Lib Dems preferred over SNP or UKIP to hold the balance of power

Nick Clegg MP in St Albans

A new Red Box YouGov poll suggests that in the event of a hung parliament most voters would want the Lib Dems to hold the balance of power.

With the election two and a bit weeks away there has been no major shift in the polls that indicate that the country is on course for anything other than a hung parliament, meaning that Labour and the Conservatives will need to make deals with the smaller parties if either of them want to get into power.

Respondents to the YouGov poll were asked the following question:

"Imagine there is a hung Parliament after the next election with neither Labour nor the Conservatives having a majority. Which of the smaller parties would you most like to see holding the balance of power?"

  • 37% of respondents said the Lib Dems.
  • 26% said UKIP.
  • 17% said the SNP.
  • 20% said 'not sure'.

Furthermore, when looking at Conservative voters 50% said the Lib Dems compared to the 30% saying UKIP, suggesting that many Tory voters would be more comfortable with the possibility of dealing with the Lib Dems than UKIP.

As for voters intending to choose Labour in May, 37% said they would like to see the Lib Dems hold the balance of power, with 29% saying the SNP and 11% saying UKIP.

In Scotland, unsurprisingly, 54% of respondents said the SNP.

Overall, whilst it appears that most voters would prefer the Liberal Democrats to hold the balance of power, it is more than likely that the SNP will have more control than them due to the expectation that the party will gain a significant number of seats north of the border.

However, the Liberal Democrats might just hold the balance of power for two reasons (assuming they retain a decent bloc of MPs): firstly, they would be prepared to work with either Labour or the Conservatives, and secondly, the SNP have ruled out working with the Tories.

If the maths adds up right, Nick Clegg’s party could be kingmakers once again.

The full results of the poll can be accessed here. 1,939 GB adults were questioned between the 15th and 16th of April.

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