LDV survey: What party members think of Lib Dem ambitions for government

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of a variety of key issues, and what you make of the Lib Dems’ and Government’s performance to date. Almost 600 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results of our survey.

Today we’re looking at a trio of questions relating to how the Lib Dems and the Coalition will govern in the next few years. First up, we asked:

Do you agree – yes or no – with the following statement: The Coalition is implementing a significant part of the Lib Dem manifesto.

  • 53% – Yes
  • 13% – No
  • 34% – Uncertain

A majority of Lib Dem members in our sample, then, reckon a significant part of the Lib Dem manifesto is being implemented within the Coalition agreement. Just 13% disagree with the statement. However, a for a significant minority the jury is out, with one-third saying they are uncertain.

Then we looked at the most pressing issue curently facing the Coaliton, and asked:

Do you agree – yes or no – with the following statement: I’ll be content if the Coalition gets Britain’s deficit and economy fixed (anything else is a bonus).

  • 44% – Yes
  • 34% – No
  • 23% – Uncertain

A more mixed reaction here, with a plurality agreeing that the first, top, over-riding priority for the Coalition has to be to fix the economy. However, that leaves one-third disagreeing – presumably Lib Dems who are hoping the party will be able to face the electorate again having achieved more to make a difference than simply restoring the state of the public finances. This question was modelled on one asked by ConsevativeHome in their August members’ survey – would be interesting to compare with Lib Dem members’ responses, but alas I can’t see that it’s been published.

Finally for today, we looked at an issue – social mobility – which Nick Clegg has put, alongside fixing the economy and his political reform agenda, as the key to judging whether the Lib Dems and the Coalition has made a positive impact on the lives of ordinary citizens:

Do you agree – yes or no – with the following statement: Progress on policies such as Nick Clegg’s focus on social mobility – eg, raising the income tax threshold for low earners, and the ‘pupil premium’ for pupils from poorer backgrounds – is very encouraging.

  • 68% – Yes
  • 8% – No
  • 25% – Uncertain

Given the focus on the austerity measures in the Coalition’s emergency budget – and the argument over the IFS report suggesting its effects were regressive – I was interested to see whether Lib Dem members felt the party’s progress on social mobility so far has been encouraging. Over two-thirds agree that it has been, with just 8% disagreeing. A significant minority, one-quarter of party members in our sample, are yet to be convinced by the Coalition’s progress in this area, though.

You can access all the results of past Lib Dem Voice surveys of party members here.

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This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


  • I don’t believe that those Lib Dems who want the deficit fixed first, with everything a bonus, have really thought through the implications of the question. What would these Lib Dems say if sacrificing social justice was the best way to fixing the deficit and economy? Get rid of the welfare state entirely, place everything in private hands, (basically a Rothbardian libertarian utopia) and you could solve the problem. I think only a few of the respondents would subscribe to such a view, and so, they are answers fail to capture their true feelings.

  • The question on social mobility is so biased one wonders what you are trying to achieve.

  • We were promised the great freedom bill in the first 100 days. Instead, Westminster went on holiday instead. You broke your promise. Here is a simple mantra: don’t promise anything you can’t deliver, and deliver everything you promise. In fact, I think that breaking election pledges should be treated as oaths, and all MPs who signed up to a manifesto should go to prison for perjury when they break that oath.
    But then, I believe in honesty and justice. Whither Liberalism now?

  • Oh come on. The question is clearly slanted to elicit a favourable response – taking it as read that Nick Clegg is focused on social mobility, ‘reminding’ us of two policies with which all Lib Dems agree, no mention of VAT, the cuts to housing benefit etc etc. Some of the people who are agreeing with the statement are not really saying anything other than that they agree with the policies mentioned in the question. These are the sort of tricks pollsters use when they want to get a particular result as I’m sure you are well aware.

  • Neville Farmer 1st Sep '10 - 10:45pm

    The survey author makes it quite clear he’s surprised by some of the results, so why everyone thinks it’s rigged I don’t know. What purpose would there be in fixing or slanting it? If there is a bias it’s just poor authoring, not some shocking conspiracy.
    The coalition was never going to do any favours to the LibDems, but then neither would any of the other options. The LibDems chose the one which we felt offered the best outcome for the country – the most stable government available with that electoral result and the opportunity to get some of the LibDem policies realised. But no-one was under any illusions that it was a path to glory. If we prioritised maintaining core voter base over national stability we’d be negating the very reason most of us got involved in politics in the first place.
    As to “promising” anything within the first 100 days, “parasites of Westminster” and “going on holiday” get a life. The Freedom Bill will happen but our dear and unaccountable Civil Service dictates schedules and there’s a mountain of civil liberty breaches Labour imposed on us to unravel.
    As to long holidays, summer recess is largely spent sorting out constituency issues and anyone who thinks the job of being an MP is a cushy number is a bloody idiot who has probably contributed nothing to this country in his life. I bet he’s never missed out on his holiday entitlement and rightly so.

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