Party members vote Vince Cable Lib Dem Minister of the Year (again)

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Vince, Ed and Michael: the Lib Dems’ top trio in government

Vince Cable smiling - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsLDV asked: In your opinion, which Lib Dem government minister has had the best year?

This question allowed an unprompted, free-text response, which c.450 of our respondents rose to. And here’s what you told us:

    1. Vince Cable (144)
    2. Ed Davey (70)
    3. Michael Moore (42)
    4. Steve Webb (35)
    =5. Danny Alexander (30)
    =5. Nick Clegg (30)
    7. Lynne Featherstone (22)
    8. Norman Lamb (19)
    9. David Laws (16)
    10. Norman Baker (12)
    11. Jo Swinson (11)
    12. Jeremy Browne (10)
    =13. Nick Harvey (5)
    =13. Sarah Teather (5)

    (Note: only Lib Dem ministers who scored 5+ votes are mentioned here.)

Vince topped this same poll last year, but by a narrower margin. In 2012, the Lib Dem business secretary scored more than twice as many votes as his nearest runner-up, Ed Davey. It was another good 12 months for the sage of Twickenham. Even the Lib Dem-phobic Daily Mirror championed ‘Plan V’ while many of the other papers chattered about the prospect of him eventually succeeding Nick Clegg (you can see what I thought of that prospect here).

One of last year’s runners-up to Vince was Chris Huhne: this year it’s his replacement as energy secretary Ed Davey. He’s had a busy year: fighting for renewable energy in the teeth of George Osborne’s opposition (and that of his deputy John Hayes) and producing an energy bill designed to decarbonise the economy while protecting consumers’ fuel bill in the medium/long-term.

And then in bronze medal position is Michael Moore, the Lib Dem scottish secretary rightly lauded for his pivotal role negotiating the Edinburgh Agreement that secured Scotland’s right to an in/out independence vote in 2014 (and indeed for giving 16/17 year-olds the right to vote).

Danny Alexander, who last year came second, again poll strongly — tying this year with Nick Clegg — but is edged into fifth place by the party’s pensions maestro Steve Webb.

Tomorrow we publish the results of which Lib Dem minister party members think has had the worst year…

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with Over 500 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 7th and 11th 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 , , or .
    This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


    • Its depressing that we have to go to 7th place to find a woman.

    • Your party is not overburdened with neither women nor ethnic minorities within its parliamentary representation though so why the surprise.

      I have also been remarkably underwhelmed by their contribution – whether it is their fault is difficult to say – but it is up to your leadership to encourage talented women to be selected as candidates in winnable seats.

      If David Laws is only behind one of your women then it cannot say much for them.

    • Richard Shaw 28th Dec '12 - 10:25am


      It’s not ‘depressing’ at all; there are fewer women ministers than men and are generally in less publicly prominent positions.

    • Richard Shaw

      I think Paul is right to call it depressing!

      Why are there less women ministers and why do they need to be in less prominent positions? It i a question of quality and quantity.

      In the latter the LD performance is pretty poor and in the former that is up to your party to change. It is just too easy for you to say there are less

      From my point of view the performance of these has been underwhelming but I can hardly say the men have done much better either!

    • I thought it applied that “where we work we win”. The Lib Dems don’t really operate on the principle of having safe seats to parachute people into – and not should they.

    • Richard S

      It is a shame then that noone seems to work hard on behalf of the women candidates the doesn’t it.

    • @ bazzasc

      Don’t confuse less prominent with less important. An attention seeking minister can get themselves lots of coverage in a minor role. Some female ministers may just be getting on with the job and not out making a big fuss.

      Also one female MP who probably would have been considered for the cabinet was Susan Kramer but she lost her seat so reduced the pool available.

      There is a lack of female and ethnic minority MPs but there is not a “safe seat” position with the LibDems for them to be parachuted in as the two larger parties do.

    • Why does debate in this party have to immediately go to people’s gende, skin colour, etc.? As liberals why can’t we just see people as people?

    • David

      A very glib answer

      It seems that ‘people’ in a LD context are white, middle-aged males

      What a success for liberalism

    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

    • David Evans
      Martin & David Raw, I'm sad to disagree with you both on this but facts speak for themselves. 1910 - 272 Liberal MPs, ... Four elections later ... 19...
    • David Raw
      Given tonight’s revelations, Afghanistan, Downing Street and Grenfell, the skids are under Johnson. Whoever is regarded as the most likely candidate to defeat...
    • Nonconformistradical
      "If a private for profit care home goes down financially it somewhat “restricts the freedom of those who use it." Quite. Like those residents who had to be f...
    • Joe Bourke
      The proposed increase in the employment allowance is targeted at helping small businesses recover from the pandemic and crucially be able to hire staff at highe...
    • Mark ValladaresMark Valladares
      @ Peter, I suspect that we'd run a candidate as we're little more than background noise in Islington North anyway - our strength was across the south of the ...