Lib Dem members want Nick Clegg to back Labour if in event of hung parliament

 

Political Editor

Liberal Democrat members have warned Nick Clegg that they want to do a deal with Labour rather than the Conservatives if the 2015 election results in another hung parliament.

A survey of more than 600 party members by the LibDem Voice website found that 55 per cent would prefer an alliance with Labour and only 18 per cent a continuing pact with the Tories.

Mr Clegg insists his party is “equidistant” between the Tories and Labour, saying  he would respect the voters’ verdict by talking first to the party which had won the most seats. But many Lib Dem members suspect that, if he could choose, he would be more inclined to extend the Coalition with the Tories than link up with Labour.

The poll suggests that would leave him out of step with his own party, which would have to approve any post-election deal. “The message is that we like coalitions – just not with the Tories,” one Lib Dem source said.

According to LibDem Voice, 72 per cent of party members expect another hung parliament after the next election. Four out of ten members expect their party to be back in government in a second coalition; three-quarters of this group believe it will be with Labour and only a quarter with the Tories.

Some 40 per cent of Lib Dems want to see a formal coalition with Labour, while 15 per cent would prefer a “confidence and supply” deal under which the third party supported a minority Labour government in key Commons votes. Only 13 per cent of members want to see a second coalition with David Cameron’s party, while 5 per cent favour a “confidence and supply” pact with the Tories.

Lord Oakeshott, a senior Lib Dem peer, said: “It's yet more proof that most Liberal Democrat hearts beat on the centre-left, not in the muddled middle of British politics. We've proved we can make coalition work- but in 2015 we'll be more far comfortable working with Labour than Lynton Crosby's Conservatives".

Stephen Tall, co-editor of LibDem Voice, said there had been a noticeable shift towards a full coalition with Labour in the past year. “Tactically, it makes sense for the Lib Dems to want to choose Labour next time: it would show the party isn’t simply an adjunct to the Tories but can work with both other major parties if that’s how the public votes,” he said. “On a principled basis, Labour’s position on a range of big economic issues — tax-cuts for the low-paid, the ‘mansion tax’, ending universal benefits for wealthier pensioners — has moved towards the Lib Dems in recent months.”

However, Mr Tall doubted that the Lib Dems would form a full coalition with either main party. “I do not think the party will approve a second full coalition with the Conservatives: the party’s ‘triple lock’ — which means any deal must be approved by large majorities by each parliamentary party, the elected federal executive and a special conference — will, almost certainly, prevent it,” he said.  “While the results in our poll suggest the party would be willing to sign up to a coalition with Labour next time around, it seems very doubtful Labour will be prepared to offer the party the kind of deal that will make it acceptable. Too much bile has been spilled, too many bridges burned.”

However, allies of Ed Miliband and Mr Clegg say that relations between them have improved since they joined forces on how the press should be regulated after the Leveson inquiry.

What Lib Dem members want after the 2015 election

40% – A Labour-Lib Dem coalition

15% – A Labour-Lib Dem “confidence and supply” agreement

13% – A second Conservative-Lib Dem coalition

7% – A minority Labour government with the Lib Dems in opposition

5% – A Conservative-Lib Dem “confidence and supply” agreement

3% – A Labour majority government with the Lib Dems in opposition

2% – A Conservative majority with the Lib Dems in opposition

1% - A minority Conservative government with the Lib Dems in opposition

Source: LibDem Voice

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Psychology Teacher

Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Teacher of Psychology An en...

International Promotions Manager - Consumer Products

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: A global entertainment busi...

Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This new opportunity has responsibilities des...

Geography Teacher

£19200 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?