by Stephen Tall on September 9, 2008
All this week, Lib Dem Voice is publishing the results of our September survey of party members conducted through Liberty Research via our private members’ forum. This is the second of our monthly surveys – if you have ideas for future survey questions, please email me at email@example.com.
Today we publish the results of the first poll asking how Lib Dem members might vote in the event of a contested election for the party presidency.
LDV asked: Any member of the Liberal Democrats is eligible to stand for the Lib Dem presidency: they do not have to be a Parliamentarian. Three candidates have been mentioned as possible candidates: Lembit Opik MP, Shadow Minister for Housing; Baroness Ros Scott, Spokesperson for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister; and Cllr John Smithson, Lib Dem Deputy Leader of Kirklees Distict Council. Which of these three would you most like to be elected president?
Here’s how you voted:
Lembit Opik: 19.8%
Ros Scott: 65.6%
John Smithson: 14.6%
So, as far as LDV members are concerned, it’s a one-horse race, with almost two-thirds backing the Baroness who blogs. And herein may lie the rub. For though Ros has travelled far and wide to meet party members in constituencies across the UK, I doubt she would claim to have quite the prominent public profile that Lembit, erm, enjoys. So whether LDV’s online community will necessarily prove representative of the wider membership is debatable.
In any case, I hope this poll doesn’t for a moment deter Lembit or John Smithson from throwing their hats into the ring – not least because having three candidates representing different levels of our electoral system (the Lords, the Commons and local government) might spark a proper debate about what it is exactly members want of their president.