EXCLUSIVE POLL: 54% of Lib Dem members want Nick Clegg to stay as leader

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think about the performance of the Lib Dems and party leader Nick Clegg at the most recent set of local and European elections. 992 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results today.

Here’s the summary – full results below – of what our survey of Lib Dem members thinks:

  • 54% want Nick Clegg to stay as leader; 39% want him to stand down
  • Among the 39% who want Nick Clegg to stand down opinion is divided whether he should stay as Deputy Prime Minister (34%); whether his successor should become Deputy Prime Minister (35%); or whether the Lib Dems should withdraw from Coalition (27%)
  • 51% are satisfied with Nick Clegg’s performance as party leader; 48% are dissatisfied
  • By 81% to 16% Lib Dem members support the Lib Dems being in Coalition with the Conservatives
  • Almost one-half (48%) think the Lib Dems European election campaign “was the right message, but communicated poorly”
  • Tim Farron is the first choice of leader in the event of a vacancy

Personal commentary from Stephen Tall:

The margin’s tighter than Nick Clegg would like, but he will be relieved that a clear majority of party members in our survey want him to stay as leader. The survey opened just hours after the scale of the party’s defeat in the European elections became clear. We’ve not asked this exact question before, but the nearest equivalent in August 2012 found 47% of members saying Nick should stay to fight the 2015 election and 46% saying he shouldn’t.

However, the 54% wanting him to stay is not the reason I reckon Nick Clegg will survive – it’s that, among the 39% who want him to stand down, opinion is divided as to what should happen next. Around one-third (34%) want him to stay on as Deputy Prime Minister; fractionally more (35%) want his successor as party leader also to become Deputy Prime Minister. So even among those wanting Nick Clegg to stand down, more than two-thirds (69%) want the Coalition to continue. Just over one-quarter (27%) of those who want Nick Clegg to stand down also want the party to quit the Coalition. Nick Clegg is likely to survive while there’s still such a range of opinion among those who want him to go.

That does not mean his leadership is assured, though. Among all 992 party members who responded Nick Clegg has a net satisfaction rating of just +3%. When we asked last month, before the election results, it stood at +8%. That’s a small drop in the circumstances, but it’s not healthy for a leader who needs the goodwill of party members more than ever over the next 11 months leading up to the May 2015 election.

And, in spite of everything, fully 81% of Lib Dem members continue to support the party being in Coalition with the Conservatives. Just 16% want the party to withdraw. Whatever else discontent with Nick Clegg represents, it is not a desire for the Lib Dems to run away from being in government.

There is one other reason it seems likely to me that Nick Clegg will survive. The two most popular successors – Tim Farron and Vince Cable – have both publicly declared now is not the time for a leadership election and that Lib Dems should rally behind their leader. Absent an obvious rallying point, it’s hard to see where the calls for Nick Clegg to quit can go next.

Here are the results of our survey in full…

54% want Nick Clegg to stay as leader; 39% want him to stand down

Do you think Nick Clegg should lead the Lib Dems into the next general election, or do you think he should stand down as party leader now?

    Stay as leader – 533 votes (54%)
    Stand down as leader – 383 (39%)
    Don’t know – 76 (8%)

We asked the 383 Lib Dem members who said they thought Nick Clegg should stand down what they thought should happen if he did…

Which of these comes closest to your view of what should happen if Nick Clegg stands down?

    34% – The party should elect a new leader, but Nick Clegg should stay as Deputy Prime Minister and the Lib Dems should stay in Coalition until the 2015 election
    35% – The party should elect a new leader, who should become Deputy Prime Minister within the Coalition until the 2015 election
    27% – The party should elect a new leader, Nick Clegg should resign as Deputy Prime Minister, and the party should withdraw from the Coalition
    3% – Other
    1% – Don’t know

All 992 members who completed the survey were asked the rest of the questions which follow…

51% are satisfied with Nick Clegg’s performance as party leader; 48% are dissatisfied

What is your view of Nick Clegg’s performance as Lib Dem leader?

11% – Very satisfied
40% – Satisfied
Total satisfied = 51%
26% – Dissatisfied
22% – Very dissatisfied
Total dissatisfied = 48%
2% – Don’t know / No opinion

81% of Lib Dem members support the Lib Dems being in Coalition with the Conservatives

Do you support or oppose the Lib Dems being in the Coalition Government with the Conservatives?

    81% – Support
    16% – Oppose
    3% – Don’t know

48% think the Lib Dems European election campaign “was the right message, but communicated poorly”

The Lib Dems fought this year’s European elections on a strongly pro-European platform as ‘The Party of IN’. Which of the following statements best represents your view of the Lib Dem campaign:
32% – It was the right message, communicated as well as could be expected
48% – It was the right message, but communicated poorly
9% – It was the wrong message, communicated as well as could be expected
10% – It was the wrong message, and communicated poorly
1% – Don’t know

Tim Farron is the first choice of leader in the event of a vacancy

In the event of a vacancy for Lib Dem leader, which current MP would you be most likely to vote for to succeed Nick Clegg?

This question listed all 56 MPs (excluding Clegg), with party members asked to rank in order of preference who they would most like to be the next leader in the event of a leadership vacancy. We’ll release the full data later, but here are the results of the candidates who received more than 100 votes from the first five expressed preferences:

    1) Tim Farron 531
    2) Vince Cable 466
    3) Steve Webb 199
    4) Lynne Featherstone 196
    5) Charles Kennedy 189
  • 1,600 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 992 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted on 26th and 27th May.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past offered accurate guides to what party members think.
  • For further information on the reliability/credibility of our surveys, please refer to FAQs: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate? and polling expert Anthony Wells’ verdict, On that poll of Lib Dem members.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • * Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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    125 Comments

    • Radical Liberal 27th May '14 - 4:49pm

      I refused to participate in this as did not wish to give it legitimacy as I knew how it would be used and surprise surprise this is how it is being used. Either way Clegg has split the party. He can’t continue to lead a party he has split.

    • Tom Papworth 27th May '14 - 4:49pm

      An interesting poll, with a sample size that puts the 385 who have signed the open letter in the shade.

    • It seems more like it’s Oakeshott and the other plotters who seem to have spent the bulk of the election period preparing for a coup that have split the party, not the leader who gave it his all.

    • I don’t know that one LDV poll can justly be compared with another, as no doubt the pool of respondents is continually changing, but in light of the loyalism shown in previous polls, this is a shockingly bad result for Clegg. Thatcher resigned on a comparable showing.

