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21 November 2019updated 23 Jul 2021 9:29am

Voters would prefer a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition over Labour-SNP

By Ailbhe Rea

Voters would prefer to see a Labour coalition with the Liberal Democrats over one with the SNP or with those three parties combined, new polling has indicated.

The latest polling by GQR, in collaboration with the New Statesman, tested overall voting intention as well as attitudes towards the party leaders, possible coalitions, and individual party messages. 

It indicated that all possible coalition combinations are unpopular with the general public, with all receiving a net negative approval rating. A coalition between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party was the least unpopular coalition combination (-6 points), followed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats (-22). A Labour-SNP coalition was the most unpopular option with voters (-33), closely followed by a coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats (-30). 

In line with recent polls by YouGov, Opinium and Deltapoll, the new GQR poll also indicates a strong Conservative lead, with the Conservatives on 40 per cent and Labour on 26 per cent. This is a Conservative lead of 14 points, up 4 points from the last GQR poll in October. 

Peter McLeod, vice-president of GQR, said: “In our narrative, the Tories had a 10-point lead before the election was called, and since then undecided voters broke more strongly in favour of the Tories than Labour, while the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party have been just slightly squeezed. This gives us the current 14-point Tory lead, while Labour open a bigger gap to the Liberal Democrats.”

Meanwhile, as suggested by the previous poll GQR poll reported in the New Statesman, support for Johnson’s deal has fallen, from 44 per cent in favour and 27 per cent opposed, to 38 per cent in favour and 31 per cent opposed: a fall of 10 points in net approval. This has not, however, seemed to produce a dent in the Conservatives’ overall polling performance.

Since the last GQR poll, which showed that Labour had lost its lead on the Conservatives over public services, Labour has made slight improvements. It slightly increased its narrow lead over the Conservatives on the NHS and reduced the gap to the Conservatives on education. 

As both main party leaders battle to convince voters that they are best aligned with their interests, the pair each performed badly on the question of whether they understand ordinary voters, with more people disagreeing with the statement that each leader “understands ordinary people” rather than agreeing with it. (Note that this polling was undertaken before any of the leaders’ debates.) Boris Johnson, however, performed worse than Jeremy Corbyn on the question: 28 per cent agreed with that he “understands ordinary people” while 68 per cent disagreed: a net -40 points. Jeremy Corbyn performed only slightly better: 33 per cent agreed while 63 per cent disagreed, a net -30. As the leaders battle to align themselves with the interests of ordinary voters, they will hope to see a shift in these numbers over the coming weeks. 

The headline voting intention among likely voters, after allocating “don’t know”, was as follows: 





Liberal Dem


Brexit Party




Green Party


GQR’s poll on the political scene in Britain was conducted online from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 November, with 1,200 respondents. The results are weighted to be nationally representative of the adult population of Great Britain, by gender, age, region, social grade, ethnicity and education level. GQR weights vote recall to the outcomes of the 2017 General Election and 2016 EU membership referendum. The full set of data for this poll can be found here, and GQR’s write-up is here

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