Nick Clegg, Britain’s deputy prime minister and the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in the country’s coalition, is set to lose his seat at a national election next month, according to a poll published on Wednesday.
Clegg’s centre-left party’s share of the vote has more than halved since it joined forces with Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives in 2010, and polls show Clegg has gone from being the most popular party leader to the least liked now.
A constituency survey commissioned by former Conservative deputy chairman Michael Ashcroft put the opposition Labour Party on 36 percent in Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam seat, in northern England, compared to 34 percent for the Liberal Democrats.
With opinion polls predicting neither the Conservatives nor Labour will win the May 7 vote outright, Clegg’s party could again be called upon to help form a government.
Clegg has said he intends to remain as party leader, but should he lose his seat, he would come under pressure to step down. His likely successors range across the ideological spectrum, potentially changing the calculus of any coalition negotiations.
Seven other constituency surveys of key target seats showed the Liberal Democrats holding onto four seats, but losing two to the Conservatives, with Cameron’s party keeping the seventh.
The surveys were carried out between March 12 and 28, with around 1,000 adults polled in each of the eight seats.