Poll: Clegg seen as to the left of Lib Dems

by Stephen Tall on September 11, 2008

The results of today’s Times/Populus poll of voters’ views about the main parties and their leaders will bring a wry smile to the faces of many Lib Dems today.

Voters have been asked to place themselves, the three main parties and their leaders on a Left-Right spectrum. Political opinions are more complicated than just this measure (for instance, covering liberal versus authoritarian), but the spectrum provides a revealing pointer about how voters view politics and how their opinions change.

On a 0 to 10 scale, Left to Right, the position of the average voter fluctuates from year to year in a narrow band, slightly to the right of Centre. The average voter is now on 5.17, compared with 5.33 last year, but exactly the same position as five years ago. …

Nick Clegg is seen as fractionally to the left of Sir Menzies Campbell, who stepped down as Liberal Democrat leader last October. Mr Clegg is now on 4.62, against 4.66. This is slightly to the left of where his party is seen.

It’s interesting to note the relative positions of the other two parties, with their difference from the average voter in brackets:

Labour: 4.82 (-0.35) , Gordon Brown: 4.58 (-0.59)
Tories: 5.91 (+0.74), David Cameron: 5.88 (+0.71)

So, the Lib Dems are to the left of the Labour party, but to the right of Gordon Brown. And everybody, including the average voter, is considerably to the left of the Tory party.