Who Lib Dem Voice members think should be the next leader

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of the General Election results. Some 1065 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

OK, so before we go any further, we all know how dreadful polling has been recently, and I’m also including our results on the Presidential election last year.

Also these numbers are based on a sample of 1,065 out of 57,773 members, before nominations have closed, and any hustings have taken place.

First Preferences

Which of the eight Liberal Democrat MPs would you like to see as the next leader?

    1.8% – Tom Brake
    5.6% – Alistair Carmichael
    8.6% – Nick Clegg
    58.3% – Tim Farron
    19.8% – Norman Lamb
    3.2% – Greg Mulholland
    1.4% – John Pugh
    1.2% -Mark Williams

With all 8 MPs listed (in a random order), on first preferences alone Tim Farron received more that the 50% quota.

Tim v Norman

The advantage of carrying out an STV poll electronically, is that with a couple of clicks I can withdraw any candidates who haven’t expressed an interest in running and re-run the poll.

    Tim Farron – 734 (71%)
    Norman Lamb – 300 (29%)
    No preference – 21

Again, Tim still has a clear lead. I look forward to the next few months to see if and how these numbers change.

For those who want to play with the numbers, you can use the resulting ballot file in software like OpenSTV

Election timetable

How long do you think the leadership election should last?

    84% – Timetable as agreed by FE ending on 16th July
    16% – Timetable ending on 18th September – just before conference

Whether it’s because most members have already made up their mind, or they just want to get on with it, over 80% of Lib Dem Voice members are happy for the election to be completed by the 16th July.

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21 Comments

  • I’d support the return of Nick Clegg, although I think that would be unlikely. A lurch to the left would be suicide, the electorate has rejected any economic leftism outright, and people have no time for anything that looks vaguely socialist.

  • I worry somewhat about the propriety of publishing such polls. Clearly the results are not ‘scientifically’ reliable; not a representative sample, only LDV members who saw the poll email and can be bothered to respond, etc.

    Yet this poll will be seen by some as indicative of the likely result, and may influence the result. I also fear that it will be picked up by the media and press as somehow ‘confirming’ what they are already reporting about the party’s likely next leader.

    I am in the Norman Lamb camp, I should say, but I hope that I’d feel the same even if the LDV poll were to have put Norman at the top.

    Of course, as liberals we should vigorously protect free speech and open debate, and I suppose that on this basis even unscientific polls are fair game. However, we should also aim for a fair electoral process.

    I’d be interested to hear the views of the LDV editors about this!

  • Matthew Huntbach 22nd May '15 - 10:07am

    Stimpson

    the electorate has rejected any economic leftism outright, and people have no time for anything that looks vaguely socialist.

    Er, isn’t direct state funding for university students a form of “leftism”? So if what you say is true, wouldn’t the public have been cheering us in for our “U-turn” on this issue?

  • @Matthew Huntbach the tuition fees issue was more about the broken promise than about student funding.

  • Paul Butters 22nd May '15 - 10:24am

    I think this shows quite rightly that Tim is the only man to rebuild our party. Norman was a good minister but not the man we need now. Tim2lead!

  • matt (Bristol) 22nd May '15 - 10:40am

    I agree with Mark, and I am not so far inclined to vote for Norman.

    Paul Butters – as Ryan has hinted, we should bear in mind that polls are not objective proof, they are summaries of expressed opinion, and shouldn’t overstate what this ‘shows’.

    Stimpson – no ill will toward you or he, considering the return of Nick Clegg to the leadership as ‘unlikely’ is the understatement of all time.

  • The problem with this poll is there’s a lot of people hanging around thinking about rejoining. If they feel there’s no point because the next leader has already been determined it may put them off. I’m not enjoying the dichotomous nature of this contest, I’m hoping another hat gets thrown in the ring. With 8 MP’s I don’t suppose there’s a huge pool of candidates to draw from. I agree with Mark Posen, there’s a media narrative developing that Lib Dems don’t think for themselves and nothing can change their mind. The country has known the party will elect Farron after Clegg for years, it’s a well versed gag (see the election HIGNFY), this begs the question – can you have a democratic institute that seems inherently deterministic?

  • @Paul Butters

    I think that this poll is nothing more than a bit of fun and certainly can’t be used to draw any conclusions of the kind you are making, given its small, self-selecting, unrepresentative sample.

    Of course we all have reasons for supporting ‘our’ candidate and concluding that he can win, but I don’t think a LDV poll can be one of them!

  • @Mark Posen 22nd May ’15 – 11:45am
    “@Paul Butters

    I think that this poll is nothing more than a bit of fun and certainly can’t be used to draw any conclusions of the kind you are making, given its small, self-selecting, unrepresentative sample.”

    Small sample – in terms of a general election this would translate as polling 1.179 MILLION voters. Unrepresentative as in all the participants are Lib Dems? Self-selecting as in what, huge numbers of Lib Dem party members have no interest in the leadership?

