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 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.
54% of Lib Dems back ‘new approach’; 23% say ‘stick with Plan A’
LDV asked: Thinking about the Coalition Government’s economic policies, which of the following best reflects your view? (Compared to June 2012 results in brackets)
23% (-4%) - Borrowing more at a time when we already owe so much will simply make matters worse, as the country will have to pay back even more money in the longer term. We have to bring the debt and the deficit under control even if it has some painful effects for the economy in the short term
54% (n/c) – While it is right that we cut the deficit and I broadly support the government’s austerity measures, the frailty of Europe’s economies requires a new approach – we should take advantage of low interest rates to increase borrowing for capital investment to try and boost growth now
17% (+6%) – The government’s spending cuts and tax rises are hurting the economy. It should cut public spending less severely and less fast because trying to stimulate growth now is essential, even if that means we go on borrowing more for longer and adding to our national debt
5% (-1%) – Other
1% (n/c) – Don’t know / No opinion
With the Bank of England cutting the UK’s growth forecast this year to almost zero, a majority (54%) of Lib Dem members are calling for a new approach, with a focus on capital investment to kick-start the economy. Almost one-quarter (23%) say simply stick with George Osborne and Danny Alexander’s ‘Plan A’. There remains substantial support for immediate deficit reduction — both options 1 and 2 include that within their wording — but there is also a rise in support, from 11% in June to 17% this month, for a slowing down of the Government’s planned deficit reduction programme.
- Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 500 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 3rd and 6th August.
- 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 accurately predicted the winners of the contest for Party President, and the result of the conference decision to approve the Coalition agreement.
- The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
* 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.