Who’s up, who’s down? How party members rate the performances of leading Lib Dems

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

LDV asked: How would you rate the performances of the following leading Liberal Democrats and government ministers?

Full results are published below, but here’s two key lists for those who want to cut to the chase… (with comparison to April 2013 ratings in brackets)

Top 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

  • Steve Webb +67%
  • Lynne Featherstone +63%
  • Vince Cable +60%
  • Norman Lamb +54%
  • Norman Baker +53%

For the second successive survey, it’s pensions minister Steve Webb who tops our poll as the most popular Lib Dem in government. And we have a new entry at number two: Lynne Featherstone knocks Vince Cable off the runner-up spot – to be fair to Vince, this is less due to a decline in his popularity and more to do with the kudos Steve and Lynne are getting for delivering pensions reform and same-sex marriage from their respective ministerial positions. Norman Lamb and Norman Baker remain perennial favourites of the party faithful. Among the rest, Simon Hughes is earning good reviews in his justice ministry post, up 15% to 43%.

Bottom 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

  • David Laws +21%
  • Danny Alexander +9%
  • Dan Rogerson +9%
  • Baroness (Jenny) Randerson +8%
  • Nick Clegg +7%

David Laws is recovering strongly from the miserly +2% his ratings stood at last December – he’s now up at +21%, having spent much of the year differentiating himself from Michael Gove. Danny Alexander‘s ratings have taken a tumble, down 16% to +9% (he’s certainly not feeling the benefit of the recovery yet). Both Dan Rogerson and Jenny Randerson suffer not so much from unpopularity as anonymity in their ministerial office: 71% and 81% respectively of party members rank them neither favourably nor unfavourably. The same can’t be said of Nick Clegg – his performance as DPM polarises opinion among party members, with 48% satisfied, but 41% dissatisfied.

As I note each time: “the list stands as a reminder to all our Lib Dem ministers of the value of communicating effectively with party members about the work they’re undertaking on behalf of the party, even if it isn’t making the front pages.”

As promised, here are the results in full …

Lib Dem cabinet ministers and government ministers:

Steve Webb: Minister, Department for Work and Pensions
43% – Very satisfied
30% – Satisfied
21% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
4% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +67% (-3%)

Lynne Featherstone: Minister, Department for International Development
30% – Very satisfied
39% – Satisfied
25% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
4% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +63% (=)

Vince Cable: Secretary of State, Business, Innovation and Skills
26% – Very satisfied
47% – Satisfied
13% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
9% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +60% (-3%)

Norman Lamb: Minister, Department of Health
27% – Very satisfied
36% – Satisfied
28% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
6% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +54% (+4%)

Norman Baker: Minister, Home Office
19% – Very satisfied
42% – Satisfied
31% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
6% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +53% (+7%)

Edward Davey: Secretary of State, Energy and Climate Change
18% – Very satisfied
44% – Satisfied
23% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
10% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +48% (+7%)

Jo Swinson: Minister, Business, Innovation and Skills
20% – Very satisfied
37% – Satisfied
32% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
7% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +47% (-2% since December 2013 (we didn’t include Jo while she was absent from office on maternity leave)

Simon Hughes: Minister, Ministry of Justice
13% – Very satisfied
41% – Satisfied
34% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
7% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +43% (+15%)

Don Foster: Lib Dem Chief Whip
8% – Very satisfied
29% – Satisfied
54% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
6% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +27% (+1%)

Alistair Carmichael: Secretary of State, Scotland
12% – Very satisfied
30% – Satisfied
42% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
11% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +27% (-7%)

Lord (Jim) Wallace: Lib Dem Leader, House of Lords
8% – Very satisfied
25% – Satisfied
61% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
5% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +26% (+4%)

Baroness (Susan) Kramer: Minister, Department of Transport
7% – Very satisfied
30% – Satisfied
52% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
10% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +25% (-1%)

Stephen Williams: Minister, Department for Communities and Local Government
8% – Very satisfied
27% – Satisfied
55% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
6% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +25% (+7%)

Tom Brake: Lib Dem Leader of the Commons
7% – Very satisfied
22% – Satisfied
66% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
4% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +23% (=)

David Laws: Minister, Department for Education (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
12% – Very satisfied
35% – Satisfied
27% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
15% – Dissatisfied
11% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +21% (+8%)