    Let’s face it – Norman Lamb won’t win, whatever arguments and explanations are invented by his supporters. The shocker from this is that his supporters are only double those still holding a candle for Clegg.

    Now that is bad: if Lamb can’t get their support how on earth will he get anywhere?

  • Adam Bernard 22nd May '15 - 3:13pm

    It’s worth remembering the LDV poll on the recent party election for President, and just how far off it was. LDV members are clearly not a reliable proxy for the party as a whole in this respect.

    (FTR, I tend towards Tim for the leadership; I’m not sour-grapesing this poll out of wishful thinking)

  • I think we should be glad that Norman is standing, so that we at least have an election, and given how depleted the field is I think whoever is elected should be pro tem until the next election, or the rules are changed to allow non-MPs to stand.
    I’m sure NC won’t want to do a Farage, at least yet!

  • Charles Rothwell 23rd May '15 - 7:59am

    Stimpson

    “the electorate has rejected any economic leftism outright”

    They (in England) (as opposed to Scotland – although even there, I think they were voting for other things) rejected state-directed, top-down, spend/spend/spend state socialism (especially as advocated by a bunhc of tired old has-beens like Milliband, Harman, Balls, Burnham etc. etc.), but I am far from convinced that there is not the argument to be won for a valid alternative to the rampant “let the market rip”/devil take the hindmost philosophy which is rampant across Europe, ripping it to shreds and driving ever more people to the nationalist/traditionalist Right as they desperately seek simple solutions and, as part of this, people/institutions (“them”) who are to blame for their own anxieties and uncertainties. My view is that we urgently need to rediscover the traditional LIBERAL* values of decentralisation, worker participation, promotion of cooperatives and, above all, (as Vince continuously emphasised) reskilling the population so as to increase productivity enormously (AND using state funding to “pick winners”/throw off for good the Thatcherite delusion/lie that the state has no role to play in economic advancement; an idea which may have suited the 1850s, but is useless as a prescription for today’s world (http://marianamazzucato.com/the-entrepreneurial-state/). (*PS: Bring on the name change for the Party!)

  • Interesting that even though libdemvoice is perceived in the party as being a Centre/Centre-right blog – pro-Nick Clegg – that the readership still vote overwhelmingly for the person perceived as centre-left and not for the “continuation candidate”

  • These polls can lead to complacency. So beware!

  • grahame lamb 24th May '15 - 8:40am

    Our next Leader. The next General Election. Do I or do I not like the phrase “dream ticket”? I don’t. But here goes anyway. Leader:Tim Farron. Deputy Leader Norman Lamb (no relation so far as I am aware). Faites vos jeux. Still time before “rien ne va plus”. Is this casino politics? I hope not. Serious issues are stake. The fight-back starts here and now.

  • @jenny many on the right of the party will vote for Farron. The available field is not a huge one and were it to have been bigger, then it might not have been such a foregone conclusion.

  • As one who returned my membership card soon after the 2010 election, when I realised that the party’s MPs were going to support the most radical right wing line up possible in the Tory government, I would like to focus supporters’ attention onto the depth of the defection of voters in the last election (including me). A significant proportion (I assume there are some stats on this) of the defectors will, like me, have been feeling double crossed and disenfranchised by the party leaders. The guff about the ‘national interest’ is a fig leaf for betrayal in the interests of gaining office. The outcome has been a disaster for the party. The Tories must feel very smug about this.

    We should remember that the party is labelled the Liberal Democrats because of the merger of the Liberals with the Social Democratic party. This gave weight to the positioning of the party as centre left but not ideologically socialist as the Labour party nor big statist as both the Labour and Conservative parties both are. I remember Paddy Ashdown’s dictum that we should be citizens , not subjects. Only the Greens articulated this in 2015. The LDs must get back to these roots – the British do still believe in social justice

  • @Ian “As one who returned my membership card soon after the 2010 election, when I realised that the party’s MPs were going to support the most radical right wing line up possible in the Tory government, I would like to focus supporters’ attention onto the depth of the defection of voters in the last election (including me). ”

    I’m sure you must be very pleased at how you’ve managed to secure the election of a left wing government.

  • Tony Dawson 27th May '15 - 4:54pm

    @jenny:
    Interesting that even though libdemvoice is perceived in the party as being a Centre/Centre-right blog – pro-Nick Clegg – that the readership still vote overwhelmingly for the person perceived as centre-left and not for the “continuation candidate”

    Why is this ‘interesting’?

    There is no obvious overlap between the collective views of readers of a blog which is the only known public forum for discussion of affairs of a political party (who may or may not put forward posts which may or may not get published) with the median point of the views of the editorial committee of that blog (which may not be as homogeneous as you have you have suggested)?

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