Category Archives: LDV Members poll

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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What party members think about a universal basic income and benefits sanctions

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

The social security debate at Conference this afternoon will be dominated by two major arguments. George Potter recommended rejection of the motion as a whole because it chose not to endorse a universal basic income and because it supports the use, albeit much restricted, of sanctions. Supporters of the UBI may well support an amendment calling for a negative income tax from Calderdale while an amendment signed by members opposes the use of benefits sanctions in any circumstances. We asked our members what they thought of the idea of UBI and sanctions.

Are you in favour of a universal basic income?

Yes 60.32%

No  39.68%

Here are some of the comments made:

It would be a clear, distinct policy and place the Party firmly on the “Left” (which, as Charles Kennedy and Paddy Ashdown proved) is the only place it can survive.

The nature of work is changing and society needs to catch up. The markets can no longer be a funnel for the rich to build up their wealth. Redistribution needs to be far more aggressive.

No. It is fundementally wrong as it discriminates against the most vulnerable in society. Common denominators always end up being the lowest.

Also posted in Conference | Tagged , and | 27 Comments

Do party members want a Lib Dem Deputy Leader elected by the membership?

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

This afternoon, the Conference will debate whether they want to have a Deputy Leader elected by the membership, or to continue with the current system of having a deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons elected by the MPs.

This is something that is a genuine choice for Conference. There is no “recommended” solution.

So we thought we would test the water.

Are you in favour of a Deputy Leader elected by the membership?

Yes 58.7%

No  41.3%

Here are some of the comments made:

As long as the role doesn’t become a focus for internal bickering (with the Deputy briefing against the Leader, as per the Labour Party).

One single Lib Dem voice on the national stage is right during these times when Lib Dems are offered so little coverage anyway

8 Comments

Do Lib Dem members favour a “progressive alliance” against the Tories?

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

There have been many conversations about the possibility of parties on the progressive side of politics working together against the Tories. We asked whether people liked that idea and, if so, what forms of collaboration would they tolerate.

Do you think that Labour, SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats should work together to oppose the Conservative Government in a type of progressive alliance?

Yes: 54.52%

No:   45.48%

So a clear, but narrow majority in favour of joint working of some sort.

Here are some of the comments:

I do, but it’s not possible for the simple reason that no deal with the SNP and Labour is workable in Scotland. Would the SNP simply stand down many of their MPs? Because if not what do Labour have to gain?

A PA is the last thing the Lib Dems should even think of at this stage. The party is struggling to find its own identity within itself and with voters, so an Alliance will weaken our image further – possibly fatally.

Sounds unworkable – unless it can 100% guarantee, as its very first act, a change of electoral system for future General Elections.

This is the only way that a democratic breakthrough can be achieved. A temporary alliance with a committment to reform government and electoral system, then all for themselves.

27 Comments

Party members massively endorse Farron’s call for referendum on Brexit deal

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

So, here are the results of the Brexit jury.

We broke our readers in gently by asking them how they voted in the Referendum. The result will surprise nobody:

Remain: 94.06%

Leave:        5.94%

We wanted to gauge feeling in the party towards the elements of Tim Farron’s Plan for Europe:

First of all, we asked if members supported the call for a parliamentary vote on invoking Article 50. A staggering 86.41% were in favour and 13.59% were opposed.

The idea of a referendum on the final Brexit deal has been closely debated on Lib Dem Voice, but party members gave a whopping endorsement to the plan with 77.18% of respondents in favour and 22.82% against.

Finally, we asked what sort of arrangement people would like with the EU and the single market if we did end up leaving. An overwhelming majority, 79.16%, favoured the Norwegian style option with free movement of people and access to the single market. 

Tagged and | 9 Comments

Have party members come any closer to a common view on nuclear weapons?

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

Nuclear weapons have always been a tricky issue for Liberal Democrats. In Bournemouth last year, the vote on whether to renew Trident was knife-edge close. We’ve been fudging the issues for years and the day of reckoning approaches. The Bournemouth  debate resulted in a working group being set up to fully investigate the possibilities.  They outline five options in a consultation paper here.

