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UK Politics

Almost 40 per cent of Lib Dem voters desert

More than a third of people who voted Liberal Democrat in last year's general election wish they had chosen differently, an Independent on Sunday poll shows.

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The finding underscores Nick Clegg's unpopularity and alarm among his party's grass roots at the political direction he has taken in the Tory-led coalition.

While 54 per cent of Lib Dems are happy with their choice at the ballot box, 37 per cent, a significant proportion, have deserted Mr Clegg.

Three-quarters of all voters are satisfied with how they voted last May.

In a local election campaign speech in Newcastle yesterday, Ed Miliband seized on the Deputy Prime Minister's woes by appealing to Lib Dem voters to switch to Labour after a year of "broken promises" on the tuition fees, the NHS and VAT.

On the anniversary of the first televised leaders' debate, the Labour leader said: "Day by day, it's becoming clearer the Liberal Democrats can no longer claim to represent the values for which so many voted at the last election.

"I know that some people in the Lib Dem leadership like to claim they are making a difference inside this Conservative-led government.

"But the truth is that the Liberal Democrats are not front-seat passengers or back-seat passengers in this Conservative-led government.

"They are locked in the boot of a vehicle which is travelling rapidly in the wrong direction.

"Too many people who thought they were voting for a progressive party a year ago have been betrayed."

The IoS/ComRes poll brings little joy for Mr Miliband. Barely a quarter of voters agree he is a good leader of the Labour Party, compared with 38 per cent who disagree. Among Labour voters, 50 per cent believe Mr Miliband is a good leader, while 17 per cent disagree and 32 per cent don't know, suggesting he still needs to make an impact within his own party.