LABOUR and Conservative voters want a Coalition with the Liberal Democrats if next year's general election results in a hung parliament at Westminster.

Tory supporters are more keen on an alliance with the Lib Dems than with the eurosceptic Ukip, the latest figures show, although the difference is small. The figures will make heartening reading for the current junior Coalition party, which continues to be battered in most opinion polls.

The Lib Dems suffered badly at the hands of Scottish voters in the last Holyrood elections, in 2011, following their decision to enter government with the Tories.

Loading article content

The resultant loss of 11 MSPs saw their total fall to just five MSPs.

But with suggestions that the 2015 general election could be the second in a row to end without an obvious winner, the Lib Dems could find themselves as the kingmakers at Westminster once again.

The poll conducted by TNS Omnibus found that almost a third, 32 per cent, of Labour voters backed a Coalition with the Lib Dems if no party wins an outright majority.

Just over a quarter, 27 per cent, said opposition was preferable to coalition. In a blow to Labour, however, Lib Dem supporters preferred governing for a second term with the Tories, by a margin of 36 per cent to 26 per cent.

Among Tory voters 31 per cent backed a coalition with the Lib Dems, compared to 30 per cent who wanted to go into government with Ukip.

But Ukip supporters were less keen on the idea.

Almost four in 10, 39 per cent, said the party, which cultivates a deliberately "anti-politics" stance, should reject any coalition offer.

Of those who disagreed, 24 per cent backed a deal with the Tories, 13 per cent with Labour and eight per cent with Lib Dems.

TNS chief executive Michelle Harrison 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 Omnibus interviewed 1,191 adults in the UK between July 15 and 17 for the poll.