Danny Alexander: Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13% – Very satisfied
34% – Satisfied
15% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
20% – Dissatisfied
18% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +9% (-16%)

Dan Rogerson: Minister, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3% – Very satisfied
16% – Satisfied
71% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
7% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +9% (+3%)

Baroness (Jenny) Randerson: Minister, Wales Office
3% – Very satisfied
12% – Satisfied
81% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
3% – Dissatisfied
1% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +8% (-3%)

Nick Clegg: Deputy Prime Minister
15% – Very satisfied
33% – Satisfied
10% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
20% – Dissatisfied
21% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +7% (-3%)

Other leading Lib Dems:

Tim Farron: Party President
35% – Very satisfied
37% – Satisfied
16% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
8% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +60% (+3%)

Kirsty Williams: Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
23% – Very satisfied
28% – Satisfied
45% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
2% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +47% (-5%)

Willie Rennie: Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
15% – Very satisfied
27% – Satisfied
49% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
6% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +33% (-3%)

Caroline Pidgeon: Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly
11% – Very satisfied
25% – Satisfied
60% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
3% – Dissatisfied
1% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +33% (+1%)

Malcolm Bruce: Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons
8% – Very satisfied
25% – Satisfied
56% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
8% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +21% (+1%)

Tim Gordon: Lib Dem Chief Executive
8% – Very satisfied
22% – Satisfied
55% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
10% – Dissatisfied
5% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +15% (-4%)

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This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.
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8 Comments

  • Nick Clegg: Deputy Prime Minister
    10% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
    20% – Dissatisfied
    21% – Very dissatisfied

    Presentation of data can vary. 51% NOT Satisfied with Clegg would be an accurate headline..

  • @JohnTilley I don’t think that’s fair. On the same basis one could say that 58 per cent are not dissatisfied with Nick.

  • Stuart
    That is my point. You can take exactly the same data and present it to give an entirely contradictory impression.

    The headline to this piece says — ” How party members rate…”
    But it is not party members, it is 735 party members who answered the survey. It is all in the presentation.

    Maybe the 735 responding are representative of the other 40,000 members. Maybe not, nobody knows.

  • Stephen Hesketh 6th Oct '14 - 7:22pm

    @Stuart 6th Oct ’14 – 6:41pm

    “On the same basis one could say that 58 per cent are not dissatisfied with Nick.”

    Stuart, even if 58% of (our remaining) party members were not dissatisfied with NC, it would hardly be considered a ringing endorsement in any other party/for any other leader. I rather think it falls within the scope of being ‘damned with faint praise’.

    It really doesn’t matter which figures or argument you use, come the GE campaign, our opponents are going to point out that NC is unlikely to be leader after the election. “Vote for Nick Clegg get …?

    If he doggedly clings on once again, many of our members and activist base will simply walk. Sadly for worse or for worse, the die is now cast.

  • Stephen Hesketh 6th Oct '14 - 7:38pm

    Nick Clegg: Deputy Prime Minister
    15% – Very satisfied, 33% – Satisfied, 10% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 20% – Dissatisfied, 21% – Very dissatisfied. Net satisfaction +7%

    Tim Farron: Party President. Net satisfaction +60%
    Steve Webb: Minister, Department for Work and Pensions. Net satisfaction +67%
    Lynne Featherstone: Minister, Department for International Development. Net satisfaction +63%
    Vince Cable: Secretary of State, Business, Innovation and Skills. Net satisfaction +60%

    Compare and contrast?

  • The way in which this survey is couched makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions from it. Several of those deemed to have a positive balance may well be designated so because the respondents know little or nothing about them. It would seem particularly unfair to state oneself as “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with someone of whose performance one knows virtually nothing. Rather than say “Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied” the temptation is to assume the person is doing all right because nothing adverse has been heard, thereby leading to a “satisfied” designation. At least Nick Clegg , Danny Alexander etc have had real and visible impact as they tackle the crucial and often divisive issues facing the country.

  • Gwyn Williams 7th Oct '14 - 2:18pm

    What would be more useful if you could show how Welsh and Scottish ministers and Leaders are rated by members in Wales and Scotland. Only now has Alistair Carmichael developed an UK wide profile due to UK coverage of the Scottish Referendum. We are a federal Party and that should be recognised in these polls.

  • Gwynn Williams
    Good point, you make. How many Liberal Democrat members are there in Wales in 2014?

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