Ukip ‘favoured coalition partner’

Published: Wednesday 4th February 2015 by The News Editor

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More voters would like to see Conservatives or Labour go into coalition with Ukip than with the Liberal Democrats if the May 7 general election results in a hung Parliament, according to a new poll.

But the survey found that more than half of those questioned (53%) would prefer a single-party government than another coalition.

The TNS poll recorded a slump in support for Conservatives, down four points since a similar poll a fortnight ago to 27% – their lowest rating from a mainstream pollster since November – with Labour up two to lead on 33%, Ukip up two on 18%, Greens up one point on 8% and Liberal Democrats down two on 6%.

Almost three-fifths (57%) of those questioned said they thought the growth in popularity of smaller parties was good for British politics, and 43% said they thought their increased prominence was now a permanent feature of the political landscape, against 28% who thought it would prove to be a temporary phenomenon.

However, just 15% of those planning to vote for minority parties said they were doing so because they believed they were proposing the best policies, while 45% said it was because they no longer trust the main parties.

If either major party fails to achieve an overall majority, some 29% said Conservatives should go into coalition with Ukip, against 25% who said they should renew their partnership with the Lib Dems. And more voters (26%) thought Labour should seek a pact with Ukip than with Lib Dems (23%).

On average, those taking part in the poll expected Ukip to win 14 seats and the Greens six – results which would be regarded by most observers as remarkable triumphs if achieved on May 7. By contrast, voters expected the Scottish National Party to pick up just 12 seats, well below the levels suggested by recent polls.

TNS director Jamie Willard said: “This latest TNS poll shows we are witnessing the edge of politics joining the mainstream; with 57% of those surveyed saying the growth of minority parties is a good thing.

“Indeed, with Ukip now seen as the favoured coalition partner for both Labour and the Conservatives, it suggests that Ukip are drawing support from across the political spectrum.

“Interestingly though there seems to be a mismatch between the public’s expectations on the likely number of seats the minority parties will go on to win, and current forecasts.

“It is also striking that almost half of those planning to vote for a minority party are doing so out of dissatisfaction with the main three parties. We truly are seeing a Britain in flux”.

:: TNS Omnibus interviewed 1,182 adults in Great Britain online between January 29 and February 2.

Published: Wednesday 4th February 2015 by The News Editor

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