    • With 48% saying that communication was poor, I doubt that Clegg can survive. A shame because he seemed the most likeable of all the party leaders

    • Devastating. John Major was set to resign as Prime Minister in ’95 if he couldn’t command more than a two-thirds vote of confidence in his favour.

      Party membership has plummeted by 40% in the last four years, and those who stay should logically be far more pro-Clegg – yet barely over half of the members left even want Clegg to say.

      It’s over, Nick. The fat lady has sung. Better to bow out gracefully on your own terms now. Otherwise, I fear this will just run and run and run for the next 12 months.

    • You may be surprised to hear that I voted for him to stand down, but stay as dpm. Cablewill probably lose his seat.

    • Nick Barlow 27th May '14 - 4:59pm

      Tom – you can’t actually compare this with the ICM poll, as that’s random selection from the general population, and this is of a self-selected group.

    • Well, so far from there being no question over the leadership, the party is split into pro- and anti-Clegg factions of broadly comparable sizes – 54:39. The discontent can’t be written off as the province of a few malcontents on the fringe.

      Those should not be a source of reassurance at all, considering he is the incumbent party leader and Deputy Prime Minister.

    • Seth, a vote of no confidence by his MPs is vastly different to one by party members

    • Gordon Seekings 27th May '14 - 5:00pm

      Interesting as to who was invited to take part in the survey as I never got an e-mail inviting me to take part.,,,,,,,,but then I’ve only been a member since 1974,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 🙁

    • Joshua Dixon 27th May '14 - 5:01pm

      Far too close for comfort. Interesting.

    • Chris, that’s 2-1 in favour of him staying as leader, and 3-1 as dpm.

    • Roger Billlins 27th May '14 - 5:02pm

      I have been a member of the LibDems/Libs since 1975 and with Flick Rea was the first Liberal on Camden Council. It makes me despair that there is now just Flick. I was prepared to give Clegg the benefit of the doubt but it is clear that he has made the Liberal Democrat brand toxic to the electorate. I suspect that we are looking at between 15 and 20 MPs at the next election and that may be wishful thinking. I think it is time for him to go and for Tim Farron to replace him.. I have metaphorically torn up my membership card and will not be renewing until Clegg goes

    • Nick T Nick Thornsby 27th May '14 - 5:03pm

      George Potter – a minority of members cannot force a leader to resign. They can force a leadership election.

    • I didn’t touch it with a barge pole either Radical and I don’t think many of the many now 400 odd signing the petition would’ve done so either particularly when the authors of all these polls, articles etc are biased. You know there was one on the radio this morning with crisis what crisis I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I nearly got on Radio 2 so RL if you can get on LBC give it a go as we need to speak out as the Orange Bookers are trying to force us out and we must stop the, The party is bitterly divided and Clegg must go now. It’s only a matter of time for the replacement as the opinion polls will remain dire after last week’s results while Clegg is leader and so many MPs face being wiped out unless that’s the strategy the OBs are preparing for.

    • Eddie Sammon 27th May '14 - 5:03pm

      Yes but guys this poll was conducted before Clegg and Farron asked for unity and now those who support them should fall in line before the party tears itself apart.

    • This is massive when you consider those who have left the party who would be highly likely to say they want Nick to stand down. How about a survey of former Lib Dem members as well?

    • This debate has run its course. We now need to get on with working all year round for residents and concentrating on building support for May 2015. Vince Cable is not a viable alternative both from the above numbers and the fact that, although very worthy and extremely on-the-button in everything he says, he is, being kind, somewhat lacking in the charisma department.. And that would soon show up in the national media glare. And Tim Farron would be my favourite to be leader eventually but he just ain’t DPM material. It’s just not him.

    • “75 local parties triggering a leadership action could still be successfully followed by those who want Clegg gone”

      Well go on George. Get on with it.

    • Eddie Sammon 27th May '14 - 5:07pm

      Cable and Farron I mean.

    • @Tabman: Perhaps you have access to a new, improved form of arithmetic, but my old-fashioned kind tells me that a 54/39 ratio is 1.4 to 1, not 2 to 1.

    • Shaun Nichols 27th May '14 - 5:14pm

      Paul Walter – we are getting on with it. We are organising. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    • These results are about as favourable an audience Clegg will get: his own party members and activists. 46% of his own party are unable to say that he should stay as Leader, 39% actively say he should go now, and there’s a 51/48 split for job satisfaction. This is crippling. The polls aren’t going to get any better, and these ratings are magnificent compared to those among the general public.

      I think the best that one could spin in his favour is that he barely manages to convince a small majority of his own members; and with numbers like these, it would be putting it mildly to call him divisive.

    • Radical Liberal 27th May '14 - 5:15pm

      Yes Paul it’s happening. Read the Independent article about it. Clegg could have went quietly but now this will just drag on as we go through this process, its his fault.

    • Paul Pettinger 27th May '14 - 5:16pm

      Margaret Thatcher resigned after winning more votes in the first round of the 1990 leadership challenge. He should be allowed to stand down with grace and do so.

    • “It seems more like it’s Oakeshott and the other plotters who seem to have spent the bulk of the election period preparing for a coup that have split the party, not the leader who gave it his all.”

      Here here Thomas Long.

      It is intensely annoying to know that the plotters were spending £20,000 on a rubbish survey to give us devastating headlines today, which could have won us extra candidates into seats last Thursday. Its shows their priorities. Meanwhile Nick Clegg was working his socks off for the party.

    • THIS HEADLINE IS A DELIBERATE DECEPTION, AND SHOWS THAT MR TALL SPINS TALL STORIES

      THE SMALL PRINT SAYS—
      Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem members

      THE HEADLINE SAYS —-
      YOU CANNOT TRUST MR TALL TOMTELL THE TRUTH

    • Paul Pettinger 27th May '14 - 5:19pm

      Hang on – why is a poll currently being conducted in Lib Dem Voice’s closed forum so different???

    • Sarah Spilsbury 27th May '14 - 5:20pm

      Isn’t there a matter of democratic principle? The electorate has massively rejected the LibDems as things are – in coalition. To continue with the same leader in the same position and soldiering on in the same administration is untenable. To do so in the name of ‘the country’s interest’ when the country has said ‘We don’t want it’ just looks like clinging on to power. I think the decision to go into coalition was the only serious option we had, but for many reasons, it didn’t work out for the party. We might regain a scrap of credibility by responding to the public verdict.

