Category Archives: Voice polls

LDV readers say: open up BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day

A couple of weeks ago, Lib Dem Voice asked our readers the question, Do you think Radio 4’s Thought for the Day should be opened up to secularists and humanists?

The result was pretty clear-cut:

* 60% (384 votes): Yes, open it up
* 19% (122): No, keep it for religion
* 21% (134): Just scrap Thought for the Day
Total Votes: 640 Poll ran: 14th July – 6th August 2009

But we can’t guarantee the BBC will listen…

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NEW POLL: What do you think the next general election holds in store for the Lib Dems?

August may be a quiet month in domestic politics, but it’s merely the precursor to the new Parliamentary year to come – by the end of which there will have to be a general election, and (it seems almost certain) a change of government. What better time, then, to ponder what we think awaits the Lib Dems at that election?

Our poll ratings seem steady enough, consistently in the 18-20% range – down on the equivalent stage in the 2001-05 Parliament, when the party was boosted by its lone opposition to the Iraq war – but pretty strong compared to most …

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LDV readers say: almost half believe anonymous job applications “an unnecessary measure”

A couple of weeks ago, Lib Dem Voice highlighted Lynne Featherstone’s campaign to make it mandatory for all written job applications to be anonymous, in order to eliminate any subconscious discrimination employers might harbour when they (eg) see a name which suggests the applicant is foreign, old, etc. LDV posed readers the simple question: Do you support the idea of job applications being made anonymous?

Here’s what you told us:

  • 31% (79 votes) – Yes, it should be made mandatory for all businesses to remove all discrimination
  • 17% (44) – Yes, but it should be voluntary not mandatory for businesses
  • 48% (124) –

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NEW POLL: should Radio 4’s Thought for the Day be opened up to secularists and humanists?

Okay, so there are more important issues of the day to discuss, even in the quietest and slowest of July days – but, somehow, the totemic importance of the three-minute slot at 7.50 am on BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme never fails to spark a heated debate.

For those of you who don’t tune in, this is the slot dedicated to religious messages: it’s mainly Christian speakers, but representatives from all faiths get their chance.

Radio 4’s controller Mark Damazar has set the cat among the pigeons by speculating there “may well be quite a strong argument for …

33 Comments

LDV readers say: BNP members should be able to be teachers

Cast your minds back a couple of weeks, and there was a bout of speculation that Labour, under pressure from the NAS/UWT teaching union, is considering a possible ban on British National Party members working as teachers in schools. We asked LDV readers the question: Do you think there should be a change to teachers’ contracts to prevent BNP members from teaching?

Here’s what yout told us:

  • 27% (92 votes) – Yes

  • 69% (235) – No
  • 4% (12) – Other
    Total Votes: 339 Poll ran: 22nd June 2 July 2009
  • Don’t forget, our new poll – asking if you support

    Tagged and | 4 Comments

    NEW POLL: is it time to make job applications anonymous?

    Followers of Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone’s blog can’t have failed to notice her latest campaign – to bring in mandatory anonymous job applications “to end the subliminal discrimination that creeps in with some applications being discarded because of the names on them.” Specifically Lynne wants employers to remove names and replace them with a number on application letters/forms – otherwise “we end up with people not being discarded from the first sift of applications because their name shows they are black, female or old”. Lynne explained further:

    … initial findings are of significant discrimination. And whilst it is

    Tagged , and | 20 Comments

    LDV readers say: big yes to Nick Clegg’s Trident U-turn

    A week ago, Nick Clegg announced his decision to become the first mainstream party leader to declare openly his opposition to the UK renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent: “the world has changed, the facts have changed, you’ve got to change with them. So like-for-like replacement for Trident is just not right.”

    We asked LDV readers to tell us what you thought of the Lib Dem leader’s change of heart (in the 2007 leadership campaign he clashed with Chris Huhne on the issue, arguing the UK should wait until the 2010 non-proliferation talks before deciding whether or not to renew). The …

    Tagged and | 8 Comments

    NEW POLL: should BNP members be banned from teaching?

    Today’s Guardian reports that Labour’s schools secretary Ed Balls is seriously considering a possible ban on British National Party members working as teachers in schools:

    A source close to the schools secretary, Ed Balls, said there had been several meetings on the issue with teaching unions which are lobbying for a change in teachers’ contracts to prevent them from working if they are members of far-right groups including the BNP. The issue was being “actively looked at”, the source said.

