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.

News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
people

Tennis star is set to marry his long-term girlfriend, Kim Sears

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
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: Web Marketing Specialist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Renewable Energy compa...

Ashdown Group: Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?