The first 3 options provide for some sort of nuclear weapon. They are supported by 59.11% but only 23.62% support like for like replacement.

Continue with the successor programme to Trident  23.62%

Contingency posture (partial replacement) 25.37%

Airborne Deterrent 10.12%

The two options which don’t involve having nuclear weapons are supported by 40.89%

Virtual capability 9.31%

Zero option 31.58%

Does this mean that the divide is growing? We’ll have to wait till Spring Conference in York to find out.

Here are some of the comments people made:

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Should sex workers or their clients be criminalised? What Lib Dem members think

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

This lunchtime, two consultation sessions will take place on two policy areas. Full debates on these subjects will take place at Spring Conference in York.

I remember way back in 1992, around Black Wednesday, we were the first national party to debate sex work. We are now in the process of updating our policy to take account of recent evidence and international practice.

Two controversial aspects of this are whether sex workers or their clients should be criminalised. There have been several attempts to change the law in Scotland to criminalise sex workers’ clients but these have so far been defeated.

We asked what our members thought. They were pretty clear.

Do you support the decriminalisation of sex work?

Yes: 92.04%

No:    7.96%

A selection of comments:

I support the decriminalisation of the individual sex workers. But the organised trade in sex, and exploitation of indivuals, should be criminalised further.

There must be protection from trafficking and abuse and coercion. But there are people, I suspect, who would find offering sex as an acceptable economic activity. I deplore the whole business and would hate any of my family to be involved but personal freedom is essential.

I would like to see laws to protect sex workers against exploitation and abusive clients. It is difficult to do that while sex work itself is a criminal offence.

Should clients of sex workers be criminalised?

Also posted in Conference | Tagged and | 10 Comments

Massive endorsement of Tim Farron by party members as Lib Dems gather in Brighton

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

We asked our members to rate Tim Farron’s performance as Leader. The results will please him. His net +63 result is even higher than the last time we asked members to rate him when he was party president.

You would expect his ratings to be higher than those of his predecessor Nick Clegg just by dint of the fact that he’s not in Government taking decisions that could be very unpopular with party members.

Tim has taken risks in the last year, though. He voted for the airstrikes in Syria, something which did not go down terribly well with the left of the party. The collaborative, generous and respectful way in which he took the decision may have stood him in good stead.

Tagged and | 8 Comments

++LDV Members’ Survey on Syria – 67% oppose airstrikes now BUT…(and it’s a big but..)

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think about whether Liberal Democrat MPs should support air strikes against Daesh in Syria. 975 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

We wanted to test feeling in the party about whether and in what circumstances members would back airstrikes in Syria. Over two thirds said that they would oppose them in current circumstances, with less than a quarter in favour. However, when we looked at a Syria where there was a real post war plan, or a more coherent army of ground forces to support, that changed radically, with most members who expressed a preference supporting using UK air power to defeat Daesh. Only 10.7% of people agreed that we should never back airstrikes, with 75% answering “no” to that question.

There is very strong backing for Tim Farron’s Five Tests, with two thirds of members saying that they were “about right.”

Here are the answers in full:

Do you think that Liberal Democrat MPs should vote to back UK airstrikes in Syria in the following circumstances:

Before a wider solution to the Syrian Civil War is in place (ie now)

Yes 24.31%

No  67.18%

Don’t know 8.51%

As part of an agreement with other states to end the war

Yes 56.51%

No 31.28%

Don’t know  12.21%

Only to support a wide coalition of ground troops

Yes  46.46%

No  35.28%

Don’t know 18.26%

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 25 Comments

Who Lib Dem Voice members think should be the next leader

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of the General Election results. Some 1065 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

OK, so before we go any further, we all know how dreadful polling has been recently, and I’m also including our results on the Presidential election last year.

Also these numbers are based on a sample of 1,065 out of 57,773 members, before nominations have closed, and any hustings have taken place.

First Preferences

Which of the eight Liberal Democrat MPs would you like to see as the next leader?

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What Lib Dem Voice members think about Nick Clegg stepping down as leader

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of the General Election results. Some 1065 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Was Nick Clegg right in standing down on Friday?

