No deal with Cameron after the election, say Lib Dem voters

Party's supporters favour an alliance with Labour in any hung parliament

Liberal Democrat voters would prefer to see Nick Clegg supporting Gordon Brown – rather than David Cameron – as prime minister in the event of a hung parliament after the election, according to a new survey.

The ComRes poll for The Independent and ITV News shows that 46 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters would be happy if the election resulted in a hung parliament and Mr Brown remained in Downing Street; it found 31 per cent would be happy if Mr Cameron became prime minister in these circumstances.

The opinions of Liberal Democrat voters would be important if no party wins an overall majority on 6 May. Mr Clegg would need the backing of his party's MPs, leading activists and members to enter into a coalition with a minority government.

According to ComRes, the surge in support for the Liberal Democrats since Mr Clegg won last week's first televised leaders' debate may have peaked. The Conservatives are ahead on 32 per cent (up one point since The Independent on Sunday's poll at the weekend), Labour on 28 per cent (up one point), the Liberal Democrats also on 28 per cent (down one), and the other parties on 12 per cent (down one).

These figures would leave Labour, with 279 MPs, 47 seats short of an overall majority. The Tories would have 245 seats and the Liberal Democrats 94.

The volatility of the electorate is shown by a ComRes finding that more voters would favour a hung parliament with Mr Cameron as prime minister than one with Mr Brown remaining in No 10. Some 34 per cent would be happy with the Tory leader as prime minister in a hung parliament, and 31 per cent Mr Brown – even though the overall party ratings would leave Labour as the largest single party.

In a ray of hope for the Tories, voters would be most happy with a Conservative government (41 per cent), with 36 per cent saying they would be happy with a Labour government. But on all four possible election outcomes tested, the public would be more unhappy than happy, confirming that the election is still wide open.

Mr Clegg continued to dominate the campaign yesterday, forcing Mr Cameron to shelve a TV election broadcast attacking Mr Brown and record a new one in the back garden of his Notting Hill home addressing the unexpected threat posed by Mr Clegg, which has alarmed the Tories.

Mr Cameron warned that a hung parliament would result in "indecision" and could leave Britain "stuck" with Mr Brown. His aim was to seize back the "change" mantle from Mr Clegg, who will occupy the centre- stage spot in the second leaders' debate on Thursday. Mr Cameron admitted that the election has been "shaken up", but argued that his "big idea" – replacing Labour's "big government" with a "big society"– would mean "smashing apart the old politician-knows-best system".

Both the Tories and Labour turned their fire on Liberal Democrat policies. Mr Brown conceded that Mr Clegg was enjoying a "political honeymoon" but predicted it would be short-lived. The Prime Minister said: "I know a little about what it means to have a short political honeymoon. You go through these phases. I wish him well in his." He criticised the Liberal Democrat plans to cut tax credits and child trust funds, and the party's opposition to renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Today Mr Brown will try to play to his strengths by unveiling a "growth manifesto". He will say: "The Conservatives believe that growth can happen by itself so long as government gets out of the way. But growth doesn't happen by chance. That is the economics of yesterday. Government is needed to pull away the barriers and obstacles that hold business back."

Mr Clegg said it was only to be expected that the two old parties would "lash out" as soon as voters showed they were ready to choose "something different". He said: "The general election campaign is starting to come to life for the simple reason that a growing number of people are starting – and it is only a start – to believe, starting to hope, that we can do something different this time."

The Liberal Democrat leader added that voters were seeing "that the old tired choices that they have been given by the old parties of the past no longer need to govern the way we run politics in the future".

ComRes found that the Tories are in third place among women (27 per cent), while men are much more positive about them (37 per cent). Labour is in third place in the North of England, Wales and the South-West, reflecting the surprise Liberal Democrat advance. Mr Clegg's party enjoys its strongest support (39 per cent) among 35-44 year-olds and is ahead among the C1 and C2 social groups. A crumb of comfort for the Tories is that people who decline to say how they would vote would be happiest with a Cameron-led government.

An ICM survey for The Guardian showed the Liberal Democrats (with 30 per cent) in second place behind the Tories (33 per cent), with Labour trailing third (28 per cent).

ComRes telephoned a random sample of 1,003 British adults on 17-18 April. Data were weighted to be representative of all British adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data at www.comres.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn