This morning’s Guardian reports the findings of the latest ConservativeHome survey of the Tory grassroots…
Answers to the usual tracker questions on satisfaction with the shadow cabinet and David Cameron will be published tomorrow but we’ll focus today on the membership’s strong scepticism towards the Liberal Democrats. The poll follows a number of occasions when leading Tory MPs have talked up the possibility of co-operation with Sir Menzies Campbell’s party.
The full results are given in the graphic below but the following bullet points summarise the main findings:
- In the event of the Tories being the largest party – but failing to win a majority – only 15% of Tory members wanted a formal LibCon pact. Perhaps the idea of Ming Campbell, Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg sat around the Cabinet table was simply too much for the average Tory member?
- 56% preferred the Conservatives to lead a minority government, forming deals with other parties on a case-by-case basis.
- If a minority government was looking for areas of case-by-case co-operation with the LibDems, the two obvious areas that would please Tory members are devolution of power to local government and civil libertarianism (No ID cards).
- 41% of Tory members would support higher green taxation in return for lighter general taxation and the survey also finds that 42% of Tory members agree with the Liberal Democrat approach to the Iraq war.
- Some Liberal Democrat policies are very unpopular with the Conservative netroots, however. Proportional representation – the possible price for any co-operation from Ming’s party – is rejected by 81% to 15% of Tory members (PR was recently debated on YourPlatform – here and here). There is also a surprising level of support for nuclear power. By a margin of 85% to 12% Tory members rejected the LibDems’ blanket opposition to nuclear power.
- Two-thirds of Tory members rejected the idea that the party "should actively court" the Liberal Democrats in preparation for a possible coalition. Only 12% were supportive of the idea.