When will the Coalition end? Here’s what Lib Dem members say…

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 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Three-quarters say Coalition will be bad for Lib Dem prospects in 2015

LDV asked: Do you think the Coalition Government will be good or bad for the Lib Dems’ electoral prospects at the next general election? (Comparison in brackets with September’s figures.)

      9% (+3%) – Good


      73% (-6%) – Bad


      15% (+4%) – Neither good nor bad


    3% (-1%) – Don’t know

There’s a small shift away from the pre-conference pessimism, when 79% of you expected the next election to be bad for the party: that figure has declined to 73%. Mind you, that compares with 43% of party members who expected Coalition to be bad for the Lib Dems in July 2010. Back then, fully 23% of you hoped it might yield good results for the party, a figure which now stands at 9%.

Four-fifths say Coalition will last the course

LDV asked: How long do you expect the coalition government will last? (Comparison in brackets with September’s figures.)

      0% (n/c) – It will end this year, 2012


      3% (-2%) – It will end in 2013


      16% (-2%) – It will end in 2014


      79% (+4%) – It will last the full term, until 2015


    3% (n/c) – Don’t know

74% want Coalition to go on into 2015

LDV asked: When would you like the Coalition to end? (Comparison in brackets with September’s figures.)

      9% (-3%) – As soon as possible, definitely this year


      4% (-1%) – It should end in 2013


      11% (-4%) – It should end in 2014


      37% (-1%) – It should stop shortly before the 2015 general election so the two Coalition parties can set out their different plans


      33% (+7%) – It should continue right up to the 2015 general election


      4% (+1%) – It should continue beyond the 2015 general election


    2% (+1%) – Don’t know

It’s interesting to compare the two tables above asking, respectively, when people think the Coalition will end and when they would like the Coalition to end. The results aren’t all that different. More than three-quarters, 79%, expect it to last a full term until 2015. A cumulative 74% would like it to last into 2015 or even beyond. The single biggest shift is the proportion wanting the Coalition to last right up to the May 2015 general election: up from 26% in September to 33% now.

Our most recent tracker question asking about support for the Coalition showed Lib Dem members remain in favour by 77%-18%. And as we see above 13% of members would like it brought to an end within the next year or so — though only a small minority (3%) expect that to happen.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 550 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 28th and 31st October.
  • 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 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 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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This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


  • Peter Watson 6th Nov '12 - 5:22pm

    So 3/4 of Lib Dems think that the coalition will last the course, want it to go into 2015 or beyond, and believe that it will damage the party’s electoral prospects.
    The word “lemmings” springs to mind.

  • How about that they believe in stable government before party interests?

  • Yes, we need stable government. But……
    The Lib Dems must be seen to be pushing the liberal agenda and if we don’t get our way then we should say so especailly in the media and press releases.
    It is better to be seen as being our-numbered in the ministry then as a Tory poodle.
    For example, bank reform: The conditions that caused the 2008 banking debt crisis still exists, there is still naked derivative trading in the financial markets. Still too few Banks and it is hard for new comers to start a bank organically.
    The low interest rate policy is decouraging people from saving, it is not helping recovery and actually causing a wealth shift from the 99% to the 1%.
    We need to speak out for the people as Liberal democrats

  • Michael Parsons 7th Nov '12 - 12:32pm

    Apart from the likelihood on present showing that little of the Party will survive the next election nationally (I don’t say locally) It might be worth reflecting that the “coalition” may be seen as anti-democratic: a sordid post-election stitch-up with policies no-one voted for or could have voted for (since they were post-election), “justified” by talk about a majority Conservative “victory” in a system we know is false and don’t believe in; policies which meant we broke faith with our voters, and ended up tied to rich-men’s spoiled sons transferring money from the poor to the rich, with so little grasp of affairs that they imagine that cutting the fiscal deficit would mean cutting the national debt!; but meanwhile by the absurdities of austerity are increasing the National Debt substantially (if that matters) and sitting with on their hands while the bankers smash great Europen nations and create increasing poverty and destruction across Europe!

  • paul barker 7th Nov '12 - 4:45pm

    I continue to beleive that the “good or bad for us” question is ambiguous & confusing. It would be better if you simply asked whether we think we will do better or worse compared to 2010. I would have no hesitation in answering that – I think we will get between 25 & 30% in 2015.
    What influence being in the coalition will have had on the result I have no idea, thats one for historians & philosophers.

  • Peter Watson 7th Nov '12 - 10:14pm

    @paul barker “I think we will get between 25 & 30% in 2015”
    Seriously? Where do you imagine those votes will come from?
    Will we gain votes from the tories? Unlikely since we’ll have a shared record in government, whether a success or a failure.
    Will we gain votes from Labour? Ignoring the fact that polling (and falling membership) suggests we need to work hard to recover our 2010 vote from them first, how much lower do you believe Labour support would fall than it was in the dying throes of Brown’s premiership.
    To emphasise how optimistic is your claim, in 2010 the vote split was as follows (change from 2005 in brackets):
    CON 36 (+4)
    LAB 29 (-6)
    LD 23 (+1)
    UKIP 3 (+1)
    Other 9 (+1)
    So even Clegg-mania only lifted our 2005 performance by 1 percentage point against an unpopular Labour government and an unconvincing Tory opposition.
    On what basis do you make your prediction?

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