Tagged | 78 Comments

What Lib Dem Voice members would like to see our defeated MPs do now

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of the General Election results. Some 1065 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Of the former MPs which stood for election, but failed to regain their seats we asked if you would like to see them Enter the House of Lords; Run for Mayor of London; Start work on 2020; Go on I’m a Celebrity or have no answer.
There was only one choice per MP, and I regret not asking about the Scottish Parliament / Welsh Assembly.

Below are the selected highlights:

Tagged | 9 Comments

What Lib Dem Voice members think of the Election results

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of the General Election results. Some 1065 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Members expected us to do better

Before 10pm on the 7th of May how many seats did you think the Liberal Democrats would win?

27 Comments

New LDV members’ survey now live: your views on

imageThe new LDV members’ survey is now live. So if you are one of the 1,900+ registered members of the Liberal Democrat Voice forum, and any paid-up party member is welcome to join, then you now have the opportunity to make your views known.

Questions we’re asking this month include:

  • pre-election predictions;
  • post-election analysis;
  • what you though of the Coalition;
  • Nick Clegg standing down;
  • who should replace him as leader;
  • what our losing MPs should do next;
11 Comments

Fifa World Cup row: Lib Dem members say no to Qatar but split on 2022 boycott

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what our sample of Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. 747 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Yesterday, Fifa’s independent ethics investigator Michael Garcia quit in protest over the handling of his report into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Here’s what Lib Dem members had to say about Fifa in our latest survey…

Do you think the 2022 football FIFA World Cup should go ahead in Qatar, or should it be hosted elsewhere?

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That LibDemVoice survey on the party presidency (which, ahem, called it wrong): 8 thoughts from me

What happened there, then? I refer to the LibDemVoice survey of party members reported here on Wednesday which showed Daisy Cooper with a clear lead over Sal Brinton in the contest for party president; when actual votes were counted the result was reversed. Is this moment to the LDV surveys what the 1992 election was to the pollsters? In haste, here are a few initial thoughts from me…

1. The sample itself is drawn from the 1,500+ current Lib Dems signed up to our members-only forum. This is therefore self-selecting; as is who chooses to respond. It isn’t the …

Tagged | 37 Comments

Devo-max for Scotland: what Lib Dem members think

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

On Thursday, the Smith Commission published its recommendations on how to take forward the promise made by all three party leaders to deliver extensive powers for Scotland in the event of a No vote.

As my co-editor Caron noted then: “Federalism was never going to come out of this. It couldn’t, given that you need the co-operation of the rest of the UK to do that. We need to keep campaigning for a proper UK wide constitutional convention after the election.”

Before Lord Smith had reported, though, we tested the water in our survey. How happy were Lib Dem members, most of whom are English, about the priority being afford to the Scots?

Also posted in Scotland | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Exclusive survey results: What Lib Dem members think of the Coalition so far

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

Members back Coalition with Conservatives by 79% to 18%

Do you support or oppose the Lib Dems being in the Coalition Government with the Conservatives? (Changes since last time question asked, September 2014).

40 Comments

Election for Lib Dem Party President: who will win, according to our exclusive survey

libby on the wall3Lib 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. The survey closed at 10am today. 747 party members responded – thank you – and we’ll be publishing the full results here.

Tim Farron’s four-year stint as Lib Dem Party President finishes at the end of this year. The contest to succeed him was a three-way election between three female candidates: Sal Brinton, Daisy Cooper, and Liz Lynne.

We asked a series of questions about the party presidency in our survey…

91% in our survey say they will vote! (That won’t be the turnout.)

Three candidates are standing for the post of Party President, an election which is being decided by a ballot of all party members. Do you plan to vote in this election?

Also posted in Party Presidency | Tagged , , , and | 12 Comments

New LDV members’ survey now live: your views on

imageThe new LDV members’ survey is now live. So if you are one of the 1,500+ registered members of the Liberal Democrat Voice forum — and any paid-up party member is welcome to join — then you now have the opportunity to make your views known.

Questions we’re asking this month include:

  • do you support the broadcasters’ proposal for the televised leaders’ debates;
2 Comments

Norman Baker – one of the most popular Lib Dem ministers among party members

LibDemVoice has been surveying party members throughout the Coalition to find out how well-rated (or otherwise) Lib Dem ministers are. All these results, together with our regular Coalition tracker series, are available online here.

