EXCLUSIVE: How party members rate the performances of leading Lib Dems

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of a variety of key issues, and what you make of the Lib Dems’ and Government’s performance to date. Almost 600 party members have responded, and we’ve been publishing the full results of our survey over the past few days.

Today, in the final part of our survey, we focus on the performances of the leading lights of the Liberal Democrats – those of our MPs in the cabinet, those occupying ministerial positions, and other leading Lib Dems:

How would you rate the performances of the following leading Liberal Democrats and government ministers?

Full results are published below, but here’s three key lists for those who want to cut to the chase… (with July 2010 ratings in brackets)

Top 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

  • Nick Clegg +60% (+65%)
  • Vince Cable +60% (+60%)
  • Chris Huhne +59% (+51%)
  • Lynne Featherstone +54% (+38%)
  • Norman Baker +28% (+24%)

Little has changed since last time we asked our sample of party members last month… Nick has dropped 5%, but remains, by a nose ahead of Vince, the most popular Lib Dem in the country. Lynne Featherstone’s rating has jumped from +38% to +54%, doubtless in part thanks to the good publicity she achieved for ‘clamping down’ on rogue wheel clampers. Norman Baker is the new face in our top 5 – not particularly because he has shot up the charts, but because Danny Alexander’s approval rating has dropped from +37% to +26%, a delayed response it seems to his part in the Coalition Government’s emergency austerity budget.

Bottom 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

  • Edward Davey +11%
  • Jeremy Browne +11%
  • Michael Moore +6%
  • Paul Burstow +4%
  • Nick Harvey +3%

Las month I conceded this list was a tad unfair, citing in particular Alistair Carmichael in the Whips office as someone “unlikely to have much of a public platform on which to shine.” So no prizes for guessing which MP this week escapes the bottom 5, climbing (for no particular reason I can discern) to an approval rating of +12%. In his place, drops Paul Burstow, whose approval has fallen from +10% to +4%, a reaction doubtless against his part in the Coalition’s new health proposals. As I noted last month: “the list stands as a reminder to all our Lib Dem ministers of the value of communicating effectively with party members about the work they’re undertaking on behalf of the party, even if it isn’t making the front pages.” For the record, all Lib Dem government ministers are still showing net positive approval ratings.

And here’s how other leading Lib Dems score:

  • Simon Hughes, Deputy Leader +60% (+55%)
  • Ros Scott, Party President +30% (+31%)
  • Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly +20% (+17%)
  • Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats +18% (+17%)
  • Fiona Hall, Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs +8% (+4%)
  • Tavish Scott, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats +2% (+7%)

Simon Hughes as Deputy Leader is now rated among the most popular Lib Dems overall, with only Nick and Vince’s approval ratings higher. Party members appear to approve his delicate tightrope-walking act of representing the views of the Lib Dems in the media while trying not to bring down the Coalition. There are few other major changes, though it’s worth highlighting Caroline Pidgeon’s popularity as leader of the Lib Dem group in London: +20% approval after just a few months in the job speaks to appreciation of her abilities. In fairness to our leaders in Scotland, Wales and Europe, though, it should be noted that our sample of party members tends to be skewed towards London and the south.

As promised, here are the results in full …

Lib Dem cabinet ministers and government ministers:

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
Very effective 28%
Quite effective 50%
Quite ineffective 12%
Very ineffective 6%
Don’t know / No opinion 4%
Net effectiveness +60% (+65%)

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Very effective 29%
Quite effective 48%
Quite ineffective 14%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 7%
Net effectiveness +60% (+60%)

Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Very effective 20%
Quite effective 54%
Quite ineffective 12%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 11%
Net effectiveness +59% (+51%)

Lynne Featherstone, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities) for the Home Office
Very effective 23%
Quite effective 43%
Quite ineffective 8%
Very ineffective 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 22%
Net effectiveness +54% (+38%)

Norman Baker, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport
Very effective 9%
Quite effective 34%
Quite ineffective 11%
Very ineffective 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 42%
Net effectiveness +28% (+24%)

