LDV survey: Lib Dem members’ favourite Tory ministers revealed!

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. Over 660 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

The Lib Dems have been in Coalition with the Conservatives for some eight months now — so we thought it would be interesting to find out who our sample of party members think is ‘hot or not’ among our Coalition partners.

LDV asked: Which of the following Conservative ministers have genuinely impressed you since the Coalition Government was formed? (Members could choose as many or as few as they wished.)

  • 74% – Ken Clarke, Justice Secretary
  • 49% – David Cameron, Prime Minister
  • 43% – Iain Duncan Smith, Work & Pensions
  • 29% – William Hague, Foreign Secretary
  • 20% – David Willetts, Universities & Science
  • 18% – Oliver Letwin, Cabinet Office
  • 13% – Philip Hammond, Transport Secretary
  • 13% – George Osborne, Chancellor
  • 9% – Michael Gove, Education Secretary
  • 9% – Theresa May, Home Secretary
  • 9% – Eric Pickles, Communities & Local Government
  • 9% – None of them
  • 8% – Sir George Young, Leader of the Commons
  • 7% – Francis Maude, Paymaster General
  • 6% – Andrew Mitchell, International Development
  • 5% – Baroness Warsi, Tory Chairman
  • 5% – Jeremy Hunt, Culture, Media & Sport
  • 4% – Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary
  • 3% – Liam Fox, Defence Secretary
  • 3% – Other
  • 3% – Don’t know / No opinion
  • 1% – Patrick McCloughlin, Chief Whip
  • 2% – Lord Strathclyde, Leader of the Lords
  • 2% – Caroline Spelman, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
  • 1% – Owen Paterson, Northern Ireland
  • 0% – Cheryl Gillan, Wales

There’s no doubting who the most popular Tory is with Lib Dems: Ken Clarke, long ago touted here on Lib Dem Voice as our ‘sixth cabinet minister’, and winning the support of more than three-quarters of party members.

Perhaps more surprising is the high showing of David Cameron, with all but one-half of party members in our survey declaring themselves genuinely impressed with the performance of the Tory leader (in his capacity as Prime Minister at any rate). Iain Duncan Smith, re-born as a passionate advocate of social justice who has formed a strong partnership with the Lib Dems’ own Steve Webb, also attracts a high score of 43%.

Of those Lib Dem members who named Tories not on the list, only two names were mentioned more than once: Grant Shapps (a long-time friend of the Voice), who has impressed many as housing minister, and Tory renegade David Davis.

  • Over 1,300 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 662 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 3rd and 9th January.
  • 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
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    This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


    • Depressed Ex Lib Dem 17th Jan '11 - 10:48am

      “43% – Iain Duncan Smith, Work & Pensions
      29% – William Hague, Foreign Secretary
      20% – David Willetts, Universities & Science”


    • What, too high? Too low?

      The only thing that “frightened” me was that as many as 9% of participants said that Eric Pickles had impressed them.

    • Poppie's mum 17th Jan '11 - 11:15am

      Interesting Lansley only got 4%, yet we are condemning [no pun intended] Britain to unmandated changes to the NHS.

      Even Cameron appeared to admit this morning that the wrecking of the NHS has been planned since well before the financial collapse.

      Wake up Lib Dems, please. In the end, when Clegg and the rest of the deceitful leadership are enjoying their directorships, after losing their seats, the public will never forgive the Lib Dem party for selling off their health service by the pound.

    • Depressed Ex Lib Dem 17th Jan '11 - 11:28am


      If you don’t see why that’s frightening, I think you really must be a Tory …

    • @Depressed Ex Lib Dem
      Like you were ever a Lib Dem?

      I, for one, am not in the least bit surprised that Iain Duncan Smith came out as high as he did.

      But please don’t bother to explain what you find “frightening” about these survey results.

    • The 4% who are impressed by Andrew Lansley should be named and shamed.

    • As an anti coalition Lib Dem, I think all except the 9% “None of them” voters should go and listen to that prescient Disney song “Never Smile at a Crocodile”.

    • I’ve seen angry Tory commentators blasting Ken Clarke as being , in secret, really a Lib Dem, his decades of being a Conservative notwithstanding, so I’m not surprised he tops the list.

      Cameron probably gets quite high marks for being willing to accomodate LDs in a Coalition when a significant part of his party would have preferred to go it alone, and giving off a sense of being willing to compromise – the reality of that is one for a debate naturally.
      If anyone likes them they must be a Tory.
      What an incredibly blinkered view, either with us or against us. Besides, the question was about being impressed by them. I would imagine most of that would be about being impressed how accomodating they have been to the LDs and what not, but you can still be impressed by people even if you disagree with what they do. The Earl of Clarendon praised Oliver Cromwell’s wisdom, ability and industriousness while still calling him one of the most wicked men ever to walk the earth, and said that though he had all the wickedness for which hellfire is prepared, so too did he have virtues which have led men in all ages to be celebrated. So perhaps a Tory could still be decent, even impressive of character and ability and a good coalition partner, given I highly doubt most of our MPs are truly evil?

      Note: I’m not a Tory; I’m a perennial fence sitter.

