Who Lib Dem members think are the most effective non-MPs at promoting the party

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

Oakeshott, Ashdown and Pack top your list

LDV asked: Which prominent Lib Dems who are NOT MPs (eg, peers, campaigners) are doing an effective job of promoting the party to the public? Please write-in.

    Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott
    Lord (Paddy) Ashdown
    Mark Pack
    Evan Harris
    Baroness (Shirley) Williams
    Lord (Chris) Rennard
    Caroline Pidgeon AM
    Willie Rennie MSP
    Baroness (Susan) Kramer
    Stephen Tall
    Kirsty Williams AM
    Lord (Tom) McNally
    Baroness (Ros) Scott
    Brian Paddick
    Chris Davies MEP
    Lord (Tony) Greaves

The list above is in descending order of effectiveness at promoting the party to the public as measured by our sample of Lib Dem members’ responses to this write-in question. Over half our 500 respondents replied, most with multiple suggestions. There were many more suggestions than made this list: I applied a cut-off threshold for inclusion of a minimum of five spontaneous mentions.

To give you an idea of the scale, Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott recorded more than 70 mentions, which means getting on for one-in-three party members who responded named him an effective Lib Dem advocate (albeit some said they didn’t always agree with him). What’s encouraging from the list is to see campaigners from across a broad range of the party: peers, MEPs, Scottish, Welsh and London leaders, and grassroots campaigners.

(Editor’s note: I’ve left my name in the list, but am well aware that as I’m the survey author that probably skewed responses — for the record, I certainly don’t believe I’m more effective than Kirsty Williams or the others!)

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 500 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 3rd and 6th August.
  • 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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    This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


    • Geoffrey Payne 14th Aug '12 - 12:45pm

      I think Lord Oakeshott has done a great job. It is so refreshing to hear a Lib Dem say what he thinks, rather than having to toe the Coalition line all the time.

    • David Thorpe 14th Aug '12 - 5:40pm

      oakeshott is very good and deserves to top the list-he is an ardent coalitonist who manages to be a critical friend of the coaliton-which is probably the ideal all of our National Public representatives should aspire to

    • we need a reporting system for when we hear someone speaking well of us, celebs or others in the public eye, who can then be contacted and asked to come to conference, or take part in PPBs.. or to join.

    • @David Thorpe
      I think he would be much more critical and much less coalition friendly were Vince Cable not still Business Secretary.

      There is nothing wrong with Lord Oakeshott’s trenchant calls for a new deal on bank lending and housebuilding; the trouble is the voters can see that those calls are being ignored and cannot understand why the LibDem Treasury team isn’t more forthright in supporting them.
      Matthew Oakeshott seems to be the only senior Party figure with the combination of business experience and intelligence to have been ahead of what so many commercial banks have been up to, and in most case still are with their power literally to create their own money.
      To those of his critics who took fright at his reaction to Project Merlin, just be glad he isn’t a Conservative.

    • Charles Beaumont 15th Aug '12 - 4:42pm

      In the end, whilst it’s a list of non-MPs, the only people on this list who have never held some kind of legislative or representative public office are Brian Paddick, Stephen Tall and Mark Pack (have I got that right?). I wonder what a similar list would look like for Labour. You might find Polly Toynbee on it or Owen Jones. Of course there’d be all the Trades Unionists. But where are the Lib Dem columnists? Public figures in their own right who also promote the party? Only Paddick probably fits in this category.

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