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.
Sharp fall in net satisfaction with party’s direction to +9%
LDV asked: Do you think, as a whole, the Liberal Democrats are on the right course or on the wrong track? (Comparison with August’s figures.)
50% (-9%) – The right course
41% (+5%) – The wrong track
10% (+5%) – Don’t know / No opinion
There’s a sharp fall this month in the number of Lib Dem members satisfied with the direction of the party, with a just +9% now satisfied — down from +23% last month, and from +49% as recently as February. A combination of the NHS Bill controversy, the botched Budget, and the continuing recession has led to net satisfaction plunging in the last six months. Here’s the trend over the first two-and-a-half years of the Coalition:
Nick’s leadership ratings go negative for the first time
What is your view of Nick Clegg’s performance as Lib Dem leader? (Comparison with August’s figures.)
11% (n/c) – Very satisfied
37% (-8%) – Satisfied
Total satisfied = 48% (-8%)
28% (+1%) – Dissatisfied
22% (+6%) – Very dissatisfied
Total dissatisfied = 50% (+7%)
2% (+1%) – Don’t know / No opinion
Just as satisfaction with the party has declined sharply over the past six months, so has satisfaction with Nick Clegg’s leadership of the Lib Dems. This month is the first time, though, that the party leader’s net ratings have dipped into the negative zone. In February, Nick’s net satisfaction rating stood at +38% net satisfaction. Even last month they stood at +13%. Most of our survey was conducted before Nick’s broadcast apology (still less the remix chart hit!), so we have yet to see what impact that may have on party members’ perceptions. The party leader usually benefits from a post-conference boost in our surveys, so our post-conference poll will be an interesting test.
* 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.