Revealed: What Lib Dem members think of Ed Miliband and David Cameron

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. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Cameron still leading as Miliband recovers (a bit) among Lib Dems

We’ve been asking this question for over two years, and over the past year there has been quite a change in fortunes (and back again) for the two party leaders, as this graph illustrates:

cam mili member ratings - dec 2013

Here’s the detail from this month’s survey…

Do you think David Cameron is doing well or badly as Prime Minister?

    2% – Very well
    44% – Well
    Total well = 46% (-1%)
    40% – Badly
    8% – Very badly
    Total badly = 48% (n/c)
    7% – Don’t know

Do you think Ed Miliband is doing well or badly as leader of the Labour party?

    1% – Very well
    25% – Well
    Total well = 25% (+15%)
    50% – Badly
    19% – Very badly
    Total badly = 69% (-16%)
    4% – Don’t know

When last we asked what Lib Dem members made of the Tory and Labour leaders, in September, David Cameron (net -1%) was a long, long way ahead of Ed Miliband (-74%). The last three months, have seen practically no change for the Tory Prime Minister: his net ratings remain negative (just) at -2%; but Mr Miliband’s have recovered since the Labour conference to -43%, his second best score of the year.

I don’t suppose either are bothered by what Lib Dem members think of them, but it’s an interesting barometer of their credibility as potential partners if there were to be another post-2015 coalition. As I customarily note, by the way, rating David Cameron’s performance as Prime Minister is a subtly different question from rating his performance as Conservative party leader (whether Mr Cameron’s ratings would be higher or lower among Lib Dem members if we asked that question, I don’t know. Though I could hazard a guess).

  • 1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 749 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 14th and 18th December.
  • 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 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.

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    7 Comments

    • I can see why so many members would rate Miliband badly.
      He looks and acts confident, calmly.
      He comes across as confident, healthy, clear eyed.
      He leads a party that looks very likely to win the next election and has been calling the shots that the Coalition have been forced to follow recently. A decent man.

      Compare that to Clegg, who comes across petulantly, and is looking more and more like the before picture in a health spa advert. He’s eternally caught out by his attempt at Coalition politics and leading the party to more gloom & doom and helping the Tories wreak their havoc. A man who may have seemed decent to the electorate in 2010 but will never regain their trust.

    • Had Milliband NOT been a member of the last government, and had he NOT somersaulted on so many of his governments previously avowed policies (NHS, fuel prices, bankers, immigration, tax) then Sandy may have a point.

      In reality, whilst his presentational skills are better than Farages, his approach to policy making is equally unprincipled IMO.

    • Redndead, what’s wrong with Miliband not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the previous Labour government? If that is unprincipled, then what is your parties u-turn on tuition fees?

    • FormerLibDem 22nd Dec '13 - 8:39pm

      Redndead. How on earth can someone who (presumably) supports the lib dems genuinely chastise Miliband re policy Uturns? Clegg, pot, kettle and black are the four words which spring to mind!

    • I agree that Miliband is a decent man, but not with the rest of what Sandy says. Cameron puzzles me though. Even after all this time I have no particular views about him. That may be in part due to the exigencies of being in coalition with his party, but that doesn’t prevent me from having strong negative views about Gove, May, Osborne, Patterson et al. The socialist left castigate this government as being the most incompetent ever, but I see no evidence for this: every government makes mistakes and this one is no exception, and every government does things that even its supporters disagree with, and on balance I would prefer it that we were not part of the government, but having endured the misery of the Thatcher years I simply don’t recognise this government as being comparable in its iniquity. I wouldn’t say that Cameron is a decent man (I always thought John Major was), but nor would I say that he wasn’t. Perhaps some of the 8% who think he is doing Very Badly could enlighten me with regard to Cameron’s shortcomings.

    • Julian Tisi 23rd Dec '13 - 3:39pm

      I rated the both as doing well, but my reasons for why were very different.

      For Cameron, he’s kept his party together while delivering in government in a way that has angered many in his party, by being influenced “too much” by the Lib Dems (which of course I think is a good thing).

      For Miliband, I have to admit he’s dominating the political agenda, even though I find him thoroughly dishonest, nauseatingly so. He’s castigated the government for many policies he would have voted for had he been in government himself, he’s somehow managed to turn the success of the government turning the economy round into a “cost of living crisis”, his energy price freeze policy is damaging investment in new power and gas plants – the very investments needed to get prices down in the long term. He has all the populism and all the dishonesty of Nigel Farage and I genuinely fear a Labour government led by him. But politically he’s dominating the debate.

    • I realised, talking with friends, that the 2 PMs i have felt most comfortable with in my lifetime were both Tories (I can go back to Harold Wildon btw, but then the one I despised most was also a Tory – guess which one she was!!), the said 2 being the current one and John Major. I think both are decent men actually, although their very different life experiences show through. It’s odd, I seem to much prefer Cameron to the rest of his party , and to despair much more when I see Milliband than I do for the rest of his party. Althouh Balls is pretty washed-up looking too.
      As for the pantomime villain that runs ukip these days ….. :)

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