What Lib Dem members think of the impact of the Coalition

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. Some 560 party members responded, and we’ve been publishing the full results.

Party members give Lib Dems 7 out of 10 for influence within the Coalition

How would you rate the extent of the Liberal Democrat influence within the Coalition Government, where 10 is highly influential, and 1 indicates no influence.

    1: 1%
    2: 4%
    3: 9%
    4: 8%
    5: 9%
    Lacking influence = 31% (n/c)
    6: 16%
    7: 27%
    8: 19%
    9: 4%
    10: 2%
    Achieving influence = 68% (+1)

This is the second time we’ve asked the party members who participate in LibDemVoice’s surveys this question, asking you to rank on a scale of 1-10 the level of influence you think the party is exerting within the Coalition. What’s clear from this first result is that the majority think the party is achieving influence: 68% give a mark in the upper range 6-10, compared with 31% in the lower range, 1-5. And I suspect a number of people who opted for 5/10 were probably indicating neutrality on the question.

74% of Lib Dems say Coalition is bad for party’s electoral health

Do you think the Coalition Government will be good or bad for the Lib Dems’ electoral prospects at the next general election?
(Changes since March 2012)

  • 8% (-7%) – Good
  • 74% (+14%) – Bad
  • 13% (-6%) – Neither good nor bad
  • 6% (-3%) – Don’t know / No opinion

May 2012’s disastrous election results appear to have further dented the remnants of confidence that some members had that the Coalition might not prove bad for the Lib Dems. While in March, 60% reckoned we’d take a hit at the next election, that figure now stands at 74%, the highest yet. By comparison, in July 2010 a minority of party members, 43%, took that view. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the 8% who think the Coalition will be good for the party’s prospects is the lowest figure we’ve yet recorded.

78% say Coalition will last ’til 2015

How long do you expect the coalition government will last?
(Changes since March 2012)

  • 1% (n/c) – It will end this year, 2012
  • 3% (-2%) – It will end in 2013
  • 16% (+6%) – It will end in 2014
  • 78% (-2%) – It will last the full term, until 2015
  • 2% (-1%) – Don’t know / No opinion

The 78% of you who who think the Coalition will last the full course, though down on March’s figure of 80%, is still one of the higher figures we’ve recorded since we’ve been asking this question. Please note, though, this survey was conducted six weeks ago, before the Conservatives’ rebellion against the Coalition Agreement’s pledge of Lords reform.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 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, LibDemVoice.org’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 www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • * 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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    4 Comments

    • First, I don’t understand the headline “60% of Lib Dems say Coalition is bad for party’s electoral health” when in fact the figure surely was 74%. As things stand, to conclude that the Coalition has been bad for the LIbDems is to state the blindingly obvious. I don’t myself believe that joining the Coalition was destined to be ‘bad news’ for the LIbDems. I think if both the Conservatives and LIbDems were both prepared to abandon enough of their respective ‘sacred cows’ – and concentrate on running the country as well a possible in difficult circumstance – the Coalition could have given both parties big electoral boosts. As things have turned out I think the LIbDems have given up (in policy terms) much more than the Conservatives, they have also behaved well as coalition partners, compared with the more chauvinist Tories (as Andrew Rawnsley noted very effectively in the Observer). So, the LIbDems behave as a coalition political party ought to – and take a big electoral hit; there is no justice. There answer seems to be that voters (and LIbDem members) believe that the behavour of the Conservatives since the General Election has been ‘in character’ – the Cuts, marketise the NHS, local pay deals in the public sector, making the sacking of workers easier, cutting the top rate of tax, etc. In contrast, the pursuit of the very same policies (especially the in relation to the NHS) have appeared very ‘out of charater’ for the LIbDems. This has not been popular with LibDem supporters.

    • paul barker 17th Jul '12 - 7:06pm

      It seems to me that we are asking the wrong question about electoral prospects.
      We cant go back & unjoin the coalition so a more usefual question would be ” which do you think would be worse for our electoral prospects, leaving the coalition or staying in ?”

    • David Evans 17th Jul '12 - 7:13pm

      @Paul
      An even better question would be “Do you believe that our electoral prospects have deteriorated mainly because we went into coalition or because of the way we have handled being in coalition?” This should be followed by “Do you think it is necessary that we improve our handling of being in the coalition before our electoral prospects will improve?”

    • andrew purches 18th Jul '12 - 9:16am

      As far as the effect on the Party’s electoral health is concerned,as a coalition partner, what is blindingly obvious is that trading the Tory scheme to redraw the electoral boundaries with the failed plebiscite for AV, at least 60 % per cent of our current M.P’s will have no chance at all of returning to the Commons come the next general election.
      Any hope that we might well continue within the next administration is not going to happe, and probably only because of this madness.

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