    • paul barker 17th Jan '11 - 2:03pm

      @depressed ex libdem. You are right, we know nothing about you because you tell us nothing. If you want people youare what you claim, why not give your name & the constituency you were a libdem in ?

    • paul barker 17th Jan '11 - 2:04pm

      Sorry, insert -to beleive- in the above.

    • Niklas Smith – likely to be a short thread, that one. How about which shadow cabinet ministers have disappointed us?

    • Depressed Ex Lib Dem 17th Jan '11 - 2:31pm

      “If you want people youare what you claim, why not give your name & the constituency you were a libdem in”

      I’m not really that bothered whether people like you and Simon Shaw believe me or not. But it’s stupid and arrogant to imply I’m lying when in fact you don’t know anything about it.

      What beats me is why you are sceptical about people being ex Lib Dems. The opinion polls suggest that around half the people who voted Lib Dem last year would no longer do so. By my reckoning that implies there are well over 3 million ex Lib Dems around at the moment!

    • This is a sad indictment upon the 662 members who responded (minus 9% answering ‘none of them’) although I can say I’m not the least bit surprised given that this site tends to attract those inspired by the Liberalism preached by Hayek, Freidman and other naive Chicago School ‘liberals’.

    • Black Triangle 17th Jan '11 - 4:22pm

      Wow. Just…wow. I can’t believe there are so many LDs who are “impressed” by IDS: the man who is taking away benefits from the sick and disabled and blaming them for the financial crisis. With LD support, of course.

      I always thought a good measure of the morality of a country was how it treats its most vulnerable members: the sick, the disabled, the vulnerable. What, exactly, is Liberal or progressive about taking benefits away from those who are clearly unable to work? For putting them through stressful and inhumane tests while the stress can often exacerbate their condition?

      And why is there so little said about disability on this site? You used to stick up for disabled people like me, especially when Labour was treating us like crap. So why are you all quiet now? Willing to accept power in exchange for dropping some of your previous stances? It makes me sick.

      At least we now know NONE of the three main parties care about the disabled. You’ll have disabled people becoming homeless and destitute in a year or two..is this what you mean by “all in it together”? It makes me more sick than I already am!

    • Allen Taylor-Hoad 17th Jan '11 - 4:37pm

      Instead of arguing about who you do or don’t like in the Chamber of Horrors which passes for the Tory Party, perhaps you should be noting that among Liberal Democrat voters at the last election, only 30% think that Clegg is doing a good job as a leader, as opposed to 36% for Ed Miliband.

      The same YouGov/Sunday Times poll revealed that 66% of people who voted Lib Dem at the last election do not trust Clegg, and that 58% of people think the Liberal Democrats have little or no influence on this Tory-led government.


    • @Alex M

      Sadly, you’re absolutely right.

      What I also can’t understand is the so-called LibDems love of Ken, the same Ken that is denying essential legal aid to so many needy people. I know Labour would probably have done the same thing but pre-election we were not that sort of party.

      I know Ken’s a big avuncular europhile who wants to avoid sending 3000 people per year to jail so that they can scrub off graffiti whilst wearing the modern day equivalent of the stocks, but he’s not a Liberal Democrat definitely not.

    • Foregone Conclusion 17th Jan '11 - 4:43pm

      Meh. I can’t lie, I said I was ‘impressed’ by three of them: Ken Clarke (who I think is doing a much better, more liberal job than any of the Labour Home Secretaries, or than any other Tory would, or, whisper it, most Lib Dems), William Hague (who has been sensible and sober as Foreign Secretary and hasn’t launched an ideological crusade against Europe or decided to back Israel to the hilt), and David Cameron (who has surprised me by his maturity). The fact is, though, that I said I wasn’t hugely impressed by the rest of the Cabinet. And I always liked a number of ministers in the last government – I thought that Alistair Darling was a decent Chancellor, and I always admired Alan Johnson before he went to the Home Office. Yet when I confess approving of a politician who happens to be a Tory implementing parts of a liberal programme, I am a foul crypto-Tory who should go and swear homage to Philip Blond, despite the fact that I think at least half of the Cabinet is a useless shower*.

      In particularly, I don’t see how anyone could really be impressed by Eric Pickles, even a Tory! Also as much as IDS is a decent guy trying his best, he is undoubtedly overseeing some of the nastiest things we will do in government.

      * Compared to the past government, where 3/4 were a useless shower. Lib Dems, making a difference in government…

    • FG – the first sensible thing said on this thread LOL

    • Seriously, Ken Clarke? Somebody who approves the sale of tobacco to children? He has a huge amount of blood on his hands.

    • Ciaran Smith 18th Jan '11 - 10:17pm

      This seems to be clear evidence that the Lib Dems have lost a large proportion of members on the Left of the Party.

      How 20% can be impressed by David Willetts, a man who has, in cahoots with Vince Cable, set social mobility back drastically, is, for a Party whose supporters are said to regard themselves as left-of-centre, baffling.

      However, I do see a reporting in these results that is a complete lie. Both myself and my father mentioned every Tory MP who voted against or abstained from the regressive Tuition Fees et al Bill, of which there were certainly more than two! Perhaps LDV would care to re-examine the results that they received and report the correct results.

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