    • “Yes Paul it’s happening. Read the Independent article about it. Clegg could have went quietly but now this will just drag on as we go through this process, its his fault.”

      So the constituencies who have called general meetings are?

    • “I think care is needed in reading the 54% who want Nick Clegg to stay as being ‘pro-Clegg’. “

      Of course that’s right. On these figures it’s inconceivable that a majority of members currently want him to remain leader after the next election.

    • The only polls that matter were held on the 22nd . The people on the doorstep rejected Clegg. The Party was all but annihilated. Now Clegg doesn’t even command the support of two thirds of his Party on here (the most meaningless poll ever to be honest ).

    • Interesting that Nick Clegg doesn’t seem to have been a choice when people were asked who they’d vote for as Leader.

      I’d be curious to get a sense of what kind of a vote he could secure if he triggered a leadership contest in which he was a candidate, seeking a renewed mandate to lead the party into 2015? It would certainly silence his critics if he were to pull that off – but my guess is he’d stand very little chance in such a contest.

      “Do you think Nick Clegg should lead the Lib Dems into the next general election?” becomes a very different question in the context of an immediate leadership election in which Clegg is just one candidate.

    • @Paul Pettinger

      “Hang on – why is a poll currently being conducted in Lib Dem Voice’s closed forum so different???”

      Could it be conceivably possible that the fact this poll (above) had 992 people voting in it, and that only 96 people have voted on the forum’s poll have anything vaguely to do with it, by some remote chance?

    • @JohnTilley
      Well I think that Mr Tall just wanted a simpler headline. “54% of Lib Dem members who took part in a LDV poll” is a bit of a mouthful, for a headline.

    • What absolute rubbish, many of us have given our own money and donations over the years to the Party and never get any thanks for it just the usual begging letters and we are being taken for granted. I would love to give a donation to libdems4change as a snub to the Orange Bookers and their cavalier treatment of us on here. Let’s get the change of leader we crave now, get the party back on track and save it being relegated to the Conference division of politics and that’s what I am doing seeing the elections are over now and I’ve done my bit campaigning for candidates only to see them being slaughtered in the local elections thanks to Nick Clegg and his inadequate leadership of the Party. Clegg Out.

    • Clearly all of Clegg’s enormous army of SPADS have been giving the job of voting for Clegg to stay on. Well, the £1m going on their salaries must be justified somehow – great use of public money at a time of austerity. .

    • As ever, I respect that LibDems4Change has the greatest of intentions (like many of you, I know many of them) , that of helping the party. Too many key figures have though now come out in Nick’s support and the length of time it would take to get 75 constituencies to back a leadership election indicates that the campaign is over. The fallen MEPs don’t want Nick ousted, the vast majority of MPs don’t and by the only measure we have neither do a majority of members.

      Let us put differences aside now, not drag this out and unite around what we do believe in – that neither Labour or the Tories will ever deliver the kind of government we all want and for which we campaign.

      The coalition and Nick’s leadership are far from perfect and done many things we rightly dislike, but just as Labour didn’t tear itself apart afte 2010 we shouldn’t do so now. Tim Farron is, without much doubt, the next leader of this party – let us make sure we have a united party for him to lead build ourselves back up again.

    • To put this into context, Margaret Thatcher was ousted in 1990 when she secured a 54.8% vote of confidence in her leadership, i.e. slightly more than this.

      Will someone please make him see sense?

    • Nich Starling 27th May '14 - 5:32pm

      It’s hardly a ringing endorsement. Just over half support him. I know 3 anti Clegg’s who never read LDV as they see it as populated by “on message” people so they )like me) didn’t do the survey.

    • @david

      I respect your sincerity but you are just repeating yourself. You are not going to win anyone over with angry repetition.

    • Eddie Sammon 27th May '14 - 5:33pm

      No Phyllis, the party rejected our offer on May 22nd as well as the people who couldn’t wait for it to fail and had been free-riding on the party and undermining it for a long time. They couldn’t wait to scapegoat Clegg before the votes were even counted and invested into carefully planned undermining projects instead of campaigns.

    • Regardless of how this is being presented, it is absolutely terrible for Clegg. Half the party are disatisfied and only HALF of the party want him to remain as leader.

      If he wants to do what’s ‘best for the party’, perhaps he better go before the other half of the party get restless and the infighting starts.

    • But those who did this poll were all their apologists wheeled out and given a three line whip. It’s not a mandate for Clegg to stay but manufactured by this site’s backers.

    • @Nich Starling
      “It’s hardly a ringing endorsement.”
      But more than for a similar question in 2012.
      “.I know 3 anti Clegg’s who never read LDV ”
      I know four pro-Cleggs who never read LDV.

    • @david
      “But those who did this poll were all their apologists wheeled out and given a three line whip. It’s not a mandate for Clegg to stay but manufactured by this site’s backers.”

      Perhaps you ought to read the back number surveys – they are hardly indicative of blind support for the leadership. How is it manufactured when everyone registered on the forum – who are all members – got sent the survey email?

    • @ Seth Was about to post the same – winning a simple majority does not mean you have the authority to stay leader of the party.

    • Interesting results. They basically signal an end to any long-term leadership ambitions that Mr Clegg might have been hoping to hold on to. The only way he can avoid an immediate post-election contest with results like these is if he somehow magically presides over an increase in seats won. That isn’t going to happen.

      But to those wanting him removed immediately, its not enough to really force a resignation. The only route that makes sense there is the 75 local parties one, and that’s a debate I think all our local parties should now be having. If the threshold isn’t crossed within the next week or two though (allowing for all the parties so inclined to hold their meetings and sign off said letters), then it isn’t going to be crossed this side of the election. It’ll then be time for everyone to shift focus back to highlighting the good we’ve done, acknowledging and apologising for the bad and telling people the good we hope still to do in the future.

      Increasingly, I’ve been coming to the conclusion that the electorate deserves the right to deliver a final verdict on Nick Clegg and the direction the party has taken while he has led it. In an election where he is standing as an actual candidate so there’s no doubt about what’s going on. We are, after all, all complicit in this situation, even those of us who have resigned since 2010. What was the majority of the membership in favour of the coalition then?

