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

Ken Clarke remains Lib Dems’ most popular Tory cabinet minister

The Lib Dems have been in Coalition with the Conservatives for two years — 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. Figures in brackets are their ratings the last time we asked this question, in February 2011..)

  • 59% (74%) – Ken Clarke, Justice Secretary
  • 37% (29%) – William Hague, Foreign Secretary
  • 33% (43%) – Iain Duncan Smith, Work & Pensions
  • 21% (20%) – David Willetts, Universities & Science
  • 18% (49%) – David Cameron, Prime Minister
  • 16% (6%) – Andrew Mitchell, International Development
  • 13% (9%) – Michael Gove, Education Secretary
  • 12% (13%) – Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary (Transport Secretary)
  • 11% (3%) – Justine Greening, Defence Secretary (Liam Fox)
  • 10% (8%) – Sir George Young, Leader of the Commons
  • 5% (18%) – Oliver Letwin, Cabinet Office
  • 4% (9%) – Eric Pickles, Communities & Local Government
  • 4% (13%) – George Osborne, Chancellor
  • 4% (7%) – Francis Maude, Paymaster General
  • 3% (2%) – Caroline Spelman, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
  • 3% (5%) – Baroness Warsi, Tory Chairman
  • 3% (9%) – Theresa May, Home Secretary
  • 2% (4%) – Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary
  • 2% (2%) – Lord Strathclyde, Leader of the Lords
  • 1% (5%) – Jeremy Hunt, Culture, Media & Sport
  • 1% (1%) – Patrick McCloughlin, Chief Whip
  • 0% (1%) – Owen Paterson, Northern Ireland
  • 0% (0%) – Cheryl Gillan, Wales
  • 3% (3%) – Other
  • 13% (9%) – None of them
  • 3% (3%) – Don’t know / No opinion

Only one Tory cabinet minister has impressed more than half Lib Dem members: Ken Clarke, long ago touted here on Lib Dem Voice as our ‘sixth cabinet minister’. His popularity has taken a knock compared to when we last asked, though, most likely because of the controversy over the Justice ministry’s proposals for secret trials.

Ken Clarke’s dip in popularity is mirrored by a number of other Tory cabinet ministers. The person to have fallen furthest is the Prime Minister, David Cameron — 16 months ago, 49% of Lib Dem members said they’d been impressed by him, a figure which now stands at just 18%. Only a handful of Tories have improved their standing during that time: William Hague, David Willetts, Andrew Mitchell, Michael Gove and Sir George Young are the top five to have seen their ratings improve.

Of those Lib Dem members who named Tories not on the list, four names were mentioned unprompted more than once: Mark Harper, who has worked closely and effectively with Nick Clegg as his Parliamentary Under Secretary for Constitutional and Political Reform; Greg Clark, Minister of State for Decentralisation and Planning Policy; Mark Prisk, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise; and Grant Shapps, Minister of State for Housing and Local Government.

  • 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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    8 Comments

    • Surveys like this raise the issue of whether it is worth LDs not standing candidates against ‘fellow travellers’ and indeed endorsing them.  Is there any point in standing against Ken Clarke or John Denham?  Conversely, why do the LDs not back the main rivals of eg Philip Davies, in what would be less of a decapitation strategy and more of a haemorroidectomy one.

    • Foregone Conclusion 10th Jun '12 - 3:02pm

      Have we really rated IDS that highly? The man is technically competent, but personally I find cutting the benefits of sick children rather… unimpressive?

      Glad to see Hague up there though. He’s been a pretty sound Foreign Secretary, and hasn’t let his eurosceptic instincts run amok too much. Apparently he’s also an ally of ours on the environmental agenda, of all things.

    • @Hugh. No they don’t.

    • Clarke is also responsible for the v damaging legal aid changes which have not gone down well among Lib Dems (and others) who believe that eery citizen should have access to justice.

    • IDS?? This is the man that, of all things, is closing the Remploy factories down. Totally cruel.

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