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The government - what do you think? - poll results.

June 1, 2011 9:59 AM

An opinion poll asking if readers thought the coalition was a good idea or not and if it would survive was open on this site during May.

50% of respondents thought it was a good thing with 25% saying it was a bad thing and 25% neutral.

On the question "Will it last?" 67% thought it would go the full five years, nobody thought it would collapse within a year, 17% thought it would last between one and five years and a further 17% didn't know.

Your comment - "With a genuine eagerness for real coalition / co-operation there is hope for improvement. Obviously it will be a rocky road and there will be casualties but we hope the best of character and 'common' sense will bring rewards and prove this system will work." LB, Trowbridge.

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My comment - Journalists and politicians are very good at talking about "the electorate having delivered its judgement" as if we all get together before the election to decide how to distribute our votes to achieve an objective.

In fact of course any election is the result of lots of people voting in different directions for all sorts of different reasons. In the case of a UK General Election it's also a composite of 650 local elections, with the way people vote depending on local circumstances as much as national party policies.

Nobody voted for the actual outcome as there was no 'hang parliament' box on any ballot paper, nor was there a 'Conservative and Liberal Democrat' candidate standing anywhere.

Does that make the coalition illegitimate, or does the fact that the two parties together represent well over 50% of voters make it more legitimate than a single party government which would've received a minority of the votes?