      Maybe many of us, especially the ex-members, now regard that as a mistake. We all make mistakes, Clegg has made some big ones, but it may be that the only way we can recover from them is to go through the electoral fire and come out the other side properly chastised. I doubt the voter will give us any more respect if we’re seen trying to evade responsibility for the past four years, and to do so I fear would delay the much-needed rediscovery of our political mission and the reconsideration of the market liberalism of our past decade.

      I accept that a new leader might more successfully articulate our defense, and I hope that in the event of a change, the successor would be willing to own the coalition, successes, failures, warts and all. But as a strategy it absolutely must be democratic, due to the sort of mass membership revolt a 75 party rebellion would represent, or from Mr Clegg’s own initiative.

    • I don’t know that a majority of MPs want Clegg to stay, nor do I suppose that anyone else who’s weighed in on it knows that either. I do know that if there were a movement among MPs to oust Clegg, the last place I’d expect to hear of it is on LDV. If any MP is interested in replacing Clegg as leader, he or she will be taking very careful soundings of his or her colleagues to gauge their support. In public, he or she will profess his or her undying loyalty. When the axe falls, if it does fall, it will be sudden and — to those of us not in the know — rather unexpected.

    • Stephen,

      Can you please explain why the poll was closed early?
      I received a reminder email this morning that stated, in bold, the poll would close at MIDNIGHT, not 4.30pm..

      This is very suspicious .. was it that the trend was going more and more negative for Clegg and would have spoiled the desired headline?

    • Richard Church 27th May '14 - 5:51pm

      Margaret Thatcher was ousted because she lost the confidence of her cabinet after the first round of a leadership election. Conservative party members never took part in a ballot. I am sure if Nick lost the confidence of his ministerial colleagues, he would go.

      If people here want to get rid of Clegg, the only way they can do it is to persuade the MP’s. Trying to follow the constitutional route will ultimately fail, and do enormous harm to the party in the process.

    • paul barker 27th May '14 - 5:53pm

      I just want to say to the 13% who want Clegg to stand down as Party Leader but stay as DPM that we tried that approach during The period of The Alliance. Having 2 people who look like Leaders to the Voters is a recipe for disaster.

      Let this survey be the end of it – why are we wasting time on a petition with 400 names out of 40,000 ?

    • It’s spin, pure and simple,we knew that and said so from the start when the survey was announced. And the headline “54% of Lib Dem members want Nick Clegg to stay” is false. There are over 40,000 LD members and 54% of them have not said they want Clegg to stay. These are desperate tactics and show how much the LDV editors are biased.

    • David Evershed 27th May '14 - 5:55pm

      When we next get asked who the Lib Dem leader should be, I suggest that Paul Walter’s name is included as an option.

      He brings much common sense and calm reasoning to this Lib Dem Voice forum.

    • Martin Land 27th May '14 - 5:58pm

      It seems to me that 93% of the electorate delivered their opinion on Nick Clegg’s leadership in last week’s European Elections….

    • John Roffey 27th May '14 - 5:58pm

      I was asked to complete the survey – but as an ex member – I didn’t think I had the right to vote on a matter that was strictly for the existing members to decide.

      I suppose it would not be difficult to deliberately select an extra few hundred people known to support Clegg in the sample – I hope this is not the case. However, I am glad that there seems to be a grassroots rebellion – it is they who grind away on behalf of the Party – and it is their continued support that is vital if the Party is to have any chance of survival after the next GE.

      A leadership contest is needed to clear the air. If the above figures are based on a representative sample – NC need have no fear of such a contest – he will win comfortably.

    • So Clegg stays on the basis of this lacklustre pseudo-poll. Until the Newark by-election next week. Then what? This must end. PS Is anything happening in Newark or have we given up already?

    • Ex-members invited into a membership only poll and voting allegedly closed 7.5 hours early? Somebody call the electoral commission.

    • Peter Chegwyn 27th May '14 - 6:13pm

      48% of party members dissatisfied with their leader’s performance.

      39% want him to stand down now.

      Hardly the most resounding endorsement from those who should be his most loyal supporters!

    • val andrews 27th May '14 - 6:21pm

      Nick Clegg stand firm. You are the only one of the party leaders who seems to be honest. We must stay in Europe; we should welcome immigrants, as we have in the past.
      I am a member of the Liberal Democrats and have been a supporter since Roy Jenkins stood in Warrington,, where I live. i am also a member of the Labour party since I believe that a coalition of Labour plus Lib Dems is the best way forward for the country.
      The country is looking for honesty in politicians and will recognize and value it in Nick Clegg if we keep backing him.

    • “I don’t know that a majority of MPs want Clegg to stay, nor do I suppose that anyone else who’s weighed in on it knows that either.”

      Of course, whatever huffing and puffing there may be about Oakeshott’s actions in commissioning the polls being “inexcusable”, the fact remains that the polls were commissioned, and that they show the Lib Dems losing all four seats surveyed. From the tables it doesn’t appear that the departure from ICM’s usual methodology (of reallocating 50% of don’t knows/won’t says to their former party) had any effect on that conclusion.

      I’m sure that Clegg’s fate lies in the hands of the MPs, not the ordinary members, and their actions will be determined by their instinct for self-preservation.

    • @Pegasus
      Since when do horses get a vote?

    • @Voter
      since their full name is too unique and would get picked up in every search engine for all eternity! 😉

    • It is interesting to note that in the November 1990 Conservative leadership election 54% is also what the incumbent leader got in the first round of voting. What happened next…?

    • @Helen – 998 out of 44,000 is actually pretty representative in numerical terms – an opinion poll in a constituency conducted by someone like ICM would use around 1000 to make it valid, so just because I disagree with its outcome doesn’t mean I say it’s invalid.

      However, Adrian Sanders is right. 44% of Lib Dem Voice members say he should go. LDV readers / commenters / forum people are most likely to be active and supportive of the party. So that’s still a pretty huge section of key party supporters.

    • According to this poll there are 383 members who have registered with Lib Dem Voice who want Nick to resign as leader, whether these can be built into the 1500 needed to hold 75 general meetings seems unlikely.

      However to publish that of the 992 who responded 531 had Tim Farron as one of their top five is a strange way to publish a poll. It would have been fairer if just the first preferences for the top five were posted.

      The most important criteria for any future leader is that they didn’t vote for the tuition fee increase, while my preference would be for someone who can keep their promises and who voted against the increase.