    There are two things which are absolutely clear to me in all this. First, the BNP is a loathsome political party, …

    Tagged and | 24 Comments

    LDV readers say: yes to Alternative Vote over first-past-the-post

    Cast your minds back 10 days, and there was a flurry of excitement at the prospect of Gordon Brown deciding to do something radical, and reform the voting system. It wasn’t long before the Prime Minister was back-tracking to make clear that he was simply in favour of reviewing the situation. But still the prospect of voting reform prompted LDV to ask the forced question: “Should Lib Dems back the Alternative Vote in a referendum if it’s the only option for voting reform?”

    Here’s what you told us:

    51% (175 votes): Yes, it’s better than first-past-the-post
    35% (122): No, we

    Tagged and | 13 Comments

    NEW POLL: was Clegg right to ditch Trident?

    The big domestic political news last night was Nick Clegg’s announcement that the Lib Dems would oppose the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent, arguing “the world has changed, the facts have changed, you’ve got to change with them. So like-for-like replacement for Trident is just not right.”

    As Nick himself has admitted, this is a reversal of the position he adopted in the leadership contest with Chris Huhne in late 2007. The Nick argued that dumping Trident would destroy the UK’s bargaining power in non-proliferation talks in 2010. Here’s the BBC news report:

    Mr Clegg hit back that

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    LDV readers say: Frank Field for Commons Speaker

    Cast your minds back three weeks, and Lib Dem Voice posed the question to our readers, Who do you think should be the next Speaker? Over 1,200 of you voted, and (unsurprisingly) your preferences split many ways – but it was renegade Labour MP Frank Field who topped our poll, with just shy of one-in-five votes.

    The four mooted Lib Dem candidates for Speaker – Ming Campbell, Alan Beith, Vince Cable and Norman Baker – together received 41% of the total vote. To date, only Sir Alan and Sir Menzies have confirmed their intentions to stand, today publishing

    Tagged | 4 Comments

    NEW POLL: should the Lib Dems support AV?

    For a brief moment last night, it sounded as if the Prime Minister was at last going to seize the reform agenda, and perhaps even promise a referendum on voting reform. The reality is, as so often with Labour, more disappointing than that:

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he has “no plans” for a referendum on changes to the electoral system before the next general election. … he told prime minister’s questions he had “never supported proportional representation for Westminster elections” and ruled out a referendum.

    Labour’s brief flirtation with electoral reform appears to have …

    Tagged and | 36 Comments

    NEW POLL: who do you think should be the next Speaker?

    Well, it’s come to pass – Michael Martin is set this afternoon to resign as Speaker of the House of Commons after his botched handling of the row over MPs’ expenses. The question on everyone’s lips now is: who will replace him? We’ve set up a new poll asking just that question – here are the most-frequently touted candidates from whom to choose:

  • Diane Abbott
  • Sir Alan Haselhurst
  • Frank Field
  • Sir George Young
  • Richard Taylor
  • Vince Cable
  • Sir Menzies Campbell
  • Ken Clarke
  • Sir Alan Beith
  • David Davis
  • Norman Baker
  • Sir Patrick Cormack
  • Tony Wright
  • Other (please state in comments)
  • More important …

    33 Comments

    LDV readers say: 85% wanted Michael Martin to quit

    Well, y’know, I’m personally convinced that Michael Martin must have been finally convinced to quit when he saw the overwhelming result of LDV’s over-night poll showing 85% of readers thought he should quit now. So much more likely than that the Prime Minister instructed him to resign voluntarily.

    Here, for the record,is what you said in response to the question, “Do you think the Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin should resign over his handling of the MPs’ expenses row?”

    >> 85% (137 votes) – The Speaker should resign now – reform cannot wait until the general election.
    >> 9% (15)

    Also posted in News and Parliament | Tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

    LDV readers say: Paddy is the greatest living Lib Dem orator

    A couple of weeks ago, Lib Dem Voice posed the question: Who do you consider to be the best living Liberal Democrat orator? It sparked a fascinating comments thread, but there was a clear winner:

    Paddy Ashdown 38% (138 of all votes)
    Shirley Williams 18% (65)
    Cyril Smith 14% (51)
    Lembit Opik 9% (34)
    Jeremy Thorpe 9% (34)
    John Pardoe 4% (16)
    Evan Harris 4% (15)
    Simon Hughes 4% (15)
    Total Votes: 368. Poll ran: 6th-16th April 2009

    When I emailed Paddy to tell him of his triumph, and asked him for a message to pass onto LDV’s readers, he responded:

    Hmmmmmm. So why did I see so many

    Tagged | 1 Comment

    NEW POLL: what’s your view on nuclear power?

