A new survey by TNS UK reveals that despite the fact that the Liberal Democrats are performing badly in opinion polls, they are the favoured coalition partners for both Labour and Conservative supporters in the event neither party wins a majority at the next general election.

However, the poll of 1,191 adults shows that Conservative supporters are more split on which party to form a coalition with. While almost a third (31%) is in favour of continuing a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, a similar number (30%) would prefer a coalition with UKIP. This rise in support for a UKIP coalition has grown seven points from the 23% TNS recorded in September 2013. One fifth (20%) of Conservative supporters don’t know which party they would prefer as partners, while 16% would prefer opposition and not forming a coalition at all.

Among Labour supporters, if their party fails to win an overall majority, 32% would prefer a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Over a quarter (29%), don’t know which party they would favour and a similar number (27%), would prefer to stay in opposition and not form a coalition with anyone.

This new research also reveals the strength of support for each party. The survey shows that 72% of Conservative supporters and 69% of Labour supporters are very committed, saying they will ‘definitely vote for them’. In contrast, less than half (48%) of Liberal Democrat supporters are certain they will vote for their party. Indeed, almost half (47%) say they may change their mind and not vote Liberal Democrat at all.

Whilst UKIP are not faring as badly as the Liberal Democrats, a third (34%) of those currently planning to vote for them say that they may change their mind ahead of the general election.

Commenting, Dr Michelle Harrison, CEO of Kantar Public said, “Successive polls have indicated the possibility of no party winning an overall majority at the next election. In such an eventuality, this research suggests both Conservative and Labour supporters favour coalition with the Liberal Democrats.”

“While it is perhaps no surprise that a sizeable number of Conservative supporters favour a coalition with UKIP, the probability of that being a viable option at the next election is open to question.”

TNS Public Opinion Monitor infographic

Notes to editors

TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,195 adults in Great Britain between 10 and 12 June 2014. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion. The data is weighted to match population totals for age, sex, social grade, working status, presence of children, 2010 voting.

Detailed tables for this survey can be found here.

About TNS UK

TNS UK advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world. TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. Please visit www.tnsglobal.com/uk for more information.

For all the latest, follow Kantar Public & CEO Michelle Harrison on Twitter.

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