    • Graham Morgan 27th May '14 - 6:55pm

      @ Jimble. Earlier this afternoon I left a comment on the thread advertising this survey. I can confirm that the survey was closed early. At 09.11 today I received an e-mail reminding me to complete the survey stating the deadline as midnight. At 13.07 I was sent a further e-mail advising that as more than 1000 responses had been received the deadline for submissions had been brought forward to 15.00. Those facts speak for themselves.

    • Adrian Sanders 27th May ’14 – 5:54pm
      “11 months before our biggest test and 4 in 10 of some of our most active/interested/computer savvy members vote that they have no confidence in the Leader. So all’s well then and nothing needs to change.”

      But it was more than that in 2012.

      54% have supported the leader. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want anything to change Adrian. That wasn’t in the question.

      So you want Nick to go, do you?

      And if so, who do you want to replace him?

    • So the survey was closed early so that Stephen Tall could rush to the TV studios to proclaim that “54% of LibDem members think that Nick Clegg should stay on as leader”. Beyond cynical manipulation of the facts!

    • Jen The Blue 27th May '14 - 7:19pm

      As a former Tory and now UKIP supporter I can at least give credit to Clegg for an honest campaign. One which was roundly rejected by the voters, but it showed integrity at least.

      Of course if we had followed Clegg’s wishes on Europe we would now be in an even worse place, tied into the straight-jacket of the Euro.

      So it beats me why anyone would take any notice whatsoever of anything Clegg says about the EU.

    • Why did the poll close so early? Some of us have jobs… hopeless hopeless sheeple.

    • 54% want Nick Clegg to stay – wow that is LOW – former members like myself who now don’t part in theses surveys would have of course made that figure MUCH smaller.

    • Leekliberal 27th May '14 - 7:24pm

      @ Nick Barlow says ‘you can’t actually compare this with the ICM poll, as that’s random selection from the general population, and this is of a self-selected group.’ Actually Nick this self-selected group have another name – they are called ‘Lib Dem members’

    • Paul, as team Clegg is keen on baking, we could replace him with a Victoria sponge, a Carrot cake or a Black Forest Gateaux, any one of them would provide stiffer opposition to Cameron the next time he tries to herd our MPs into some dubious Tory policy that wasnt in the coalition agreement.

    • @Pegasus
      I share your concern for anonymity, so I was impressed you used your real name to sign the letter! I suppose there’s safety in numbers, but I think I’ll wait until after Newark.

    • @ Paul K

      “PS Is anything happening in Newark or have we given up already?”

      The People’s Army is moving there en masse! We are setting up our camps by the side of the A1 and polishing the pitchforks. 🙂

    • @Paul K
      petitions (and that’s pretty much what this is) are different, of course I put my real name.. but comments made here under my real name 3+ years ago are still top of the list for google searches :-/ (and can’t be edited or removed unlike Facebook stuff for example).

      As for Newark, it won’t make a difference. It’s nothing particularly personal against Nick from me, it’s just that is he’s highly and irremediably toxic to the would-be and former libdem voters and if we want to have the slightest chance of saving as many MPs and councillors as possible, we need a different messenger (whether we change the message or not, it won’t be heard if it comes from NC).

    • david. Who exactly are this army of Orange Bookers forcing you out of the party? Have their jack-booted legions stormed up your drive and withheld your copy of Socialist Worker until you wrote a resignation letter? We should be told!

    • Leekliberal 27th May '14 - 7:43pm

      Phyllis says –
      ‘So the survey was closed early so that Stephen Tall could rush to the TV studios to proclaim that “54% of LibDem members think that Nick Clegg should stay on as leader”. Beyond cynical manipulation of the facts!’
      This poll of 992 of the total 1600 paid up members, more than usually respond, is far more likely to actually represent the views of members, than the dodgy one calling for his resignation which fails to positively identify participants as members. Phyllis – If you actually care about statistical accuracy instead of just crying ‘foul’ when you don’t like the results, I suggest you enroll for a course on elementary statistics!

    • Leek liberal, people were told it would close at midnight and were going to complete it after work, only to find that it had unexpectedly closed at 3pm.

      But my comment wasn’t about that – it was the statement about “54% of Lib Dem members …” The lib Dem membership us 44,000 and under 1,000 is nowhere near 54%! It’s a bare-faced lie. Well, isn’t it??

    • Nick Barlow 27th May '14 - 8:14pm

      Leekliberal – it’s a self-selected group within the larger set of Lib Dem members (those who’ve chosen to register on LDV). It’s not a random statistical sample of that larger group of party members while the ICM poll was randomly selected samples of the larger population.

    • @Pegasus
      I’m afraid I agree, but we all went to Eastleigh and fought the local elections, and I’d still be prepared to help in Newark if anyone is bothering there.

    • Stephen Hesketh 27th May '14 - 8:28pm

      I have just logged on to complete the survey – just as I do every month – only to find that I have been disenfranchised.
      Perhaps we can be enlightened as to the reason? It is hard not to be somewhat cynical. A very sorry state of affairs.

      Just for the record, I had never previously ranked Nick’s performance as less than ‘satisfactory’ but after mulling it over for much of the weekend, and with not a little regret, I had come to the conclusion that Nick should resign and a new leader be elected before the Autumn. As for candidates, same five but with Tim and Lynne at the top.

      It is with some interest I note that none of the free market capitalist New Liberal group have been selected by the membership!

    • Peter Chegwyn 27th May '14 - 8:35pm

      @ Paul K & Pegasus – Newark is just the kind of seat we’d have been looking to gain at a by-election in parliaments past. Now we’ll be lucky to save our deposit. Another sad sign of how low our expectations now are.

    • Nich Starling 27th May '14 - 8:44pm

      Suspicious that the poll ended early. Those defending Clegg can’t moan about 400 signing a petition and then prevent hundreds of people from voting without notice. If this is such an important issue, and it is, then the poll should’ve remained open. How about re-opening it for those of us too late to vote ? Or is it correct to say the poll was closed so it would give pro-Clegg coverage for tonight’s news and tomorrow’s papers ?

      As I wrote elsewhere, LDV is a bit on message and always seems to tow the party line.

    • Nich Starling 27th May '14 - 8:45pm

      And I apologise for the typos – I did this on my phone.