    Yesterday the Government released a list of 11 sites in England and Wales where new nuclear power stations could be built, with the aim of having the first reactors operational within a decade.

    The Lib Dems’ shadow energy and climate change secretary Simon Hughes was unequivocal in stating his anti-nuclear position on behalf of the party, branding this new generation of nuclear power stations a “colossal mistake”:

    They are hugely expensive, dangerous and will take too long to build. There is a real danger that the Government is becoming too close to and the big energy companies.

    Tagged , , , , and | 27 Comments

    LDV readers say: mixed response to Hung Parliament scenarios

    A couple of weeks ago, LDV started a new poll based on a Hung Parliament scenario floated by PoliticalBetting.com’s Mike Smithson – that the next election might result in the Tories winning the popular vote, and Labour winning the most seats. What, he asked, would the Lib Dems do in such a situation? We turned the question over to our readers, and asked: In the event of a Hung Parliament, should the Lib Dems allow the seat winners or the popular vote winners to form a government?

    Here’s what you told us:

    >> 38% (97 votes) – The winner of the

    Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 10 Comments

    NEW POLL: who is the best living Lib Dem orator?

    Last night on BBC2, Alan Yentob (the BBC’s cultural ‘Whicker Man’) posed the question: has Barack Obama brought back the art of oratory to 21st-century politics for good? After all, if there were one factor (apart from his opposition to the Iraq war) which decisively swung the US election in President Obama’s favour it was his soaring, inspirational rhetoric – which was as successful in defusing criticism as it was in enthusing supporters.

    For some time now, political oratory has been out of fashion in the UK. The packed public meetings of the early twentieth-century – which did so …

    Tagged , and | 19 Comments

    LDV readers say: No to a minimum price for alcohol

    On the day that chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson was recommending that the government establish a minimum price for alcohol (which would see the doubling of the price of many beers and spirits) LDV posed the question: Is it time to support a minimum price for alcohol?

    Here’s what you said:

    >> 31% (102 votes) – Yes, minimum prices will help tackle the UK’s binge drinking problems
    >> 6% (19) – Maybe, there’s merit in the proposal but the middle of a recession is the wrong time
    196% of all votes
    >> 59% (192) – No, government should not penalise the

    Tagged and | 16 Comments

    NEW POLL: Should the Lib Dems back the seat winners or the vote winners?

    Yes, I know, it’s a Hung Parliament question, and all Lib Dems hate those – after all, we’re a political party in our own right, not just an addendum to one of the other two consevative, reactionary, estabishment parties that trade under the names Labour and Tories.

    But still, there’s a chance, a slim chance, that the next general election will see no one party emerge with an overall majority. In which case, the Lib Dems will be under scrutiny like never before, our every move examined under a microscope. So it’s as well to be prepared. And this question …

    31 Comments

    LDV readers say: government should stick by pension promise to Sir Fred

    Two weeks ago – at the height of the political storm surrounding RBS’s Sir Fred Goodwin’s £693,000 £703,000 a year pension pay-out – LDV asked our readers: How do you think the issue of Sir Fred Goodwin’s RBS pension should be resolved?

    Here’s what you said:

    >> 15% (45 votes): The government should legislate to claw back a large part of Sir Fred’s pension
    >> 29% (89): The government should instruct that Sir Fred be paid a minimum amount, and he should sue if he wants his full entitlement.
    >> 52% (160): The government should abide by the agreement entered

    Tagged | 1 Comment

    NEW POLL: do you support a minimum price for alcohol?

    Government ministers have spent the last 24 hours distancing themselves from the proposal of chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson to establish a minimum price for alcohol which would see the doubling of the price of many beers and spirits.

    Today’s Guardian reports:

    Plans to charge a minimum of 50p per unit of alcohol are to be put forward by Sir Liam Donaldson today. The Scottish government is planning to introduce minimum prices for alcohol and these could come into force by the end of the year. It would make Scotland the first country in Europe to introduce minimum pricing,

    Also posted in News | Tagged , , and | 27 Comments

    LDV readers say: no bonuses for bankers

    Cast your minds back three weeks, and there was much controversy about the financial rewards being received by bankers whose firms had been rescued from bankruptcy by taxpayers. Hmm, how times change. Anyway, it prompted Lib Dem Voice to ask our readers: What do you think should be done about bonuses in those banks recapitalised with taxpayers’ money?

    Here’s what you told us:

    >> 53% (212 votes) – No bonuses should be paid at all


    >> 27% (109) – There should be a government-enforced cap on bonuses
    >> 16% (66) – Payment of bonuses should remain at the banks’ discretion …

    Tagged | 1 Comment

    NEW POLL: How do you solve a problem like Sir Fred?

