The Lib Dems, also ready hit with a voter backlash after dropping their opposition to student fee increases, could face increased voter anger over new nuclear subsidies.

MPs are due to vote later today (June 7) on subsidies for nuclear power, but an exclusive poll commissioned by Greenpeace shows Lib Dem MPs could face voter anger if they break their election promise and vote in support of tax payer hand outs for the nuclear industry.

The vote, part of the Finance Bill debate, will if it goes the Conservatives way according to Greenpeace give a £1billion windfall to existing nuclear power operators.

Last month an independent energy review backed more nuclear power for the UK in a report called for by the formation of the coalition Government.

At that time the Lib Dems fought for and won a key concession ruling out public subsidy for new nuclear stations during coalition talks.

However, new nuclear has always been favoured by the majority Conservatives who form the coalition government with the Lib Dems.

The exclusive opinion poll by YouGov for Greenpeace reveals 51% of people feel the Lib Dems should not break their promise and either abstain or vote against new subsidy for the nuclear industry, with only 19% thinking they should back new subsidies.

Greenpeace spokeswoman, Louise Hutchins, said: “Liberal Democrat MPs will have the chance to show some of the ‘muscular liberalism’ that Nick Clegg has promised – not break their promises to the British public, and not go along with a Conservative inspired £1 billion windfall for the nuclear industry.

“Every pound spent propping up the nuclear industry is a pound not invested in Britain’s clean energy future that can help kick start the economic recovery and job creation that we so badly needed.”

Luke Walsh

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