Poll of teachers puts Lib Dems in third place at 14%

Now LDV doesn’t, as our readers know, usually focus on individual opinion polls – but this one’s a little out of the ordinary, as it focuses on the voting intentions of teachers. The survey of nearly 4,000 teachers for the education charity the Sutton Trust by Ipsos MORI revealed the following voting intentions:

  • Labour 25%
  • Tories 18%
  • Lib Dems 14%

Here’s what the Independent had to say about the poll in relation to the Lib Dems:

Today’s poll showed the Liberal Democrats lagging behind the two main parties with just 14 per cent. Traditionally, third parties have done well in polls of teachers – heading polls in the 1980’s. The only minority parties to figure in the poll were the Greens with three per cent support and Plaid Cymru with one per cent.

In addition to those naming a party, 10% said they wouldn’t vote under any circumstances, 15% said they were undecided, and 14% refused to say.

The Lib Dems’ national poll ratings are a little lower than were the Alliance’s in the 1980s – but, still, should the party be concerned that it’s ratings among teachers are lower than those for the Tories? If so, how can the Lib Dems boost our ratings?

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16 Comments

  • I am amazed that Labour are on 25% with Ed Balls in charge. Utterly astonished. Not particularly surprised that teachers don’t like Tories though!

    However, our own rating is disappointing. A lot of that is obviously going to be down to media time, but frankly, David Laws is not quite right in the education portfolio either.

    Long-term, I would much prefer someone like Evan Harris there.

  • Silent Hunter 16th Jan '10 - 7:30pm

    Forgive me but I do teach and the only reason I can see for Labour being in first place is that they have asked teachers who exclusively belong to a trades union. Was this in Inner City areas? or more widely spread?

    I don’t see the same pro Labour stance amongst my fellow lecturers. Education is a lot worse because of Labours policies – it certainly isn’t better.

  • “Enabling children to go to private schools is not fully supporting state education.”
    Well sorry Jo, whilst ED126 encourages private schools to voluntarily integrate to the state system, and ED127 would remove charitable status; the GP would still enable children to go to private schools. Most GP members I know send their kids to the local Rudolf Steiner School – right on, hippy but private!

  • Jo – why will you not realise that it’s not just inner city unionised state-school teachers who are real teachers, or state schools that provide real education?

    If they have just asked union teachers, this isn’t too much of a surprise

  • Jo Anglezarke, didn’t you used to support the Lib Dems? So you are, in effect, a turncoat – and now you have returned to fling poo at the party up until recently you would attack others on behalf of? Don’t mind us if we don’t all rush to join the Green Party, which has a paltry 126 councillors out of the 10,000s in England and Wales, 2 MEPs out of the 60 odd in the country, and ZERO MPs. That’s right, you’ve elected ZERO MPs in the 36 years the GP has been around. The Lib Dems aren’t perfect, no party is, but yours is a busted flush – not so much a party as somewhere to go to stick your poo-covered fingers up at the rest of us who are actually achieving something.

    Please. Yeah, I bet Greens would love to ban private and selective schools. Is that why Derek Wall, former Principal Speaker and all-round nutter, teaches at a sixth-form private “crammer” school?

    Viva la revolucion, Jo Anglezarke.

  • Paul Jenkins 17th Jan '10 - 8:53am

    Perhaps HAVING a clear policy on Education would help. We have focussed so much of our efforts on the economy, military & green issues that we have lost our voice on issues such as the NHS, Education and crime. (the ones people actually vote on) As a campaigner I know we have one – but the general populus doesn’t at all.

    Teachers in particular vote on tangible issues – let’s face it they are in an industry designed to practically question the world around them. I’m not doubting that we’ve done well in the way we’ve spoken on the big issues – the front bench really have put us very much in the debate – but we need to focus on detail in the election.

    And (speaking as a teacher) it’s not class sizes that will win the votes of teachers (well, not secondary anyway). It’s behaviour. You want to win them over – get a concrete, understandable policy on behaviour of pupils and they’ll love you forever.

  • Malcolm Todd 17th Jan '10 - 9:07am

    “get a concrete, understandable policy on behaviour of pupils and they’ll love you forever.”

    I suspect that you don’t mean what it looks like you mean! If policy on behaviour of pupils isn’t the proper preserve of schools rather than ministers or parties, I don’t know what is… Perhaps that is what you mean?

    …But I agree it’s worrying that we should have such low support amongst teachers – a demographic that I would expect us to do well with. Perhaps “savage cuts” and tuition fees offer an explanation?

  • Paul Jenkins 17th Jan '10 - 10:01am

    It’s exactly what I mean. There is no consistency between teachers, no consistency between governing bodies and certainly a gap between senior leaders in schools regarding behaviour. Teaching staff are constantly moving between institutions and there is no central code on rewards and sanctions for pupils. You can get permanently excluded from one school and yet for the same behaviour be rewarded with lollipops in another.

    Likewise the same happens on a mirco level within schools. One teacher praises, another chastises. Why? Because heads are not able to apply any kind of agreed standards – they are forced to make subjective decisions. “You punched a teacher? – Well we have to take your test scores into consideration…Might make our results worse… ”

    Do you see where I’m coming from? That may be an extreme example – and I’m certainly not saying that we need an upping of school exclusions – but heads don’t have that power at the moment – governing bodies deal with things on an ad-hoc basis, often with very demoralising constraints.

  • @John Booth, there is no need for rudeness.
    I would say to Jo, fine policies on LGBT issues are meaningless when you have people like Tony Gosling selected to stand for the Green Party. There were numerous warnings, but only after the Green Party received bad publicity, after Mr Gosling gave an interview, did the party act and exspell him.
    Face it the Green Party is providing a political home for people of very questionable views. Some of these people are securing the party’s nomination to stand for the council and even parliament and speaking to the press in the party’s name. The party is so determined to get the party’s name ‘out there’ without any regard for the person’s suitability or even mental health – which is unforgivably unethical.

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jan '10 - 11:43am

    This is seriously bad news. Educated public service professionals used to be one of our prime groups of supporters, teachers have good reason not to be as keen on Labour as they used to be, and everything we hear from the Tories (like the bizarre item in the Guardian today about some new quango they propose setting up to grade universities in order to decide which graduates to fund or not to go to teacher training) suggests that even if they are well-meaning they are clueless on this subject. If we can’t get more teachers’ votes than the other parties now, we are doing something badly wrong. I may be wrong (I haven’t checked the facts) but I feel in the past we were regularly getting a higher proportion of teachers’ votes than this (even as a proportion of those who would vote just for the main parties rather than here including the antis).

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