Labour voters split over deal with SNP

Alex Salmond

The YouGov Sunday Times poll suggests that those intending to vote Labour are divided over the idea of Ed Miliband's party striking a deal with the SNP.

Polls suggest that the SNP are set to see a dramatic rise in seats at the general election in May. This would weaken Labour's chances of getting a majority in 2015, which could result in an SNP-Labour deal - whether that be a coalition or more informal confidence and supply arrangement.

YouGov's poll suggests that Labour voters are split on the idea of a deal with the party who, if they gain as polls predict, would benefit at Labour's expense.

Respondents were asked:

"If the result of the next election is a hung Parliament with the SNP the third largest party, would you support or oppose the party you voted for doing a deal with the SNP in order to form a government?"

Of those intending to vote Labour, 37% of respondents - from across the UK - would support a deal with Nicola Sturgeon's party. On the other hand, 38% said they would oppose any sort of deal. A total of 25% said they would not know. This suggests some willingness to work with the SNP, amongst Labour supporters.

It looks as if there would be some willingness for a Labour-SNP deal in Westminster, with a confidence and supply agreement likely to be preferred to a full-blown coalition. But all that depends on Labour being the largest party and the success of the SNP.

Respondents were then asked:

Do you think it would be a good or bad thing if the SNP was part of a Westminster coalition government after the next election?

Of all voters, 50% said that they thought that such a coalition would be a bad thing, whilst only 16% said they thought it would be a good thing. Of just Labour voters across the UK, 26% said they thought it would be a good thing, whilst 40% disagreed.

This polling suggests that there is some demand amongst Labour voters for an SNP-Labour deal, however, there is much less of a demand for a full on coalition. If a situation emerges with Labour just short of a majority, then Ed Miliband should bare these numbers in mind. If the numbers add up then it's unlikely that Alex Salmond will end up as deputy Prime Minister, but Labour will likely give more powers to Holyrood for support in government.

The full results of the YouGov poll can be found here.


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