59% ‘dismayed by Labour-SNP government prospect’

A minority Labour government propped up by the SNP would be the worst possible outcome of the general election for most UK voters, a poll suggests.

Ed Miliband was accused of being 'Alex Salmond's poodle' at PMQs today. Picture: Hemedia

Nearly three-fifths (59 per cent) of UK voters said they would be “dismayed” by a Labour-SNP alliance, a YouGov poll for The Times found.

This compares with 54 per cent who said they would be dismayed by a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition, 52 per cent dreading another Conservative-Lib Dem coalition, 49 per cent a Labour majority and 45 per cent a Tory majority.

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A quarter said they would be “delighted” or would not mind a Labour-SNP alliance, compared with a third broadly positive about Lab-Lib coalition, 37 per cent positive about another Tory-Lib pact, 41 per cent backing a Labour majority and 46 per cent a Tory majority.

Alex Salmond. Picture: PA

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to “lock the Tories out of government”, with her predecessor Alex Salmond yesterday confirming the SNP would side with Labour to vote down a minority Tory government’s Queen’s speech.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has ruled out a formal SNP coalition and went further this week, pledging the SNP would have no say in drafting a Labour budget despite the SNP’s warning that their support for his government would come at a price.

Today’s YouGov poll of 8,271 UK voters, including 633 in Scotland, suggests the SNP could be on course to take about half of former Liberal Democrat and Labour voters in Scotland, and even a fifth of former Conservative voters.

Half of 2010 Lib Dem voters said they will definitely or may possibly vote SNP in May while 44 per cent of former Labour voters and 20 per cent of former Conservative voters said the same.

Excerpts of a Scottish breakdown of the poll, published in The Times, found more than two-thirds of people in Scotland think Labour “has seriously lost touch with ordinary working people”.

Three out of four people in Scotland said Labour needs to change its policies to become fit for government again while more than half think the party has not yet faced up to “the damage it wrought on the economy”.

Nearly half (45 per cent) said the Labour Party in Scotland used to care about people like them but now does not, compared with 26 per cent who said they still do.

About one in ten (11 per cent) said Labour have never cared about people like them and just 3 per cent said they now care about them after previously dismissing them in the past.

A total of 69 per cent said Labour “has seriously lost touch with ordinary working people”.

Almost a third (29 per cent) of people in Scotland said they would be “delighted” with the SNP supporting a minority Labour government.

Two-thirds of people in Scotland would be dismayed by another Tory-Lib coalition while 52 per cent would not like a Lab-Lib Democrat coalition.

About half (51 per cent) said the SNP cared about them but 31 per cent said the SNP does not represent their interests.

More than two-thirds (70 per cent) said Ukip was full of “oddballs and extremists”, the highest proportion in the UK.

Over half (53 per cent) of people in Scotland said they want to stay in the European Union (EU), compared with a quarter who want to leave.

This is higher than the UK as a whole, where less than half (45 per cent) want to stay in the EU and over a third (34 per cent) want to leave.

• YouGov surveyed 8,271 voters across the UK, including 633 in Scotland, between March 18 and 23.