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

Yes, although introducing this whilst we only have 8 MPs might come across as a bit optimistic at the moment. Definitely something for future – would have helped during coalition years

There is no good reason to have a Deputy Leader. And even if there were the position should be filled at the sole discretion of the party leader.

Not really bothered about this, If it could be done for a modest marginal cost by all means, however I think the office of Party President offers the opportunity for an alternative voice.

  • 2,200+ Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org.  741 completed the latest survey, which was conducted between 13-15 September 2016
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. The surveys are, though, the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country.
  • We have been able to test the LibDemVoice surveys against actual results on a handful of occasions. It correctly forecast the special Lib Dem conference would overwhelmingly approve the Coalition Agreement in May 2010. In the 2008 and 2010 elections for Lib Dem party president, it correctly predicted the winner. However, in the 2014 election it didn’t; see here for my thoughts on this.
  • Polling expert Anthony Wells has written about the reliability/validity of LibDemVoice surveys here.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.
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8 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 18th Sep '16 - 11:53am

    Kirsty Williams would have been a good choice until she accepted the workload of ministerial responsibility for education in Wales.

  • Kirsty Williams would have been a good choice until she led the Welsh party to its worse ever result in the Welsh Assembly.

  • Richard Underhill 18th Sep '16 - 12:08pm

    Please do not shoot the messenger, there is a wider context.

  • Laurence Cox 18th Sep '16 - 12:20pm

    We seem to be forgetting that there are two chambers in the Houses of Parliament. Why should a Peer be barred from being the deputy leader of the Party? This would also help to ensure gender equality by choosing from the capable women Peers (I would personally support Baroness Sarah Ludford for the job).

  • Eddie Sammon 18th Sep '16 - 8:57pm

    Bad idea to have too many internal elections. If Labour goes ahead with shadow cabinet elections they could be finished as an electoral force. It seems much more interested in itself than the public and the Lib Dems shouldn’t venture down this route. Regards

  • Stevan Rose 18th Sep '16 - 9:16pm

    Why not have a Deputy Leader from any elected office, including councillors. And the Deputy has to be the opposite gender to the Leader. You can work on seniority for Commons deputising purposes. UKIP now has a female leader. Labour have had 2 albeit for short periods, Harman twice, Tories x 2, SNP, PC, DUP, Green. As others prove, you don’t even need the Leader in the Commons. Doesn’t look good for a party all about equality. Not even a female Deputy.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 18th Sep '16 - 11:04pm

    Stevan Rose

    I have been saying just the same , well done, just as well we did not totally agree on grammar schools , you rather more for, me certainly more against, or we might have something illiberal , that is , complete agreement !

  • Alistair Pirie 14th Sep '17 - 2:09pm

    I’m new to all this & as such can only share my uneducated opinion.
    Having said that, I believe we need a leader that can really demonstrate the party values AND appeal to the wider electorate. Our leader should inspire us, speak directly to each and every one of us. Value us and represent us. Is there such a person within the party? If there is, great, if there isn’t, why not? As I said, I’m new, I don’t think I can name a single person in the whole of UK politics that really inspires me, moves me to believe we CAN bring about change. If such a person exists, and as politics is all about marketing these days, can we please encourage this person to stand front and center, to speak out and inspire all generations?
    But what do I know? I’m just a middle aged, middle income family man who is getting increasingly fed up of all the spin, rhetoric & empire building of those privately educated, elitists who employ marketing teams in an attempt to win my vote, rather than engage me and ‘try’ to tackle our problems with realistic working solutions.
    Find the right person for the right job, if that means external, then so be it. Our party & nation are at stake.

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