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

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 650 party members have responded, 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 three key lists for those who want to cut to the chase… (with comparison to December 2012 ratings in brackets)

Top 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

  • Vince Cable +70%
  • Steve Webb +58%
  • Lynne Featherstone +56%
  • Edward Davey +52%
  • Michael Moore +43%

Vince Cable tops our poll yet again, with a net satisfaction rating of +70%. But the big winner is Lynne Featherstone, who increased her rating by 14% (from +42%) following her successful initiation of same-sex marriage through parliament in her former role as equalities minister. Ed Davey remains in the top 5, but drops 9%, perhaps in response to his decision to approve a new nuclear power station at Hinckley. Another person who’s been in the top 5 before, but has seen her ratings drop is Jo Swinson (down from +41% to +31%), I’d guess as a result of the controversy over her role in the Rennard allegations.

Bottom 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

  • Jeremy Browne +13%
  • David Laws +12%
  • Baroness (Jenny) Randerson +9%
  • Nick Clegg +2%
  • Lord (Tom) McNally -2%

The major change this time is the plummet of Lord (Tom) McNally’s ratings, down a whopping 22% (from +20%) presumably as a result of his strong support in parliament and at the Lib Dem spring conference for ‘secret courts’. Nick Clegg is another whose ratings have taken a tumble, probably for the same reason, down from +17% in December to just +2% now.

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:

Vince Cable: Secretary of State, Business, Innovation and Skills
38% – Very satisfied
42% – Satisfied
9% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
6% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +70% (+3%)

Steve Webb: Minister, Department for Work and Pensions
36% – Very satisfied
32% – Satisfied
23% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
7% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +58% (+2%)

Lynne Featherstone: Minister, Department for International Development
25% – Very satisfied
41% – Satisfied
24% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
6% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +56% (+14%)

Edward Davey: Secretary of State, Energy and Climate Change
19% – Very satisfied
46% – Satisfied
22% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
9% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +52% (-9%)

Michael Moore: Secretary of State, Scotland
14% – Very satisfied
36% – Satisfied
43% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
4% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +43% (-4%)

Norman Lamb: Minister, Department of Health
17% – Very satisfied
36% – Satisfied
35% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
7% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +42% (-1%)

Norman Baker: Minister, Department for Transport
15% – Very satisfied
37% – Satisfied
38% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
7% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +42% (+1%)

Jo Swinson: Minister, Business, Innovation and Skills
13% – Very satisfied
37% – Satisfied
30% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
10% – Dissatisfied
9% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +31% (-10%)

Alistair Carmichael: Deputy Chief Whip, Commons
13% – Very satisfied
26% – Satisfied
50% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
8% – Dissatisfied
4% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +27% (-6%)

Don Foster: Minister, Department for Communities and Local Government
6% – Very satisfied
32% – Satisfied
49% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
10% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +25% (n/c)

Tom Brake: Deputy Leader of the Commons
5% – Very satisfied
26% – Satisfied
62% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
5% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +24% (+1%)

David Heath: Minister, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5% – Very satisfied
27% – Satisfied
54% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
11% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +18% (-4%)

Danny Alexander: Chief Secretary to the Treasury
10% – Very satisfied
38% – Satisfied
17% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
19% – Dissatisfied
16% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +13% (n/c)

Jeremy Browne: Minister, Home Office
7% – Very satisfied
27% – Satisfied
45% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
12% – Dissatisfied
9% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +13% (-6%)

David Laws: Minister, Department for Education (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
11% – Very satisfied
30% – Satisfied
30% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
16% – Dissatisfied
13% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +12% (+3%)

Baroness (Jenny) Randerson: Minister, Wales Office
2% – Very satisfied
10% – Satisfied
84% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
2% – Dissatisfied
1% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +9% (+1%)

Nick Clegg: Deputy Prime Minister
12% – Very satisfied
34% – Satisfied
11% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
23% – Dissatisfied
21% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +2% (-15%)

Lord (Tom) McNally: Minister, Ministry of Justice (and Deputy Leader of the Lords)
4% – Very satisfied
23% – Satisfied
45% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
16% – Dissatisfied
13% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction -2% (-22%)

Other leading Lib Dems:

Tim Farron: Party President
42% – Very satisfied
34% – Satisfied
12% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
9% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +64% (n/c)

Simon Hughes: Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons
18% – Very satisfied
46% – Satisfied
23% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
10% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +51% (+7%)

Kirsty Williams: Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
16% – Very satisfied
28% – Satisfied
54% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
2% – Dissatisfied
1% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +41% (n/c)

Caroline Pidgeon: Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly
14% – Very satisfied
27% – Satisfied
56% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
2% – Dissatisfied
1% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +38% (+3%)

Willie Rennie: Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
17% – Very satisfied
26% – Satisfied
52% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
3% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +38% (+4%)

Tim Gordon: Lib Dem Chief Executive
13% – Very satisfied
29% – Satisfied
50% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
6% – Dissatisfied
2% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +34% (+4%)

Fiona Hall: Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs
9% – Very satisfied
22% – Satisfied
63% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
4% – Dissatisfied
3% – Very dissatisfied
Net satisfaction +24% (+3%)

  • 1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 647 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 14th and 17th March.
  • 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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    8 Comments

    • How do you calculate the percentages? For example:

      Nick Clegg: Deputy Prime Minister
      12% – Very satisfied
      34% – Satisfied
      11% – Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
      23% – Dissatisfied
      21% – Very dissatisfied
      Net satisfaction +2% (-15%)

      How do you get +2% when 12 percent are satisfied and 34% Satisfied, that’s 46% satisfied overall.

    • I do note that LDV always underplay Tim Farron’s results in these surveys… which is a little unfair as he is virtually as positive as Vince’s.

    • Nigel Quinton 27th Mar '13 - 10:01am

      Geek point first: There is no weighting given here to “very”, whether satisfied or dissatisfied. If you were to count a “very” as 2 points, then the ratings would be changed a little – Nick Clegg would fall to a score of -7 for example, Vince would rise to +104. It would be more statistically valid, although I these measures are only ever qualitative, I feel.

      Perhaps of more direct use, is to highlight those with significant “very dissatisfied” scores, of whom Clegg stands out time and again. When one in 5 members are saying they are “very dissatisfied” with your performance as Leader, surely it is time to do something about it. I hugely admire Nick’s thick skin, it is a major asset in his position as DPM and party leader, which is extremely difficult, but this morning’s yesterday in parliament was depressing in the extreme. Secret Courts, the NHS and the Bedroom Tax.

    • Alan Roughley 27th Mar '13 - 1:22pm

      These surveys are very interesting but for those of us well outside the Westminster bubble we haven’t a clue who some of these people are, let alone how well they are doing. There should be a ‘no comment’ option for each question, so respondents can make it clear they do not know enough about an individual to make a judgement.

      Might also drive home to some how low a profile they have amongst party members.

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