Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.
Support for Coalition edges up to 77%
LDV asked: Do you support or oppose the Lib Dems being in the Coalition Government with the Conservatives? (Comparison with September’s figures.)
77% (+3%) – Support
18% (-3%) – Oppose
5% (n/c) – Don’t know / No opinion
Support for the Coalition continues to hold firm in spite of the buffeting the Lib Dems have taken over the first half of this parliament. Indeed, that 77% still support the current alliance with the Tories — the equivalent figure was only a little higher, at 84%, when the Coalition was freshly minted in 2010 — is pretty remarkable. Though the figure of those who oppose the Coalition has crept up steadily over that time, from 11% to 18%, it is still by some distance a minority position within the party.
The half-way point of the Coalition feels like as good a point as any to make this point, by the way… The fact that LibDemVoice has been able to track the views of party members about the Coalition — and found that, in spite of everything the vast majority of members remains supportive — has, I think, been a significant reason why the party has remained broadly united. Without these surveys there would be a vacuum of our knowledge about the mood of party members.
Uptick in approval of Coalition Government’s record to +12%
Do you approve or disapprove of the Coalition Government’s record to date? (Comparison with September’s figures.)
52% (+5%) – Approve
40% (-3%) – Disapprove
9% (-1%) – Don’t know / No opinion
The net approval for the Coalition’s record to date stood at just +4% last month — it’s recovered a bit since then to stand now at +12%. However, that’s still down markedly on August’s +23%, let alone last February’s +40%. Is this simply a sign of mid-term blues for the Coalition? Or does it perhaps signify that Lib Dem members perceive the two Coalition parties pulling further apart, with the Tory right-wing increasingly asserting itself within Government?
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.