Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. 741 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.
There have been many conversations about the possibility of parties on the progressive side of politics working together against the Tories. We asked whether people liked that idea and, if so, what forms of collaboration would they tolerate.
Do you think that Labour, SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats should work together to oppose the Conservative Government in a type of progressive alliance?
So a clear, but narrow majority in favour of joint working of some sort.
Here are some of the comments:
I do, but it’s not possible for the simple reason that no deal with the SNP and Labour is workable in Scotland. Would the SNP simply stand down many of their MPs? Because if not what do Labour have to gain?
A PA is the last thing the Lib Dems should even think of at this stage. The party is struggling to find its own identity within itself and with voters, so an Alliance will weaken our image further – possibly fatally.
Sounds unworkable – unless it can 100% guarantee, as its very first act, a change of electoral system for future General Elections.
This is the only way that a democratic breakthrough can be achieved. A temporary alliance with a committment to reform government and electoral system, then all for themselves.
In a binary electoral system it is the only approach that makes sense. If we can’t achieve PR then we must push for a formal primary system, and until then arrangements between all opposition parties should be sought.
This is the single most important issue facing politics in the UK. This is the only way that we can bring about an effective, mature PR system and prevent the voices of large parts of the electorate gaining to be heard.
No. I see this as an unique opportunity for the Liberal Democrats to recover. Just like the coalition government, our message would be diluted or compromised and others would take credit for our policies.
I think that the SNP in particular do not share many of our Liberal principles.
If we get a Tory majority in 2020, they will have a full blown mandate for wholesale Tory tinkering with the Constitution. We need electoral reform (proportional representation) so that the Tories can no longer drive through their policies on the back of only 36% of votes.
We then asked what sort of co-operation people would support. The least popular options involved either electoral pacts in certain seats and open primaries between progressive candidates. People may well remember the seat negotiations with the SDP in the 1980s. 44% of respondents, however, were happy with the idea of covert co-operation and non-aggression strategies.
Here’s how it played out.
Standing down Liberal Democrat candidates to give the main opponent to the Conservatives a free run? 17.68%
Supporting any candidate in a seat who subscribed to a particular set of progressive values. 25.51%
Covert co-operation and non-aggression strategies between parties to maximise the anti-Conservative vote 44.4%
Maintaining clear equidistance between Labour and Conservatives 21.86%
None of the above 22.13%
The “More United’ style option was supported by 25%. I’m not sure what the earthly use is of supporting more than one candidate in a seat in the electoral system we have, though.
It certainly shows that there is some appetite for some sort of collaborative working, which will encourage the panel at the fringe meeting that is due to take place at lunchtime.
- 2,200+ Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 741 completed the latest survey, which was conducted between 13-15 September 2016
- Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. The surveys are, though, the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country.
- We have been able to test the LibDemVoice surveys against actual results on a handful of occasions. It correctly forecast the special Lib Dem conference would overwhelmingly approve the Coalition Agreement in May 2010. In the 2008 and 2010 elections for Lib Dem party president, it correctly predicted the winner. However, in the 2014 election it didn’t; see here for my thoughts on this.
- Polling expert Anthony Wells has written about the reliability/validity of LibDemVoice surveys here.
- The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings