By Ian Dunt
The Conservatives are to blame for the division in the coalition, according to a new poll released today.
The YouGov survey comes days after Nick Clegg announced he would not support the constituency boundaries review as a punishment for lack of Tory commitment to House of Lords reform.
Forty-four per cent of people said the Liberal Democrats had kept to their side of the coalition bargain, against 32% who said they have not.
That compares to just 30% who said the Tories have stuck to their side of the bargain, while 51% disagreed.
Fifty-two per cent of respondents told YouGov the Tories gained more from the coalition, while just 23% believed the Liberal Democrats benefitted more.
David Cameron issued a robust rebuttal to Clegg yesterday, when he insisted the deal during the coalition talks exchanged the AV referendum, rather than Lords reform, for the boundaries review.
"There's a fundamental disagreement here in that I profoundly believe that the link was between the AV referendum that we promised to deliver and the boundary changes," the prime minister told LBC radio yesterday.
"Now Nick takes a different view, he's entitled to do that."
The fundamental difference in Cameron and Clegg's memory of the coalition agreement raises serious questions about their ability to work together over the next three years.
On Monday, Clegg said: "The Conservative party is not honouring the agreement to Lords reform and as a result part of our contract has been broken.
"I cannot permit a situation where Tory rebels pick the part of the contract they like. Coalition works on mutual respect, it is a reciprocal arrangement.
"When, in due course, parliament votes on boundary changes for the 2015 election I will be instructing my party to oppose them."
The development suggests the 91 Tory rebels may have made a mistake in opposing Lords reform, at least at a strategic level.
The rebellion killed off the prospect for a boundary review and lost the Conservatives at least 20 seats at the next election. They seem to be losing the battle of public opinion as well.
Forty-three per cent of respondents to the YouGov survey wanted the coalition to split immediately, with many of them favouring an immediate general election.
Sixty-six per cent backed an immediate election, against 22% who would be happy to see a minority Tory administration.
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By Ian Dunt
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