    • I am disappointed that we blame our leader in whom we placed our trust until 25 May and that he gets “dumped”. We can win just as easily as UKIP the supposed “earthquake” by embracing similar values and leaders. .. that is not why I adhered to this party. One of my values is “loyalty”, what would a surge in polls mean to me in the face of disloyalty? not much! I shall take the ride… then I have not worked as much as for example Paul Kennedy in H&F so who am I to say? I am torn in many ways but I do feel I am in the right party. Many will be much more politically realistic than me but this new challenge is galvanizing and I hope to rise to the challenge! I might be a “naive hippy in suits” as they describe us now but I still believe we have a necessary proposal and I am committed to make it resound. We need to remember why we came together in the first place, we can sort out the rest later and fight this opportunity lying ahead. (shattered galvanization!)

    • Leekliberal – “Phyllis – If you actually care about statistical accuracy instead of just crying ‘foul’ when you don’t like the results, I suggest you enroll for a course on elementary statistics!”

      Wow, have you been taking LibDem fast-track leadership courses – because you’ve got mad comms skills.

      The point is quite simple, if a deadline is set and communicated as being midnight, then subsequently closed at least 7 hours early, then it is reasonable to say that the polling did not necessarily reflect nor include all those that may have taken part. One could also make the case that the polling had been closed in the fear that it was in danger of yielding results that might not be in the best interests of the leadership.

      I look forward to your no-doubt condescending reply, however, could you also please address the point and case above.

      Ta.

    • Martin Land 27th May '14 - 9:26pm

      54% isn’t very good and let’s not forget that the tens of thousands of former colleagues who have already upped sticks and left are not represented. Look, I voted for Nick – largely on Steve Webb’s recommendation – and thank God I did. Let’s face it, with a few hundred votes more Chris Huhne would have been leader, the consequences of which are almost unimaginable. Well, as a member for 40 years, perhaps not; I remember the Thorpe affair well enough. In every LDV poll since I’ve continued my support for Nick, but there comes a point and Thursday was it when something has to go and I’m afraid that’s Nick.
      Regarding the 400 of which I am one, I know a considerable number. Some for 40 years, many for at least 20 and there is not a moaner or fifth columnist amongst them. They are just decent hard-working activists faced with the prospect of all that they have worked for for a generation being thrown away because one man will simply note have the courage to do what any one of them would.
      As PPC for Huntingdon at the 2010 General Election, I can only think of one thing to say to you, Nick, quoting our most famous son “In the name of God, go!”

    • Peter Watson 27th May '14 - 9:46pm

      Surely the suggestion that only 54% of members who have managed to stay the course (or joined since) since 2010 want Clegg to stay is a damning indictment of his position.

    • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 27th May '14 - 9:54pm

      Jimble,

      I did train as a statistician, and it’s highly unlikely that the timing of the closing of the poll would impact on the outcome, unless something dramatic had occurred part way through – and I’m not aware that it did. Given that more than half of those invited did vote, and that the invites all went out at the same time, it is equally likely that those who would have voted one way, and those voting another, would have been disenfranchised. The sample size is big enough as a proportion of the electorate to reduce the margin of error to well within tolerable levels.

      Now, were I still to be Readers’ Editor, I might have recommended that you publish, with the invitation to take part, a deadline for doing so, and then sticking to it. But, perhaps fortunately, I’m not. I’ll drop the team a line though, and hopefully, they’ll take heed.

    • Leadership means commanding the respect of the Party. Leadership means being able to set the direction of the Party, confident that it will be followed.

      For 2015, we have yet to declare clearly what our basic stance will be. Will we stoutly defend what Coalition has achieved, to the extent that we also show a clear preference for a continued alliance with the Conservatives? Will we play a differentiation game, and risk Labour accusations of “if you believe that, why did you do the opposite when in government?” Or will we position ourselves as completely equidistant, or even leaning toward the traditional left-of-centre stance? Clegg has not really made his views clear on this. If Clegg continues, he will have to make his views clear, against the background of a party which no longer fully trusts his leadership.

      A new leader will face many of the same concerns. However, a new leader will first have to win a party election. The winner will be someone who can articulate a position which carries conviction. That leadership victory will set our direction – whatever it is – and then it will stick with the Party.

      Will it also turn around public opinion? Well, it probably won’t convince those who now most vehemently condemn us. But it might convince those whose feelings are milder, who retain a measure of goodwill for the liberal point of view, and are willing to give our new leader credit as a new broom. Fifteen percent, and forty MPs, won’t look like failure from a new leader’s point of view. It would clearly be a partial recovery, one which would earn the new leader credit, one which would enable the new leader to stay, and to continue to grow the party back to health.

      All of which would be streets better than the “let Clegg take the hit” philosophy. That could leave us with seven percent and twentyish MPs, a leadership contest between the minority of exhausted survivors, a new leader with no role to play on the national stage, and little scope to rebuild.

    • David Allen – “Leadership means commanding the respect of the Party. Leadership means being able to set the direction of the Party, confident that it will be followed. ”

      Quite correct. Indeed, I can here reveal the training video used at Lib Dem HQ for all aspirant party leaders.

      We here at Orange Booker HQ use different methods, of course.

    • “51% are satisfied with Nick Clegg’s performance as party leader; 48% are dissatisfied
      By 81% to 16% Lib Dem members support the Lib Dems being in Coalition with the Conservatives”

      These are the two key statistics which crystalise the problem. Nick Clegg believes that his Party are running away from the Coalition. They are not. A quite large element support the Coalition but believe that Nick Clegg has made a bit of a mess of it and is not the person best placed to put the benefits of the Coalition to the electorate as our Leader.

    • @Tabman:

      “I can here reveal the training video used at Lib Dem HQ for all aspirant party leaders.”

      and the results of the implementation of that training programme:

    • “I did train as a statistician, and it’s highly unlikely that the timing of the closing of the poll would impact on the outcome, unless something dramatic had occurred part way through – and I’m not aware that it did.”

      What an astonishing thing to say, considering that the constituency polls that have sent everyone into such a frenzy were published part way through!

    • If Tony Dawson et al think we can blithely sack the Deputy Prime Minister and carry on with the coalition as if nothing had happened and with our credibility as a party even enhanced, I am afraid he lacks an element of realism.

