LDV post-conference members’ survey (3): who you will vote for in the Lib Dem presidential race

by Stephen Tall on September 25, 2008

Over the weekend, Lib Dem Voice emailed the members of our private forum (open to all Lib Dem members) inviting them to take part in a survey, conducted via Liberty Research, asking a number of questions arising from last week’s party conference in Bournemouth. Many thanks to the 187 of you who completed it; we’re publishing the results this week on LDV.

Today we’re looking at the Lib Dem presidency. Simon Hughes’s second term as party president expires at the end of 2008, and there will be a contested election to determine who his successor will be within the next six weeks. We asked about the presidency in September’s monthly LDV members’ survey, when we included all three of the candidates who had been touted as in the running, though only Ros Scott had at that point officially declared: Ros was then by some way the top choice, with two-thirds of the vote, with Lembit trailing well behind with just under 20%. But has the last three weeks changed your minds, and in particular the official declaration of Lembit’s intention to stand? That’s what LDV wanted to know. (The survey took place before the news that Chandila Fernando intended to throw his hat into the ring.)

LDV asked: Two candidates for the presidency of the Liberal Democrats have now officially announced their intention to stand: Lembit Opik MP, and Baroness Ros Scott. Who do you intend to vote for?

Here’s what you told us:

> Lembit Opik – 12.2%
> Ros Scott – 57.1%
> I don’t know yet, but will definitely vote – 26.5%
> I won’t be voting – 4.2%

At this point, then, there seems little doubt that Ros Scott is the front-runner as far as LDV members are concerned. Though her vote has slipped slightly since our September poll, this is primarily due to the inclusion of a ‘Don’t know yet’ option; and in any case Lembit’s support has slipped even further.

There are two unknowables: first, will the entry of a third, unexpected candidate (Chandila Fernando) shake up the race?; and, secondly, will Lembit’s notoriety/popularity with armchair members sway the final result (though activists will form a greater proportion of voting members in the presidential poll than for the leadership)?

LDV post-conference members’ survey (1): why you did – and didn’t – attend the Lib Dem conference.
LDV post-conference members’ survey (2): what you thought of the media coverage of the Lib Dem conference