Revealed: What Lib Dem members think of Ed Miliband and David Cameron

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.

Miliband surges to -43%, best rating yet among Lib Dems

LDV asked: Do you think Ed Miliband is doing well or badly as leader of the Labour party?
(Results in March in brackets)

    1% – Very well
    25% – Well
    Total well = 26% (7%)
    51% – Badly
    18% – Very badly
    Total badly = 69% (91)%
    6% – Don’t know / No opinion

Ed Miliband’s ratings are on the up, and some, according to our sample of party members. In March, a whopping 91% of Lib Dems said he was doing badly as Labour leader, with only 7% having a positive view. But now a combination of factors — the Government’s omnishambles, Labour’s good local election performance, the uncharismatic socialist François Hollande’s victory in the French presidential election, the UK’s continuing economic woes — have converged to make the prospect of Ed Miliband as prime minister if not likely at least a little less implausible. For the record, his net negative rating of -43% is his best score yet among Lib Dem members.

Cameron plunges to -18%, lowest rating yet

Do you think David Cameron is doing well or badly as Prime Minister?
(Results in March in brackets)

    1% – Very well
    38% – Well
    Total well = 39% (58%)
    46% – Badly
    11% – Very badly
    Total badly = 57% (36%)
    4% – Don’t know / No opinion

For the first time since we’ve started polling Lib Dem members’ views on the other party leaders, David Cameron is into the negative zone. Just three months ago, more Lib Dems were impressed with Mr Cameron as PM than were unimpressed by a margin of 58% to 36%, a net satisfaction rating of +22%. Since then, though, his smooth image and reputation for competence have taken a battering, and the position today is almost a mirror image: Lib Dems now think he’s doing badly by a margin of 57% to 39%, a net -18% reckoning David Cameron is doing a bad job as Prime Minister.

And as I customarily note, rating David Cameron’s performance as Prime Minister is a different question from rating his performance as Conservative party leader (whether Mr Cameron’s ratings would be higher or lower among Lib Dem members if we asked that question, I don’t know).

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with 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,’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
  • * 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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    This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


    • Elliot Bidgood 30th Jun '12 - 7:17pm

      Interesting reading. Out of interest, on what ground specifically do Lib Dem members tend to dislike Ed? Anyone care to comment…

    • I expect that the primary reason for disliking Miliband is that Lib Dems are in government and Miliband is in opposition — using opposition tactics which might have been more pleasing if the Lib Dems weren’t among their targets. And probably most of the Lib Dem voters who would have had a more positive view of Miliband are now planning to vote Labour in 2015, have torn up their party cards, and so wouldn’t be targeted by this survey. In other words, the Liberal Democrats, having lost more than half of their voting base, have — by default — swung to the right.

    • @Elliot – I can’t speak for other members but I don’t dislike him, I just think he is not leadership material in this or any other parallel universe. What he sounds like, what he looks like – these things are unfortunate but no insurmountable. I don’t think he really stands for anything either – not that this has done Cameron any harm.

    • Cameron’s popularity is NOt isolated from the performance of the coalition and, after more reverses than an Italian tank, it would be surprising if his popularity had not fallen.
      Milliband, on the other hand, has had the coalition’on the back foot’ for a couple of months (Budget U-turns, Hunt, etc.).

    • Andrew Tennant 30th Jun '12 - 10:04pm

      I personally find Ed Miliband offensively cynical and contemptably shameless.

      He puts Ed Miliband first, Labour second, the unions third, and the country way down his list of priorities.

    • Andrew Tennant

      Interesting, but what is your view about Cameron?

      If you think that about Miliband what do you think about Cameron and Osborne – talking about cynical when they kept comparing the UK to Greece and a household budget. Both of which were absolute rubbish, incredibly cynical and helped, in no small part, to destroy confidence and help us to a double tip.

      Anyway I am sure there are a number of us ex-LD who won’t be surprised that you have chosen Cameron above Miliband. I trust your confidence will serve you well in the next election!

    • John Richardson 1st Jul '12 - 8:30am

      Ed Miliband is incompetent as Labour leader. Just watch interviews with David M and compare them to Ed’s. David is far more articulate, far better able to drill down to the issues without falling back on ridiculous clichés. Ed appears to let himself be pushed around by the likes of Ed Balls and seems unable to marshal the party around a coherent vision for government. Unrelenting cynical and often hypocritical attacks on the government don’t count.

      I gave Cameron a lot of credit in the beginning. As Prime Minister he seemed able to manage two very distinct parties around the common goal of deficit reduction whilst still allowing each to implement their own distinctive policies. He seemed to have natural liberal instincts and I liked the fact that he wasn’t afraid to u-turn where it was clear the government had got it wrong. However it’s clear that Cameron is increasingly unwilling or unable to stand-up to the extremists in his own party. Quashing liberal policies whilst pushing an ever more conservative agenda. Maybe that’s what he needs to do as Conservative party leader but it doesn’t fit my definition of a good Prime Minister. This also reflects badly, to a lesser extent, on the DPM.

    • Ed is doing ok. He’s under the radar. The fact is it will all come down to the economy. The lib Dems have swung rightwards simply because there were more social liberal votes lost than expected.

    • Tony Dawson 1st Jul '12 - 11:47am

      Ed Miliband does not have to win the next election: it is for the Conservatives to lose. They are pretty all over the place at the moment, playing into UKIP hands by bigging themselves up on issues (Immigration, Benefits, Family life, EC referendum etc) for short term gain in getting the tabloids of their back and trying to hold party unity: they will be demonstrated within months, if not years, to have no ‘beef’ on these issues which they have helped raise in prominence and UKIP will be the main beneficiary as a result in votes: Labour in seats.

      Btw did you deliberately put up the most ‘Wallace’-like picture of Ed M you could find and a button-lipped one of DC? 🙂

    • The day that they invented opportunities for people to “vote” about anything under the sun was a terrible day for objectivity. Were gladiatorial contests where this all started? And have TV “contests” re-embedded the feeling of self importance in the mind of the mindless masses?

      Their only justification, now, is that they fill media inches when those who should be filling them with fact-based comments fail to find anything sensible to say. And access to comment on such “surveys” appears to be open to anybody – no matter how little THEY know about the subject!

      Perhaps such “surveys” might be more meaningful if we also knew, for example, which media source respondents based their replies on, if they had taken part in the previous survey, is there a representative age/gender balance, etc.

      But clearly objectivity has disappeared with the demand for filling pages with instant comment, which stimulates even more untutored comments – and so ad infinitum…….

      Would anyone be worse off if Lib Dem Voice stopped doing such meaningless and pointless postings?

      PS Analysed carefully, we can probably discover plenty about the quality/competence/knowledge/understanding etc of those who write unfriendly comments. So after all they may be worth posting, just to identify the weaknesses of the twiterish opposition.

    • Ed Miliband is a placeman, he doesn’t speak his own mind, so it’s impossible to judge if he has one or how he’d react if he were actually responsible for anything. I don’t know if he is incompetent, because he’s proved totally impotent as Labour leader.

      I mean, even the operation on his adenoids didn’t work.

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