      In the current febrile state of British politics have we already forgotten the reasons why we Liberal Democrats have acted as we have and what the effects upon the UK and its citizens might be? Provided the Lib Dems hold their nerve and see this coalition through to its full term and provided the economic recovery becomes entrenched and ongoing, history will undoubtedly record that the contribution of this party and its leader to the rescue of the UK from the appalling situation facing all of us in 2010 was crucial and positive. I was one of the 2000 or so Lib Dem conference delegates who overwhelmingly endorsed the coalition agreement in Birmingham in May 2010 – there were probably about 20 hands raised against. We ordinary members were not carried away with the thought of our leaders enjoying the trappings of office, nor did we lack understanding of the immense risk to our party of the decision we were taking. Whatever sneers may come from our opponents at the following statement – we did it for the good of the country. Many of my friends have just lost their Council or European seats, excellent people all of them. However the painful truth is that a period – maybe lengthy – of electoral setback for our party is something we have to live with. Turning inwards upon ourselves and sacrificing a leader who deserves respect and support is the last thing we now need. Read yesterday’s Independent leader.

    • Peter Chegwyn 28th May '14 - 11:54am

      Denis: “the painful truth is that a period – maybe lengthy – of electoral setback for our party is something we have to live with.”

      No it isn’t. The reason why so many people are arguing for a change of leadership and direction is because we do NOT want to live with a lengthy period of electoral setback. After the electoral setbacks already suffered in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 we want to start re-building and re-gaining seats while there is still time and a reasonable base on which to re-build.

      To just do as Nick Clegg has said, carry on as before, don’t change a thing, don’t change the messenger, don’t change the message, just ‘shout it louder’ is a sure-fire recipe for another electoral disaster in 2015 when over 1,000 councillors have to defend their seats along with all of our MPs.

      Nick Clegg is an honourable and decent man who has led our party into government, something we could only dream about for decades past. For that he should always have our respect. But there comes a time for all Leaders to make way for someone new with a fresh approach who can re- invigorate and re-unite their Party. For Nick Clegg that time has surely come. He is toxic with the voters. They simply don’t listen to or trust anything he says. If the Party decides to continue with him as Leader then we can expect another hefty drubbing at the polls in 2015 only this time it will be a large number of our MPs along with even more councillors who will lose their seats.

      I don’t want to see us hammered again. I’m sure none of us do. We all have different views on the best way forward but one thing is clear. To simply continue with the same message from the same messenger for another year really isn’t an option, it is simply going to result in the same electoral outcome in 2015 as in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014. And an even harder task for whoever then has to pick-up the pieces of whatever is left.

    • Can the people that are happy about this result see that it actually says about half Lib Dems want Clegg to go and that is very bad. You can’t be the leader of a party when 39% wants your head! This is how long term civil war in the Lib Dems wiped them out for a generation. The party is split down the middle and will be until there is change; split parties are dead parties. At the moment the plan of “let’s do nothing” is raw apathy and it’s exactly the result that will galvanise more people against Lib Dems. Come the election it’s going to be brutal, and it’s the fault of those clinging on to the dead man walking, taking the party to his political grave. When the electorate deliver you a message, you either heed it or suffer the consequences.

      The Clegg supporters will never be entitled to bemoan the lack of power and representation, because it was their decision to keep a universally unpopular leader that caused our wipeout at local, european and then national level. Keep Clegg, lose everything.

    • Paul Walter 27th May ’14 – 5:05pm – “This debate has run its course.”

      Funniest line on this page, have you read LDV recently?! You’re part of an organisation where 39% of the remaining members want the leader gone. The debate has clearly not run its course and it won’t until either Clegg goes or the party turns to dust; there are no other plausible outcomes. What makes you think you can ignore the electorate?

    • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 28th May '14 - 1:36pm

      @ Chris,

      I’d say that the impact of the Oakeshott polls would be minor, compared to the loss of all but one of our MEPs and a swathe of councillors. Indeed, I find myself wondering if it might have swung a few undecideds towards Nick. But, overall, I stand by my statement.

      @ ChrisB,

      I suggest that the choice of two options is laced with a touch of hyperbole. It is attractive to jettison a leader instead of addressing the question of our more general popularity as a party. Is Nick more unpopular than the party, or is it the work of local campaigners overcoming a more generic unpopularity through hard work, good fortune and earned reputation? And I don’t know for sure, but I’m yet to be convinced that it is Nick that is at the heart of our problems.

    • Will Millinship 28th May '14 - 2:05pm

      Agree broadly with Denis. Now is not the time; we, and Nick, have unfinished business. Let’s see it through to the end, hold our collective nerve, and reap the rewards come the end.

    • daft ha'p'orth 28th May '14 - 2:19pm

      @Mark Valladares
      “I did train as a statistician, and it’s highly unlikely that the timing of the closing of the poll would impact on the outcome, unless something dramatic had occurred part way through – and I’m not aware that it did.”

      It did.

      “Given that more than half of those invited did vote, and that the invites all went out at the same time, it is equally likely that those who would have voted one way, and those voting another, would have been disenfranchised. The sample size is big enough as a proportion of the electorate to reduce the margin of error to well within tolerable levels.”

      In effect changing the timing alters the demographics reached and pulls up the nonresponse rate. Whether that bias is meaningful in the context of this poll is another question. It is a shame for such a significant poll to deviate from standard methodology simply because this does leave the reader wondering why this was done.

      The polling methodology also fails to take into account the self-selection bias of LDV and on an issue like this I would suggest that it is better to get a professional polling organisation to poll a more reliably representative sample of LD members if one really wants to know what percentage of LD members want NC to stay as leader. However, I would doubt anybody really wants to know.

    • Mike Simpson 28th May '14 - 2:19pm

      Hardly a ringing endorsement of Clegg is it? I seem to remember Maggie was ousted even ‘though she had the support of a majority of Tory MPs in the first ballot. Clegg should read the writing on the wall and head off to Brussels as a Commissioner ASAP please.

    • @Mark Valladares

      Always been a fan of your blog and respect your opinion, but you’re ignoring the polls, the elections, the public debate, the guy down the pub and the general sentiment of the nation – if you’re not persuaded now, I suspect it may never happen for you! If you are genuinely a “floating voter” on this issue, we can go over the main evidence for Clegg being at the heart of the problem again if you like.

      We were generically popular (voters liked us, even if they thought we were ineffective/powerless) up until we voted for a few policies that were the antithesis of our manifesto. Some of our MPs allegedly walked away from the TF vote in tears, having voted for the complete opposite of what they got into politics for, all the time Clegg encouraging them and telling them it was for the greater good. Clegg is and always will be symbolic of politicians who says one thing to get elected, does another thing in power. Whether you agree with Tuition Fees (its still policy to scrap ’em) or not doesn’t really come into it – Clegg has become the UK’s preferred analogy for political dishonesty. If you’re a young voter in the UK his name means “to lie in order to obtain power”. I know that the reality is far more subtle and this is a caricature, but I’m on a website with you debating this. We probably concern ourselves with the details more than most, but the average punter just needs to know one thing – he’s a lying politician.

