Grassroots Tories call on PM to reject Coalition 2.0 after 2015 election

Survey reveals grassroots members would have preferred a minority Tory government or immediate second general election

David Cameron will face strong opposition from Conservative Party members if he tries to form a second coalition with the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 election.

A survey of 850 Tory members found that only one in three (33 per cent) believes Mr Cameron was right to form the Coalition with Nick Clegg in 2010. With hindsight, the Conservative grassroots would have preferred a minority Tory government (41 per cent) or an immediate second general election (24 per cent).

The disenchantment with the Coalition is echoed by many Tory MPs, who complain that Mr Cameron treats his partnership with Mr Clegg as an equal one even though the Tories won 306 seats to the Lib Dems’ 57 at the last election.

Yet some Conservative ministers admit it will be hard for the party to win an overall majority in 2015 and are privately  raising the prospect of a continuing coalition.  Although they would never say it in public, some ministers would even prefer a second Con-Lib government to a small overall Tory majority, which could leave Mr Cameron at the mercy of a handful of right-wing MPs. “It would be like John Major’s government all over again,” said one. “The hardline Eurosceptics would cause mayhem in the run-up to the EU referendum [in 2017].”

Some Tory MPs complain that Mr Cameron bounced them into a coalition in 2010 and will demand to be fully consulted in the event of another hung parliament.  Some right-wing critics claim he could face an immediate leadership challenge if he fails to win an overall majority for a second time, although other MPs doubt that his enemies would try to dislodge a prime minister at a time when the country needed stability.

The YouGov poll for Queen Mary, University of London, shows that Tory members are much more hostile to the Coalition than Tory voters, who favour the Cameron-Clegg partnership by a margin of 56 to 40 per cent.

Professor Tim Bale, from Queen Mary’s School of Politics and International Relations, said the ideology of some Tory members was driving their negative attitude to coalition.  They  are “significantly more conservative” than Mr Cameron on social issues like gay marriage rather than on the economy or public services, on which there is widespread grassroots support for spending cuts to reduce the deficit.

Euroscepticism is more popular among those members who opposed going into coalition in 2010. Among those who are pro-coalition, only 54 per cent would vote to leave the EU if there were a referendum tomorrow. But among members who would have preferred a minority government or second election, the figure rises to 79 and 80 per cent respectively.

However, Professor Bale added: “Whether they like it or not, the overwhelming majority of them – eight of out ten, in fact – would carry on with the Coalition after the next election if that were the only way that the Tories could hold on to Number 10.  Ideology matters to the Conservative grassroots, but not as much as staying in power.”

Tory members who are sceptical about the Coalition are significantly more likely to be tempted to vote for the UK Independence Party. As previously reported, almost one in five (19 per cent) of Tory members are seriously considering voting for Nigel Farage’s anti-EU party and only one in three say they would never consider voting for it.

Some 42 per cent of Conservative members feel they are not respected very much by the party leadership, while 38 per cent think they are given a fair amount  of respect.  Some 11 per cent say they are not respected at all, with only 7 per cent believing they are respected a lot.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • 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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power