30/07/2013 06:18 BST | Updated 30/07/2013 07:36 BST

Tory Activists Think Coalition With Lib Dems 'Good For The Country'

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARHC 19: British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visit Wandsworth Day Nursery on March 19, 2013 in London, England. The government has pledged up to £1,200 a year in government support for childcare, which can be claimed back during the year for childcare costs by parents. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/ Getty Images)

A majority of Conservative Party members now believe the coalition with the Liberal Democrats is good for the country, a poll published on Tuesday revealed.

A survey conducted by the ConservativeHome website revealed that 59% of party activists thought David Cameron's alliance with Nick Clegg was "good for the country" compared to just 35% who thought it was not.

The results show a substantial increase in support for the coalition among Tory members. In May, the last time the question was asked, 47% believed it was good for the country and 47% believed it was not.

Perhaps surprisingly the poll also showed that 31% of members thought the coalition was good for the Conservative Party itself, with 61% believing it was not. In May those figures were 23% and 71%.

Cameron is widely seen to have had a good few weeks, sending Tory MPs off for the summer recess in a good mood. Last week's GDP figures showed the economy is growing while the PM has also successfully managed to turn up the heat on Ed Miliband over Labour's relationship with the unions.

The enthusiasm for the coalition with the Lib Dems is unlikely to be shared by a big chunk of his backbench Tory MPs - many of whom feel the government, and country, is held back rather than helped by Clegg's party.

Stewart Jackson, the Conservative MP for Peterborough, told The Huffington Post UK: "I think Conservative supporters are in a more positive frame of mind as they feel we have Labour on the ropes and whilst they view the Liberal Democrats as inherently untrustworthy they also view them pragmatically as a time limited necessary evil."


Lib Dem activists appear to share Jackson's hope that the clock is ticking on the Lib-Con alliance. A recent survey by Lib Dem Voice, the yellow equivalent of ConHome, found that the majority of Lib Dem activists would prefer an alliance with Labour to another one with the Tories after 2015.

The poll published on Thursday showed that 55% of party members asked wanted to see some form of arrangement with Labour: either a formal coalition (40%) or a 'supply and confidence' arrangement (15%).

By comparison just 18% wanted the party to continue to with some form of deal with the Tories. Only 13% supported a second coalition government and 5% wanted a 'supply and confidence' deal.

Lib Dem members were asked their opinion based on the assumption the party would not be able to form a majority or minority government on its own.

Tory happiness with the Lib Dems may not survive contact with the party conference season in September and October - when the leaders of the two coalition parties traditionally ramp up attacks on each other for the benefit of their grassroots.