Steve Webb, Minister of State to the Department for Work and Pensions
Very effective 10%
Quite effective 30%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 47%
Net effectiveness +28% (+25%)

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Very effective 13%
Quite effective 42%
Quite ineffective 20%
Very ineffective 9%
Don’t know / No opinion 16%
Net effectiveness +26% (+37%)

Sarah Teather, Minister of State for the Department for Education
Very effective 11%
Quite effective 34%
Quite ineffective 16%
Very ineffective 6%
Don’t know / No opinion 33%
Net effectiveness +23% (+22%)

David Heath, Parliamentary Secretary (Deputy Leader) to the Office of the Leader of the Commons
Very effective 10%
Quite effective 16%
Quite ineffective 7%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 64%
Net effectiveness +16% (+22%)


The Rt Hon. Lord McNally, Minister of State for the Ministry of Justice

Very effective 9%
Quite effective 22%
Quite ineffective 7%
Very ineffective 6%
Don’t know / No opinion 56%
Net effectiveness +18% (+15%)

Andrew Stunell, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to the Department for Communities and Local Government
Very effective 7%
Quite effective 20%
Quite ineffective 10%
Very ineffective 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 59%
Net effectiveness +12% (+16%)

Alistair Carmichael, Deputy Chief Whip to the House of Commons
Very effective 7%
Quite effective 14%
Quite ineffective 6%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 71%
Net effectiveness +12% (+8%)

Edward Davey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Very effective 6%
Quite effective 22%
Quite ineffective 12%
Very ineffective 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 55%
Net effectiveness +11% (+9%)

Jeremy Browne, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Very effective 5%
Quite effective 20%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 61%
Net effectiveness +11% (+8%)

Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland
Very effective 4%
Quite effective 19%
Quite ineffective 11%
Very ineffective 6%
Don’t know / No opinion 60%
Net effectiveness +6% (+9%)

Paul Burstow, Minister of State for the Department of Health
Very effective 4%
Quite effective 19%
Quite ineffective 13%
Very ineffective 6%
Don’t know / No opinion 57%
Net effectiveness +4% (+10%)

Nick Harvey, Minister of State (Minister for the Armed Forces) for the Ministry of Defence
Very effective 3%
Quite effective 15%
Quite ineffective 10%
Very ineffective 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 67%
Net effectiveness +3% (+2%)

Other leading Lib Dems:

Simon Hughes, Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons
Very effective 36%
Quite effective 39%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 6%
Don’t know / No opinion 9%
Net effectiveness +60% (+55%)

Ros Scott, Party President
Very effective 16%
Quite effective 33%
Quite ineffective 13%
Very ineffective 6%
Don’t know / No opinion 32%
Net effectiveness +30% (+31%)

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly
Very effective 10%
Quite effective 18%
Quite ineffective 6%
Very ineffective 2%
Don’t know / No opinion 63%
Net effectiveness +20% (+17%)

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Very effective 8%
Quite effective 18%
Quite ineffective 6%
Very ineffective 2%
Don’t know / No opinion 65%
Net effectiveness +18% (+17%)

Fiona Hall, Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs
Very effective 5%
Quite effective 15%
Quite ineffective 7%
Very ineffective 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 68%
Net effectiveness +8% (+4%)

Tavish Scott, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Very effective 3%
Quite effective 14%
Quite ineffective 11%
Very ineffective 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 68%
Net effectiveness +2% (+7%)


You can catch up with the results of all Lib Dem Voice’s members surveys by clicking here.

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5 Comments

  • Grammar Police 2nd Sep '10 - 7:56am

    I wonder if it’s the same (roughly) 6% saying “very ineffective” to all our ministers!

  • No real surprise that once you get past the big names then most people are voting Don’t Know / No Opinion as they are the only ones who are in any way visible. The other ministers need to start raising their profiles and shouting about what they are doing or else they are going to end up looking like poodles running along side their masters doing their bidding.

    In this day and age there is no longer any excuse for any member of the government, especially those in relatively senior ministerial positions, receiving any more that 33% Don’t Know / No Opinion especially when dealing with a politically engaged audience.

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