Massive endorsement of Tim Farron by party members as Lib Dems gather in Brighton

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. 741 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

We asked our members to rate Tim Farron’s performance as Leader. The results will please him. His net +63 result is even higher than the last time we asked members to rate him when he was party president.

You would expect his ratings to be higher than those of his predecessor Nick Clegg just by dint of the fact that he’s not in Government taking decisions that could be very unpopular with party members.

Tim has taken risks in the last year, though. He voted for the airstrikes in Syria, something which did not go down terribly well with the left of the party. The collaborative, generous and respectful way in which he took the decision may have stood him in good stead.

Similarly, he has made some very bold policy stances in the wake of the EU Referendum.

He’s also had to fight to get media coverage.

Overall, though, members think he is doing a very good job.

Here are his results in full:

Very satisfied: 30.41%
Satisfied: 46.49%
Neither: 9.86%
Dissatisfied: 9.86%
Very dissatisfied 3.38%

  • 2,200+ Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org.  741 completed the latest survey, which was conducted between 13-15 September 2016
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. The surveys are, though, the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country.
  • We have been able to test the LibDemVoice surveys against actual results on a handful of occasions. It correctly forecast the special Lib Dem conference would overwhelmingly approve the Coalition Agreement in May 2010. In the 2008 and 2010 elections for Lib Dem party president, it correctly predicted the winner. However, in the 2014 election it didn’t; see here for my thoughts on this. 
  • Polling expert Anthony Wells has written about the reliability/validity of LibDemVoice surveys here.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • * Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.
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8 Comments

  • Thomas Keegan 16th Sep '16 - 9:13am

    The problem is that Tim Farron is overshadowed in the media constantly by Nick Clegg. Many people are not getting to hear Farron’s message and views because of it.

    Nick Clegg needs to wind his neck in, stop being a publicity seeker and go and count his money he got from Goldman Sachs and Barclays, and let Tim get on with being the public face of the party.

    The comments on the Guardian website are largely negative about Farron – but I wonder how many of them have actually sat down to listen to the man, rather than unfairly associate him with Nick Clegg or Tory policies. Tim Farron should naturally be supported by Guardian readers – he is a social liberal, rather than a protectionist working class trade unionist, or one of the Blairite London metropolitan set.

  • @Thomas Keegan

    I hope we don’t judge the popularity and views of our leaders by BTL comments on any website 🙂

  • paul barker 16th Sep '16 - 2:28pm

    I strongly suspect that Clegg is getting extra coverage for The Party, publicity that would not be available for Farron or anyone else. You cannot overestimate just how lazy & (small c ) conservative most journalists are, its going to take something big before they notice that we arent dead any more.

  • Peter Watson 16th Sep '16 - 6:21pm

    My interest was piqued by an article about Tim Farron in the Jewish Chronicle: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/163323/alienated-corbyn-come-home-lib-dems-says-leader
    In particular, “His positions on the most relevant Jewish policies are clear. Mr Farron would prefer animals to be stunned before religious slaughter, but recognises and accepts kosher and halal practices will not allow it. On circumcision, he supports the right to religious practises.”
    When balancing the freedom to follow a religious faith with the freedoms and rights of animals and children, is this the correct liberal/Liberal position, and is it the policy of the party?

  • Laurence Cox 16th Sep '16 - 7:06pm

    @Peter Watson

    Perhaps you need to re-read the Preamble to the Party Constitution:
    “The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.”

    Are you denying Jews and Muslims the right to be considered as communities and are you proposing to enforce your idea of conformity on them?

    I think that Tim has got the balance right.

  • Peter Watson 16th Sep '16 - 7:50pm

    @Laurence Cox “Are you denying Jews and Muslims the right to be considered as communities and are you proposing to enforce your idea of conformity on them?”
    I’m more interested in how liberals in general and Lib Dems in particular balance the rights of a community to practice their religion against the rights of an infant boy to retain his foreskin (until old enough to give informed consent) and the “right” (if that is the correct term) of an animal to be treated without cruelty. As I understand it, Lib Dem opposition to female genital mutilation trumps religious community and opposition to fox hunting and dog fighting trumps the rights of any communities who might enjoy those activities, so there is apparently a point at which Lib Dems are happy to enforce their idea of conformity. Obviously the Harm Principle is an important factor here, but Farron’s position described above seems to be one that allows more harm than some might consider acceptable.

  • Peter Watson 16th Sep '16 - 8:09pm

    @Laurence Cox “Are you denying Jews and Muslims the right to be considered as communities and are you proposing to enforce your idea of conformity on them?”
    As an aside, one thing I have noticed when visiting this site over the last few years is that while religion is generally treated with respect, some Lib Dems seem relatively comfortable with ridiculing or dismissing Christian beliefs in a way that they would not when discussing other faiths. It sometimes reminds me of the way a teenager can be so very polite and charming to house-guests but horrid to his/her parents!

  • Stephen Hesketh 18th Sep '16 - 7:59pm

    Thomas Keegan 16th Sep ’16 – 9:13am
    Indeed.

    The best thing NC could now do to assist the recovery of our party is to announce that he will not be standing again at the next general election and to withdraw gracefully from active politics.

    Last night I listened to his ‘HardTalk’ interview with the BBC’s Stephen Sackur. Regarding our massive losses in 2015, Clegg’s comment was that “Parties come and go”. I leave individual members themselves to consider if this was an appropriate response from anyone in the party, let alone a former leader under whose leadership so much damage was done to the standing of our party and the electability of our hard working and previously successful MPs, MEPs, councillors etc.

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