EXCLUSIVE: What Lib Dem members say about the party’s direction and Nick Clegg’s leadership

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 560 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Net satisfaction with party’s direction stuck at +31%

LDV asked: Do you think, as a whole, the Liberal Democrats are on the right course or on the wrong track? (Comparison with March’s figures.)

    62% (+1%) – The right course
    31% (n/c) – The wrong track
    7% (-1%) – Don’t know / No opinion

As recently as February, there was a net satisfaction rating with the party’s direction of +49%. This plummeted in the space of four weeks to +30% in the wake of the party’s decision (though not the party conference’s decision) to vote for the Coalition’s controversial NHS Bill. Satisfaction has recovered in the intervening couple of months — which included a second successive set of very poor election results — by the smallest of margins, to +31%. This figure remains lower even than it was in the immediate aftermath of the tuition fees debate (November 2010), when net satisfaction stood at +32%.

Nick’s personal ratings edge up… but only slightly

What is your view of Nick Clegg’s performance as Lib Dem leader? (Comparison with March’s figures.)

    11% (-6%) – Very satisfied
    47% (+7%) – Satisfied
    Total satisfied = 58% (+1%)
    24% (n/c) – Dissatisfied
    15% (-2%) – Very dissatisfied
    Total dissatisfied = 39% (-2%)
    3% (+2%) – Don’t know / No opinion

Again, our survey shows the big drop in Nick Clegg’s approval recorded in March has been sustained. In February, Nick’s net satisfaction rating stood at +38% net satisfaction. This more than halved to +16% by March. It is now exactly half, at +19%. True, his rating among members has been the same, or lower, a handful of times before (after tuition fees); and has subsequently bounced back (in autumn 2011). But each time Nick pushes the party to accept an unpopular policy not included within the Coalition Agreement his leadership is dented afresh; there may only be so much damage he can personally sustain.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 560 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 28th May and 1st June.
  • 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 winners of the contest for Party President, and the result of 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
  • * Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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    7 Comments

    • I am confused at where the extra one percent has come from? The figures add up but the change amounts don’t. We have a one percent change that does not seem to come from any other change in Nicks s ratings or is ignite just me?

    • Thanks Stephen I always look at the swings and were they are from its the most interesting part for me.

    • Jeanette Aron 13th Jun '12 - 10:26am

      Pleased to see most Liberal Democrats are supportive of Nick Clegg and the work the party does in government. Whilst we are lucky to be able to voice our opinions whether it is in agreement or not, we do need to show that we can work together for the people of this country.

    • I dont think the way you describe the figures really captures what those polled are saying. 2/3rds of those with an opinion think we are on the right track. Of the quiet majority in the centre, again its 2:1 for Clegg. Its among the noisier fringes (which include me) that Clegg gets a negative response.
      Considering the constant battering we get from the media its surprising & heartening.

    • commenators need to consider where people get their information from, and whilst it is quite commonplace to see critiscism of what Clegg may have said or done, do we trust those who are telling us .? – and what about all the things he has done that they have quietly forgotten to tell the public about ? Anyone who has spent copious amounts of time sending out press releases that are just ignored will know what I mean. Despite the exposure of the behaviour of the press we still, evidently, instinctively believe anything we see in print.
      Clegg is amazing that he keeps his head through it all.

    • Yellow Bill 14th Jun '12 - 1:54pm

      Perhaps the reason that the membership supports this leadership so readily is that most of the dissenters have left or are so disillusioned that they didn’t reply.

      What percentage IS 560 members?

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