      Anyway, the moment is passing so I think we will have many years to debate these things! 🙂 I fear that people on your side of the debate will need complete devastation to get the message. In business you pay the cost of being the boss, if it goes wrong it’s on your head; Clegg has seen the MEPs wiped out, the membership halved, the councillors under half and by the end of the General Election the number of MPs halved. If that’s OK with you then I suspect we have very different ideas regarding management!

    • @ Mike S

      “Clegg should read the writing on the wall and head off to Brussels as a Commissioner ASAP please.”

      Everything that is wrong about the EU in one phrase. A failed UK politician who no-one wants to vote for gets sent to a huge job affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people with no democratic mandate whatsoever.

    • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 28th May '14 - 2:54pm

      @ daft ha’p’orth,

      I don’t think that the non-response rate has a significant effect in this instance, but I agree that the nature of the polling sample may, and I only say may, bias the findings.

      And I agree that the closing of the poll unexpectedly will have disenfranchised some, but I remain unconvinced that the Oakeshott revelations changed that many minds in themselves.

      But we’re going to have to accept that these polls are likely to represent the best available insight into the views of Liberal Democrat membership for, as Matthew Oakeshott has demonstrated, independent polling is rather expensive…

    • daft ha'p'orth 28th May '14 - 3:36pm

      @Mark Valladarees
      Yes, it is expensive and in any case I’m not convinced that it would tell anybody anything they wanted to know.

      TBH I’m just wondering whether this mutual throwing around of more or less dodgy numbers is really helping anybody.

    • Phil Rimmer 28th May '14 - 4:04pm

      @ Stephen Tall
      Only in the increasingly dystopian world of Lib Dem politics could a members opinion poll approval rating of 51% mean that the Captain should carry on steering the Titanic towards the iceberg.

      As for Tim Farron saying this is not the time for a leadership election. D’oh, of course he is, he wants to be leader one day and he needs votes from the 51%.

    • Does it matter what under 1000 members who are signed up to LDV think? I like Nick, I think he has been a good leader in the past, and I’ve consistently voted LD since he took over. I even rejoined the party after a 30 year absence. But this is not about thee and me and the 6% of voters who won’t vote anything else. It is about the 10% to 15% who are not members and who lend their votes to the centrist candidates they most trust to steer down the middle, with honesty and without swerving to the right. They have spoken and they are the ones that really matter. Unless we don’t care and are happy to be reduced to a rump unlikely to get another taste of Government in my lifetime. I guess we can be content that we stood by Lord Clegg of Hallam, EU Commissioner, to the end.

    • Tony Dawson 28th May '14 - 7:36pm

      @Denis :

      “If Tony Dawson et al think we can blithely sack the Deputy Prime Minister and carry on with the coalition as if nothing had happened and with our credibility as a party even enhanced, I am afraid he lacks an element of realism.”

      My reality, Denis, is winning elections over the past few years despite the anticipated substantial handicap of the downside of the Coalition (for which I voted and support) and the larger handicap of the inept leadership of our Party over a protracted period. I am lucky to be part of a team which has a range of skills and experience that has enabled us to hold back the forces which have overwhelmed others. There are increasingly few such local teams within the Party in the country at large. Whyever would we want to ‘carry on as if nothing has happened’? That would be carrying on to a further disaster. We need LEADERSHIP.

      The outlook is not good whatever happens but at least the Party should be given a chance.

      It would appear that Nick Clegg’s support level in the LDV poll is somewhat similar to that of Margaret Thatcher among Conservatives just before she went. His net approval level among the public at large is seriously worse. This is not the result of some conspiracy. It is just reality.

    • Steve Comer 28th May '14 - 8:09pm

      How accurate is this poll? Like many I go the e-mail asking me to participate, but when I tried nearly 8 hours before the midnight deadline it had already closed! Did it closed when the percentages started going the wrong way for some?

    • “Is Nick more unpopular than the party, ”

      If I understand correctly, the Party is somewhere between 6% to 10% in recent polls and Nick Clegg is at minus 56. So doesn’t that mean that the leader s much much less popular than the Party? I think Miliband also gets similar negative rating but not Cameron.

    • “But, overall, I stand by my statement.”

      You stand by your statement that you’re not aware of anything dramatic happening part way through?

      Amazing.

    • Michael Parsons 29th May '14 - 10:30am

      For those of us passengers who took to the lifeboats as the masts cracked and the captain’s compass failed, the debate on Clegg’s removal seems a little beside the point, as the matter is already out of his hands: surely the electorate are going to fix that, and are giving a pretty good indication as to how. Anyway, like the captain of the. Costa Concordia, there are some rats who should go down with a sinking ship. There is even a little pleasure in looking forward to the expression on the Ginger Rodent’s face when he meets his Portillo moment, to say nothing of the rest of the gang. The real problem is the grim task of rebuilding, if at all possible, after the ball is over.

    • Kevin Colwill 29th May '14 - 12:23pm

      I’m no… (can’t spell it… sats person… them what crunch poll numbers… maths geek) but that looks way too small a sample to worry about.

    • daft ha'p'orth 29th May '14 - 8:28pm

      @Kevin
      The larger the sample the smaller the error. This poll is 992 party members out of a total population of 44,000, which, assuming random sampling, means plus or minus three percent or so at 95% confidence – so the actual number could be anywhere between 51% and 57%, sort of thing. As regards the assumption of random sampling, that really is a big, even huge assumption, given that this is an internet poll of a self-selecting subset of members and given that this is an emotive issue. I’d be shocked if the internet-active subset of LD members were entirely representative, because it just isn’t very likely, but you never know until you test.

      The fact is that from this, if the sample is representative, you can be fairly confident that slightly over half of LD members do want Clegg to stay as leader. ‘51% are satisfied with Nick Clegg’s performance as party leader; 48% are dissatisfied’, on the other hand, is within that plus-or-minus-three-percent fudge factor, so really all that says is ‘the population is just about half and half split on this one’

    • Whether it is representative or not, it is hugely worrying. LDV readers who are still members are probably the party’s core activists and conference representatives. If 39% of them are now anti, the writing is on the wall, I think, even if he and his cronies bumbles on till next year.

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