Clegg the 'Kingmaker'?

April 28, 2010, 11:30 PM GMT+0

Despite the widespread support for electoral reform, the majority of the British public are worried about the possibility of there being no outright winner in the upcoming general election, and the resulting consequence of this – that the Liberal Democrats will effectively have the power to decide whether Britain has a Labour or Conservative Prime Minister.

According to a survey commissioned by the Sun newspaper, just under half (49%) stated that they are worried by the prospect of the Liberal Democrats having control. Only three in ten (30%) responded that they would be reassured by this outcome.

Predictably, the amount of Conservative and Labour supporters who claim to be worried is considerably higher than the national average. However, it seems that the Conservatives are losing the most sleep over the issue, with 85% expressing their concern over the possibility of a powerful Lib Dem party, compared to only 60% of Labour supporters.

Perhaps these differing levels of anxiety reflect a belief among Labour supporters that they have a greater chance of a coalition, as 19% claim to be reassured by the possibility of the Liberal Democrats gaining enough seats to hold the balance of power. In contrast, only five percent of Tory supporters claim to be reassured, which suggests they have little faith in a Conservative-Lib Dem coalition, perhaps because it is their party leader who has been most outspoken against the issue.

Unsurprisingly, just under eight in ten (79%) Liberal Democrat supporters claim to be reassured by the potential that their party will be the ones with the final say.