EXCLUSIVE: Tim Farron set to win contest for party presidency

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of the contest for the party presidency, the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Almost 600 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results over the next few days.

First, we asked what party members thought of the campaigns of the two presidential candidates, Tim Farron and Susan Kramer:

Regardless of how you intend to vote, which of the two candidates do you think has run the best campaign to become party president?

    50% – Tim Farron
    8% – Susan Kramer
    21% – Both have been equally good
    10% – Neither has impressed me much
    10% – Don’t know / No opinion

It’s a striking result, with half of all party members viewing Tim Farron’s campaign as the most effective. By contrast, just 8% — fewer than one in eight — think Susan Kramer’s campaign worked best. A pretty high proportion, just over one-fifth, reckon both campaigns worked equally well. One in 10 felt neither campaign reached out to them.

Then on to the big question:

Who have you voted for, or do you intend to vote for?

    56% – Tim Farron
    29% – Susan Kramer
    10% – I have not yet decided but will definitely vote
    5% – I do not think I will use my vote

If our survey results are accurate, therefore, Tim Farron is set to win the battle for the party presidency by a convincing 2:1 margin, even allowing for the small number of members who had yet to make up their minds when we polled them.

A word on our methodology: for the first time we’ve tried to weight our results both by region and by sex to try and ensure the greatest possible accuracy. The ‘raw’ results for the presidential contest were as follows:

    55% – Tim Farron
    28% – Susan Kramer
    11% – I have not yet decided but will definitely vote
    6% – I do not think I will use my vote

As you can see, hardly any difference in the overall results — although there were some regional differences as might be expected in a contest pitching a high-profile London ex-MP against a high-profile Cumbrian MP.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 580 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 3rd and 10th November.
  • 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 accurately predicted the results of the contest for Party President, and the conference decision to approve the Coalition agreement.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • Read more by or more about or .
    This entry was posted in LDV Members poll and Party Presidency.


    • Cllr Karen Chilvers 11th Nov '10 - 10:49pm

      As part of Team Tim I’m delighted and I hope that is true! My feeling on Susan Kramer is that she scaled her campaign down to go for the London Mayor nomination when it re-opens.

    • Dave Hennigan 11th Nov '10 - 11:33pm

      I would have preferred Susan Kramer as she has not run a populist, opportunistic campaign. Yes, it’s dead easy to get a reputation for an opposing ‘sound-bite’ and be available to make them – Tim Farron is clearly a talented politician and his increased majority in May is admirable – but he has become increasingly annoying since May (SEE BOB RUSSELL). Do his ‘interventions’ in the national media help? Probably not! Should he work in the Parliamentary Party to argue our case? Yes.

      I don’t think the job of president should go to an MP, they should work harder to change the opinion of our MPs who seem spellbound in their support of a government I didn’t vote for.*

      * I am from Macclesfield, I voted Lib Dem and got a Tory…. shockHorror

    • All will be revealed on Saturday

    • Joe Donnelly 12th Nov '10 - 12:37am

      @ Dave Hennigan (I’m fairly sure I know you from volunteering in Rochdale)

      I completely agree with you on Tim Farron, he loves being the soundbite on the ten o’clock news that shows division within the party. Not that I disagree with division, just it seems convenient that every time something comes up thats slightly controversial in the party, Tim is ready with a populist soundbite.

      I also voted for Susan Kramer as I feel her political views are alot closer to mine that Tims.

    • TheContinentalOp 12th Nov '10 - 1:39am

      As an outsiderI would be delighted at this. I know David describes him as a overtly populist but to me he has easily been one of the party’s impressive performers for quite some time.

      Good luck.

    • Populist??? Have you had a look at your leader and the things he said to get elected?

      Farron is a man of principle. It takes intellect to argue for a land value tax and it takes extreme guts to argue its case with the general public when this is what you’re up against:


      Arguing against the interests of the legions of buy-to-let slumlords in marginal seats – that’s hardly populist.

      He’s a proper liberal (following in the footsteps of Lloyd George and the people’s budget) and he is respected by Lib Dem voters at a time when at least half of Lib Dem voters hate Clegg with an even greater passion than they hated Thatcher. It is refreshing to hear Farron speaking out against the Friedman inspired neo-feudal madness the Lib Dems have sunk to.

    • Hhmm.. I thought we were supposed to be ignoring opinion polls at the moment 😉

    • patricia roche 12th Nov '10 - 9:32am

      is this another example of fairness? Publish results before the election is announced. Still nothing can be believed any more can it?

    • Susan Gaszczak 12th Nov '10 - 10:22am

      Patricia – this is a poll, no different to the polls that had us soaring in the General Election, or the ones that have us on 11% or 13% at the moment.

    • “I would have preferred Susan Kramer as she has not run a populist, opportunistic campaign. ”

      Agreed. I voted for Susan Kramer. I wasn’t enthusiastic in supporting her, but I never warmed to Tim’s campaign. Plus, in the full interests of disclosure, I have deep concerns about the implications of his ‘views’ regarding the Equalities Act.

      So, for me, another disappointment from the Lib Dems.

    • Nick (not Clegg) 12th Nov '10 - 12:43pm

      I nearly did not vote at all ( I was one of the five or six percent who responded that they were unlikely to vote) since both candidates declared themselves full square in favour of the coaltion, which i am not. I know a number of LibDems who binned their ballot papers because of that, so I shall be interested to see how the turnout compares with that of the last contest.

      In the end, I voted for Tim. What did it for me was Susan’s insulting comment in response to the question, during the on-line hustings, asking what the candidates had to say to those members who were unhappy with the coalition.

    • Gladstone's Hat 12th Nov '10 - 1:38pm

      Fairness can mean a lot of different things, but I hadn’t realised until now that it meant banning opinion polls

    • @mpg – as an HSLD/BHA supporterer this was my one area of concern over Tim, but in his own words here in May:
      “i just want to scotch all this homophobia rubbish. I voted against two bits of the Equalities Act because I take a rather extreme liberal view on free speech – if I remember rightly I took the same stance on the issue as Peter Tatchell who is not, so far as I am aware, a homophobe! I just don’t think that we should force religious groups to amend their rules to suit everyone else and I also don’t think that offence should be grounds for restriction. That’s why, for instance, I also voted for the abolition of the blasphemy laws. I’ve had a go at they work for you at my designation on this issue which is appallingly misleading but they won’t change it. As Andy suggests, I would of course have supported equal age of consent and civil partnerships had I been in the House at the time. So there you are.”

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