Snowden leaks: 72% of Lib Dems say he was in the right – and 69% think state surveillance powers should be cut back

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

Edward Snowden’s leaking of US and British intelligence material revealed the extent of the authorities’ surveillance – what do Lib Dem members make of it all?

Almost three-quarters (72%) say Snowden right to leak intelligence files to media

Earlier this year Edward Snowden, an IT contractor working for the CIA, leaked confidential documents to the press about how the United States government was monitoring telephone calls and emails. Do you think Mr. Snowden was right or wrong to give this information to the press?

    72% – Right

    17% – Wrong

    8% – Don’t know

    3% – Other

69% say state authorities’ surveillance powers should be cut back

Do you think the state authorities have too many powers to carry out surveillance on ordinary people in Britain, too few powers to carry out surveillance, or is the balance about right?

    69% – Have too many surveillance powers – they should be cut back

    1% – Do not have enough surveillance powers – they should be given greater powers

    21% – The balance is about right

    4% – Don’t know

    4% – Other

  • 1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with 749 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 14th and 18th December.
  • 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 offered accurate guides to what party members think.
  • For further information on the reliability/credibility of our surveys, please refer to FAQs: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate? and polling expert Anthony Wells’ verdict, On that poll of Lib Dem members.
  • 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.

    Read more by or more about .
    This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


    • It would have been unsurprising if the percentages had been yet higher. This is a touch stone cause for a Liberal Party.

    • Michael Parsons 1st Jan '14 - 1:20pm

      First rate result! Where did the 1% for more surveillance come from, though? It would ben hard to think how, apart from tagging us, that could be achieved; and there doesn’t seem to be much “balance” in surveillance at present, it is all rather one way: I believe the police are known even to try to prevent reporters photographing them at work in the street?
      Anyway, liberalism and democracy are still juist with us: three cheers!

    Post a Comment

    Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

    If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

    To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

    Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

    Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


    Recent Comments

    • User AvatarIan 7th Dec - 1:49pm
      We are still targeting way too many seats. Our objective should be - as the party says - to deprive the Tories of a majority,...
    • User Avatarmarcstevens 7th Dec - 12:59pm
      Thomas - on what you say about the trains I wholeheartedly agree with you. I was toying with the idea of having them run by...
    • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 7th Dec - 11:49am
      Peter, this paper is a little academic but discusses the appropriate use of sectoral financial balance analysis, much in the way the Wynne Godley...
    • User AvatarPaul Walter 7th Dec - 11:09am
      Simon So you’re happy with IPSO? If not, what do you propose?
    • User AvatarJonathan Fryer 7th Dec - 11:01am
      For me one of the most significant outcomes of the otherwise often discordant NATO Summit was the acceptance by all 29 member states that China...
    • User AvatarGlenn 7th Dec - 10:46am
      Re Climate Change The problem isn't a couple of extra large TVs. It's the things no one wants to tackle, Air travel, too many cars,...
    Tue 10th Dec 2019