Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum before conference to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.
Four-in-five say Coalition will be bad for Lib Dem prospects in 2015
LDV asked: Do you think the Coalition Government will be good or bad for the Lib Dems’ electoral prospects at the next general election? (Comparison in brackets with August’s figures.)
6% (-3%) – Good
79% (+2%) – Bad
11% (n/c) – Neither good nor bad
4% (n/c) – Don’t know / No opinion
This figure of 79% (taken before conference season) is the highest we’ve yet recorded. A year ago, in September 2011, the figure was 59%. Just over 1-in-20 members remains optimistic, and about one-in-10 reckons the outcome will be more or less neutral for the party.
Three-quarters say Coalition will last the course
(Comparison in brackets with August’s figures.)
LDV asked: How long do you expect the coalition government will last?
0% (-1%) – It will end this year, 2012
5% (-1%) – It will end in 2013
18% (+3%) – It will end in 2014
75% (n/c) – It will last the full term, until 2015
3% – Don’t know / No opinion
Two-thirds want Coalition to go on into 2015
LDV asked: When would you like the Coalition to end? (Comparison in brackets with August’s figures.)
12% (+2%) – As soon as possible, definitely this year
5% (+2%) – It should end in 2013
15% (+6%) – It should end in 2014
38% (-2%) – It should stop shortly before the 2015 general election so the two Coalition parties can set out their different plans
26% (-9%) – It should continue right up to the 2015 general election
3% (n/c) – It should continue beyond the 2015 general election
1% (+1%) – Don’t know / No opinion
It’s interesting to compare the two tables above asking, respectively, when people think the Coalition will end and when they would like the Coalition to end. The results aren’t all that different. Three-quarters, 75%, expect it to last a full term (exactly how that’s defined is a moot point) until 2015. A cumulative 67% would like it to last into 2015 or even beyond. Likewise, our most recent tracker question asking about support for the Coalition showed Lib Dem members remain in favour by 74%-21%. And as we see above 17% of members would like it brought to an end within the next 12-15 months — though only a minority (5%) expect that to happen.
For first time, majority of Lib Dems believe party lacks influence within the Coalition
How would you rate the extent of the Liberal Democrat influence within the Coalition Government, where 10 is highly influential, and 1 indicates no influence. (Comparison with August’s figures in brackets.)
Lacking influence = 53% (+10%)
Achieving influence = 47% (-14%)
This is the fourth time we’ve asked the question of what level of influence you think the party is exerting within the Coalition. This is the first time, though, that it has shown a majority of members (narrow, but still a majority) believing the Lib Dems lack influence in the Coalition by a margin of 53%-47%. As recently as June, our survey showed Lib Dem members believing the party was achieving influence by 68%-32%. That is a big turn-around in just a few short months. A blip, mid-term blues, or part of the long farewell to Coalition?
* 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.