Here’s how Norman Baker has performed in these surveys in the four-and-a-half years he’s been a minister, first at Transport, latterly at the Home Office. The figures below are the net satisfaction ratings (ie, those very/quite satisfied minus those very/quite dissatisfied):

ldv - norman baker ratings

Tagged and | 5 Comments

What Lib Dem members think about devolution – and what their local priorities would be

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. Almost 600 party members responded to this set of questions – thank you – in a supplementary poll ran just before the party conference.

Majorities say Education and NHS should be governed at local/regional level

Which of the following should be decided mainly at a local/regional level?

10 Comments

How you can take part in LibDemVoice’s exclusive party member surveys

libdemvoiceLibDemVoice’s surveys of party members signed-up to our discussion forum have been running for over six years now. (I posted yesterday the final set of figures from our most recent poll.)

Our surveys are a way of testing members’ views on a variety of hot topics. And as they’ve been running throughout the four-and-a-half years of the Coalition they’re also an interesting record of changing views on how the Coalition is regarded within the party.

If you would like to take part in the LibDemVoice surveys, there are simply two steps you …

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Economic liberals or social liberals? Pragmatists or ideologues? How Lib Dem members describe their own political identity

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. Almost 600 party members responded to this set of questions – thank you – in a supplementary poll ran just before the party conference.

How do Lib Dem members think of their own political identity? I asked this question in April 2011, when the Coalition was less than a year old. With less than a year of the Coalition left, I thought it was time to revisit it.

60% social liberals,

Tagged , and | 38 Comments

Israel-Palestine conflict: the views of Lib Dem members

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.

This afternoon the House of Commons debates the issue of Israel and Palestine: a backbench motion calling on the British government to recognise the state of Palestine. This follows the summer’s latest outbreak in the ongoing Israel–Gaza conflict, with seven weeks of Israeli bombardment, Palestinian rocket attacks, and ground fighting killed more than 2,200 people, the vast majority of them Gazans. We asked Lib Dem members for their views…

61% sympathise primarily with the Palestinians

7 Comments

A Lib Dem reshuffle? If it happens, here’s who party members would like to see promoted

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.

Jo & Lynne top choices for promotion to cabinet

The Lib Dems are expected to hold a ministerial reshuffle after the Scottish independence referendum. Which minister would you most like to see promoted to the cabinet?

12 Comments

Je ne regrette rien? Would Lib Dem members have voted for Coalition knowing what we know now?

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. Almost 600 party members responded to this set of questions – thank you – in a supplementary poll run last Thursday and Friday.

Since the Coalition began, I’ve been asking the question about whether members support the party being in coalition with the Conservatives. Pretty consistently, across more than 20 separate surveys, around 80% have said yes. But I realise this question is, to some extent, skewed by the fact that we …

28 Comments

Hung Parliament: what Lib Dem members think will happen… and what you want to happen

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. Almost 600 party members responded to this set of questions – thank you – in a supplementary poll run last Thursday and Friday.

(All figures below are compared with the last time we asked this question, a year ago, in September 2013.)

68% of Lib Dem members predict another hung parliament in 2015

Tagged and | 76 Comments

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:

8 Comments

Who should be the Lib Dem shadow chancellor in 2015 – Vince or Danny? Here’s what Lib Dem members think…

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 vince danny

Tagged and | 15 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dem Party Presidency – first members’ poll results are here

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.

Tim Farron’s four-year stint as Lib Dem Party President ends this year. The contest to succeed him appears to be a four-way election between four female candidates: Sal Brinton, Daisy Cooper, Linda Jack and Liz Lynne.

They hold their first official hustings today, Saturday, 10-11am But don’t worry if you can’t make that – LibDemVoice is hosting a special “Who Wants to be Party President?” fringe meeting tomorrow, Sunday from 1-2pm, in the Crowne Plaza (Castle 2), where you can hear from all four, with past party president Baroness (Diana) Maddock chairing.

We asked a series of questions about the party presidency in our survey…

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