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 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.
Miliband overtakes Cameron among Lib Dems for first time
We’ve been asking this question for a little over a year now — a year which has marked quite a reversal in fortunes for the two party leaders, as this graph illustrates:
Here’s the detail from this month’s survey…
- 1% – Very well
- 35% – Well
- 45% – Badly
- 15% – Very badly
- 5% – Don’t know
Total well = 36% (+13%)
Total badly = 60% (-11%)%
This is the first survey of Lib Dem members we’ve undertaken since the party conference season — and it’s clear that Ed Miliband has benefited most. Better than Nick Clegg, and certainly better than David Cameron as you’ll see below. His ‘One Nation’ speech-without-notes impressed many who heard it and, combined with his more assured performances at Prime Minister’s Questions, questions about his leadership have receded. Before we get too carried away, mind, his ratings still stand at -24% among Lib Dems, and remain negative among the wider public as well.
Cameron plunges to lowest rating yet among Lib Dems
- 1% – Very well
- 26% – Well
- 55% – Badly
- 14% – Very badly
- 4% – Don’t know
Total well = 27% (-7%)
Total badly = 69% (+8%)
This net negative rating of -42% is, by a long way, the worst yet for David Cameron among Lib Dems. I suspect he’s been hit by a double whammy. First, his approval among the public has been knocked by a general sense that he’s not got a tight enough grip on events (or, as I suggested here, that he’s sprawling ineffectively across too many issues). And secondly, his conference speech marked a reversion to traditional right-wing Tory values, with little of the moderate, centrist, small-l-liberal values in which he cloaked himself in his modernising phase leading the Tory party.
As I customarily note, rating David Cameron’s performance as Prime Minister is a 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).
* 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.