LDV members’ survey, August 2008 (5): how do you rate the performances of the current shadow cabinet?

All this week, Lib Dem Voice has been publishing the results of our first ever survey of party members. Some 133 of you accessed the survey via our private members’ forum. We don’t pretend it’s a representative sample, but that doesn’t mean it’s without value either. We hope you, LDV’s readers, find it interesting. Perhaps the wider party will, too. This is the first in what we intend to be a monthly survey – if you have ideas for future survey questions, please email me at [email protected]

The final question asked members to rate out of 10 the current performance of the Lib Dem shadow cabinet members. Here’s how you scored them, in descending order:

1. Vince Cable, Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor = 8.8
2. Chris Huhne, Shadow Home Secretary, and Shadow Secretary for Justice = 6.6
3. Norman Baker, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport = 6.4
4. Nick Clegg, Leader = 6.3
5. Lynne Featherstone, Spokesperson for Youth and Equality = 6.2
6. Steve Webb, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Energy, Food and Rural Affairs = 6.1
7. David Laws, Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families = 5.8
8. Julia Goldsworthy, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government = 5.7
9. Edward Davey, Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Chair of Campaigns and Communications = 5.7
10. Norman Lamb, Shadow Health Secretary = 5.7
11. Simon Hughes, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, and Party President = 5.5
12. Lord Tom McNally, Lib Dem Leader in the House of Lords = 5.4
13. Susan Kramer, Families Spokesperson, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster = 5.4
Jeremy Browne, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury = 5.4
14. Jenny Willott, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions = 5.2
15. Danny Alexander, Chair of the Manifesto Group = 5.0
16. Don Foster, Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, and Olympics = 5.0
17. Sarah Teather, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform = 4.9
18. Nick Harvey, Shadow Defence Secretary = 4.7
19. Michael Moore, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, and Shadow Secretary for Scotland and Northern Ireland = 4.7
20. Roger Williams, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales = 4.6
21. Stephen Williams, Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills = 4.6
22. Lembit Opik, Shadow Minister for Housing = 3.5

LDV members’ survey, August 2008 (1): the Lib Dems and by-elections
LDV members’ survey, August 2008 (2): what you think of Make it Happen’s tax-cutting agenda
LDV members’ survey, August 2008 (3): what do you think of Nick Clegg’s leadership?
LDV members’ survey, August 2008 (4): are the Lib Dems on the right or wrong track?

Read more by .
This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


  • Paul Harrod 8th Aug '08 - 10:48am

    These are average ratings and no doubt a few hostile people would have put in a zero which would have a big effect on the final score.

    I think Lembit is doing an excellent job, in a very important policy area, and his thoughtful interventions don’t get anything like the coverage they deserve as Stephen Tall pointed out in an LDV posting last month.

    Lembit is one of the party’s very best communicators and has certainly inspired a large number of people who would otherwise be indifferent to politics to get involved.

  • None of them is “Shadow” anything. They’re just spokesmen. Only the official opposition has shadow secretaries of state.

  • Chris Harrison 8th Aug '08 - 11:20am

    Bob – someone should advise the Scottish Conservatives of this!


    Seriously though, you are quite wrong. The term shadow implies shadowing a Secretary of State, but it doesn’t have any legal significance, as in “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition”.

  • Teather deserves far better!

  • Re: shadow or not?

    The Parliament website seems pretty clear on the matter:


  • David Morton 8th Aug '08 - 6:25pm

    At the time lots of people commented that they gave people 5 because they didn’t know. That kind of inflates ratings. Being a miserable old git i gave 0 to people i didn’t know abot on the grounds that if i didn’t know about them they were doing a very good job. clearer options next time.

  • What ever your feelings about particular MPs, the key thing here is the ordering of rankings rather than the absolute or even average score.

    Lembit might be the party’s best communicator but only when it comes to making headlines in the tabloids.

    It’s also hardly surprising that front benchers like Teather and Harvey score so low given their very poor media profile.

  • Thanks James. perhaps you and I could found a SAO for misanthropes?

  • Surprised at Willott and Goldsworthy, I reckon they are really bright.

  • Romsey Harry 10th Aug '08 - 10:03pm

    It’s not the “Shadow Cabinet”

  • I agree with the first three. They are stars, and a massive credit to the party.

    I am, however, utterly horrified that members would put Julia Goldsworthy anywhere. Goldsworthy shouldn’t be in the Shadow Cabinet. Indeed, she shouldn’t be in the party.

    We claim to be a party dedicated to the advancement of human freedom. Yet here is a Shadow Cabinet member who advocates martial law for under-16s – a full frontal assault on that most fundamental of human rights, freedom of movement.

    Why did Nick Clegg not do to Goldsworthy what Ted Heath did to Enoch Powell in 1968?

    Lord Lester said it is unacceptbale for a Liberal Democrat politician to pander to racist sentiment. And he was right. But it seems to be OK (for Nick Clegg at least) for Julia Goldsworthy to pander to malignant attitudes towards young people.

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