    The debate has raged all over the weekend about what exactly the Government should do (if anything) about the £650,000 per year pension to which Sir Fred Goodwin, former chief executive of RBS, is entitled thanks to a deal struck with the bank’s board and later sanctioned by the government when it became a majority owner.

    Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman provoked a media storm when she suggested that the government might introduce legislation specifically to claw back a large part of Sir Fred’s pension. Meanwhile, Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable has put forward his own proposal: …

    Tagged , and | 10 Comments

    LDV readers say: BBC not justified in banning Carol Thatcher

    Last week, in the wake of the whipped-up hysteria surrounding Carol Thatcher being banned by the BBC from The One Show for using the term ‘golliwog’, LDV asked our readers if you thought the corporation was justified in its actions.

    Here’s how you voted:

    Yes, the BBC was justified – 44% (116 votes)
    No, the BBC wasn’t justified – 52% (139)
    Don’t know – 4% (11)
    Total Votes: 266. Poll ran: 5th-10th February 2009

    So, a bare majority of you think the BBC over-reacted to Carol Thatcher’s use of racially-loaded language.

    The poll was picked-up by the Telegraph’s James Kirkup, who used it …

    Tagged , and | 7 Comments

    NEW POLL: what should be done about bankers’ bonuses?

    One thing you absolutely cannot accuse the Lib Dem leadership of – going soft on the pay bonuses for executives at those banks which have been re-capitalised by the government. Here’s Vince Cable, Lib Dem deputy leader:

    The Government must freeze all bonus payments for employees of semi-nationalised banks and ensure that the pay details of those earning over £100,000 a year are published.”

    And Nick Clegg has also strongly criticised Labour for not taking a tough line, instead suggesting bankers ‘ask themselves whether accepting these payments is the right thing to do’, and setting up a review:

    You don’t need a review

    Tagged , , and | 14 Comments

    43% of LDV readers say: yes to managed immigration

    A couple of weeks ago, LDV asked our readers the question, What’s the liberal response to immigration?
    It sparked a fascinating comments thread, and our poll attracted over 500 votes. Here’s what you told us:

    LDV asked: What do you think should be the basis of the UK’s immigration policy?

    You told us:

    >> 23% (121) Open the borders, and impose no immigration restrictions
    >> 43% (225) Have managed immigration, eg through a points system
    >> 15% (79) Operate an annual cap on immigration, with work-permits strictly limited to 4-years
    >> 18% (95) Close the borders, and accept no more immigrants
    Total Votes: 520.

    Tagged | 11 Comments

    NEW POLL: was the BBC right to ban Carol Thatcher from The One Show?

    I’ve avoided for as long as possible the uber-hyped ‘nowtrage’ over Carol Thatcher’s off-air-but-in-the-studio comment that a still-to-be-identified tennis player looks like a ‘golliwog’.

    It does of course pose lots of interesting questions for liberals: the conflict between freedom of speech, and the offence that may cause; to what extent unbroadcast behind-the-scenes remarks should be regarded as private; whether remarks that cause offence are best dealt with by individuals at the time, rather than by being referred to an ombudsmanperson.

    The Lib Dem blogosphere has wrestled with many of these issues and more, and given more time to …

    Tagged , , , , , and | 15 Comments

    LDV readers say: a big no to Vince becoming Gordon’s chancellor

    Cast your minds back 10 days, and there was a sudden eruption of fevered speculation, mainly in the right-wing blogosphere, that Vince Cable might be tempted to accept the post of Chancellor if it were offered to him by Gordon Brown. LDV was always dubious about the claim, even if it would prove popular with the public, as well as business leaders, as well as ‘money-saving experts’. But we decided to see what our readers thought of the proposition, asking: if offered the job by Gordon Brown, should Vince Cable accept the post of Chancellor?

    Your answer …

    Also posted in News | Tagged and | 6 Comments

    NEW POLL: What’s the liberal response to immigration?

    There’s a typically forthright article in today’s Times by David Aaronovitch excoriating all three major political parties for their pusillanimous response to the anti-immigration movement represented by Labour’s Frank Field and the Tories’ Nicholas Soames. His ire was provoked by BBC Radio 4’s Beyond Westminster programme (available here on iPlayer for the next few days) and specifically the responses of the politicians interviewed:

    Not one of the pols, Chris Huhne, of the Lib Dems, Damian Green, of the Tories, or Phil Woolas, of Labour, could find anything good to say about immigration, except in passing on quickly to how

    Tagged , and | 38 Comments
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