General Election 2015: Tory MPs want a second coalition with the Lib Dems and no deal with Ukip

Guy Bentley
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Tory MPs open to another deal with the Lib Dems (Source: Getty)

Conservative MPs, like their Labour counterparts, will always say publicly when asked that they are aiming for an outright Tory majority.

But privately, many concede that this remains a distant prospect with the two major parties running neck and neck in the polls and Labour's inbuilt advantage thanks to the electoral system.

If there is no major movement in the polls in the next few weeks, we are certainly heading for a hung parliament. Even if the Conservatives end up as the largest party, it will be 23 years since they won an outright majority.

In recent weeks, there have been soundings that if the Conservatives are the biggest party Tory MPs would prefer to form a minority government rather than go into another coalition. However, these Westminster whispers may have little substance to them if the latest poll from Dods is to be believed.

The poll found 48 per cent of Conservative MPs supported forming another coalition with the Liberal Democrats if their party falls short in May. The figure rises to 53 per cent when Tory prospective parliamentary candidates are surveyed.

The hostility between the Tory party and Ukip appears to be borne out by the fact that Conservative MPs are more comfortable going into coalition with the Lib Dems than they were with Ukip. Only 11 per cent of Conservative MPs thought a coalition with Ukip would be a good idea.

On the other hand, Labour MPs are far more tribal. Just over a third of Ed Miliband's MPs would support full-blown coalition with the Lib Dems. The hopes of a grand progressive alliance between the two parties, a long-held dream of big beasts such as Andrew Adonis and Paddy Ashdown, looks further away than ever.

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