Four in 10 Lib Dem voters would not vote for party again, says poll

The Liberal Democrats have lost the support of almost four in 10 of the people who backed the party in May, according to an opinion poll for The Independent.

More than one in five people who voted for Nick Clegg's party at the general election say they would now vote Labour, the ComRes poll shows. Only 62 per cent of those who voted Liberal Democrat would do so again were another election held today.

The proportion of Liberal Democrat voters who say they would now vote Labour has risen from 15 to 22 per cent since last month, suggesting that Labour is reaping the benefit from the Liberal Democrats' decision to enter a coalition with the Conservatives. A further seven per cent would switch to the Tories.

However, there will be relief among the Liberal Democrat leadership that the party appears to have halted the freefall in its ratings since May, when it won 23 per cent of the votes. The Liberal Democrats had slipped to 16 per cent, but according to ComRes, its support has stabilised and risen to 18 per cent. The Tories, on 38 per cent, are down one point while Labour, on 34 per cent, is up one point. Privately, both Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs fear that Labour will be ahead in the polls by the end of the year as the scale of the public spending cuts to be announced next month sinks in. "It's going to be a bumpy ride, we'll go down before we bounce back," one Liberal Democrat MP predicted. A Tory source added: "I would be amazed if Labour is not ahead by Christmas."

There are signs that men are more opposed than women to the Liberal Democrats' decision to join forces with the Tories. ComRes found that only 15 per cent of men would vote Liberal Democrat in a general election today, compared to 21 per cent of women. Tory support is also unevenly split between the sexes: 41 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women would now vote for David Cameron's party.

Lower income groups appear to be turning their backs on the Liberal Democrats, whose rating is only 12 per cent among the bottom DE social group and 11 per cent among the C2 skilled manual workers.

However, Labour appears to be struggling to stay above the 30 per cent mark among more affluent voters – a finding that will worry Blairites, who accuse some candidates in the party's leadership election of preaching to its core working class vote. Labour now enjoys only 29 per cent support among the top AB social group and 28 among the next C1 group.

David Blunkett, the former Labour cabinet minister, warned that the party will not regain power by taking a left turn. He said: "We've got to win some of the people who voted for other parties – particularly those who went off to the Conservatives – rather than deluding ourselves that there's a comfortable group of people out there who just want a leftish party and want us to be more vigorously left – if that were the truth we would have won in 1983."

He was being interviewed for a BBC Radio 4 programme to be broadcast tonight, Labour Saving Devices, about how the party should fight back after its defeat this year.

It includes some unflattering verdicts on the five candidates running for the leadership. Jon Cruddas, an influential backbencher on the left of the party who is backing David Miliband, said: "None of them is the finished article. I think hopefully they'd all acknowledge that as well because they haven't had the time to do that sort of process of political definition."

Bryan Gould, a former MP who contested the Labour leadership in 1992, suggested that the winner of this month's leadership election will not become prime minister. He told the programme: "I'm sorry to say I somewhat suspect that whoever emerges from the leadership election will be a stand-in leader. And that we will then await a new leader representing a new generation, or a new strand of thought in the party, not tainted by new Labour, not new or old Labour but just Labour. And that new leader will, I think, then have a chance of winning a future general election."

ComRes telephoned a random sample of 1,000 British adults between 3 and 5 September 2010. Data were weighted demographically and by past vote. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at www.comres.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence