (out of a choice of Labour or the Conservatives), the SNP came in third out of parties who such voters think Labour should deal with. 19% of those who would prefer to see Labour as the largest party, as opposed to the Tories, would want a Labour-SNP deal. However, 25% said they would prefer a deal with the Liberal Democrats and 23% would like to see a deal with the Greens.
The polling suggests that Labour supporters would at least like the option of an SNP deal to remain open, however, deals with the Lib Dems and Greens should also not be ruled out. But despite all this, a lot depends on the arithmetic and post-election deals.
The election is under two months away and the only thing we can be 90% confident of is that the country will be faced with a hung parliament once more. Everything else will be decided on the 7th of May.
The full results of the poll can be found here.