LDV members' survey (6): what you think of the Lib Dem shadow cabinet and other leading Lib Dems

by Stephen Tall on December 1, 2008

Over the last week or two, Lib Dem Voice has invited 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 about the party and the current state of British politics. Many thanks to the 210+ of you who completed it; we’ve been publishing the results on LDV over the past week.

Today we turn our attention to the performance of the Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet. And little did I know when I prepared this for publication quite how topical the subject would be, with well-sourced rumours of an imminent reshuffle! For the record, Steve Webb, Chris Huhne, Julia Goldsworthy and David Laws (all mentioned by name in yesterday’s Mirror story) are all rated positively by LDV-reading party members.

Reproduced below are the full results of our survey, which shows how effective each MP is felt by members to be, together with a net satisfaction rating (those who think they’re very/fairly effective minus those think they’re very/fairly ineffective). The list is a long one, so here’s the skinny…

First of all, who’s at the top of the charts…

Top 5:
Vince Cable: +94%
Chris Huhne: +67%
Norman Baker: +64%
Lynne Featherstone: +57%
Norman Lamb +45%

Then we have the ones who, erm, aren’t at the top of the charts…

Bottom 5:
Edward Davey -6%
Stephen Williams: -16%
Roger Williams: -18%
Nick Harvey: -18%
Michael Moore: -26%

And then let’s look at those who have increased their ratings most over the past month…

5 highest climbers:
Lynne Featherstone +27%
Sarah Teather +25%
Willie Rennie +16%
Norman Lamb +15%
Simon Hughes +14%

Finally, for the first time this month, we asked about other leading Lib Dem figures outside the shadow cabinet – here’s your net satisfaction rating for each of them:

Ros Scott, Party President-elect of the Liberal Democrats +52%
Tavish Scott MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats +16%
Mike German AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats -25%
Andrew Duff, Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs -6%
Mike Tuffrey, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly -21%

Full results follow:

Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet:

Alistair Carmichael, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland
Very / quite effective = 21%
Very / quite ineffective = 22%
Don’t know / No opinion = 57%
Net satisfaction = -1% (–)

Chris Huhne, Shadow Home Secretary, and Shadow Secretary for Justice
Very / quite effective = 81%
Very / quite ineffective = 14%
Don’t know / No opinion = 5%
Net satisfaction = +67% (-11%)

Danny Alexander, Chair of the Manifesto Group
Very / quite effective = 36%
Very / quite ineffective = 25%
Don’t know / No opinion = 38%
Net satisfaction = +11% (+8%)

David Howarth, Shadow Solicitor General
Very / quite effective = 34%
Very / quite ineffective = 17%
Don’t know / No opinion = 48%
Net satisfaction = +17% (-5%)

David Laws, Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families
Very / quite effective = 46%
Very / quite ineffective = 26%
Don’t know / No opinion = 27%
Net satisfaction = +20% (-10%)

Don Foster, Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, and Olympics
Very / quite effective = 31%
Very / quite ineffective = 34%
Don’t know / No opinion = 35%
Net satisfaction = -3% (+8%)

Edward Davey, Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Chair of Campaigns and Communications
Very / quite effective = 34%
Very / quite ineffective = 40%
Don’t know / No opinion = 25%
Net satisfaction = -6% (-15%)

Jenny Willott, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Very / quite effective = 34%
Very / quite ineffective = 27%
Don’t know / No opinion = 38%
Net satisfaction = +7% (-3%)

Jeremy Browne, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Very / quite effective = 28%
Very / quite ineffective = 31%
Don’t know / No opinion = 41%
Net satisfaction = -3% (n/c)

John Thurso, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
Very / quite effective = 26%
Very / quite ineffective = 29%
Don’t know / No opinion = 45%
Net satisfaction = -3% (–)

Julia Goldsworthy, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Very / quite effective = 55%
Very / quite ineffective = 21%
Don’t know / No opinion = 45%
Net satisfaction = +34% (+6%)

Lord McNally, Lib Dem Leader in the House of Lords
Very / quite effective = 45%
Very / quite ineffective = 24%
Don’t know / No opinion = 31%
Net satisfaction = +19% (+10%)

Lynne Featherstone, Spokesperson for Youth and Equality
Very / quite effective = 69%
Very / quite ineffective = 12%
Don’t know / No opinion = 19%
Net satisfaction = +57% (+27%)

Michael Moore, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Very / quite effective = 16%
Very / quite ineffective = 42%
Don’t know / No opinion = 42%
Net satisfaction = -26% (+6%)

Nick Harvey, Shadow Defence Secretary
Very / quite effective = 22%
Very / quite ineffective = 40%
Don’t know / No opinion = 38%
Net satisfaction = -18% (-2%)

Norman Baker, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Very / quite effective = 71%
Very / quite ineffective = 7%
Don’t know / No opinion = 21%
Net satisfaction = +64% (+6%)

Norman Lamb, Shadow Health Secretary
Very / quite effective = 65%
Very / quite ineffective = 20%
Don’t know / No opinion = 25%
Net satisfaction = +45% (+15%)

Paul Burstow, Chief Whip
Very / quite effective = 24%
Very / quite ineffective = 27%
Don’t know / No opinion = 49%
Net satisfaction = -3% (-2%)

Roger Williams, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Very / quite effective = 11%
Very / quite ineffective = 29%
Don’t know / No opinion = 59%
Net satisfaction = -18% (+3%)

Sarah Teather, Shadow Minister for Housing
Very / quite effective = 34%
Very / quite ineffective = 35%
Don’t know / No opinion = 31%
Net satisfaction = -1% (+24%)

Simon Hughes, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, and Party President
Very / quite effective = 56%
Very / quite ineffective = 31%
Don’t know / No opinion = 14%
Net satisfaction = +25% (+14%)

Stephen Williams, Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills
Very / quite effective = 21%
Very / quite ineffective = 37%
Don’t know / No opinion = 42%
Net satisfaction = -16% (n/c)

Steve Webb, Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Energy
Very / quite effective = 56%
Very / quite ineffective = 17%
Don’t know / No opinion = 26%
Net satisfaction = +39% (+12%)

Susan Kramer, Families Spokesperson, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Very / quite effective = 40%
Very / quite ineffective = 25%
Don’t know / No opinion = 35%
Net satisfaction = +15% (+1%)

Tim Farron, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Very / quite effective = 42%
Very / quite ineffective = 19%
Don’t know / No opinion = 40%
Net satisfaction = +23% (–)

Vince Cable, Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor
Very / quite effective = 96%
Very / quite ineffective = 2%
Don’t know / No opinion = 2%
Net satisfaction = +94% (-1%)

Willie Rennie, Chair of Parliamentary Campaigns
Very / quite effective = 31%
Very / quite ineffective = 26%
Don’t know / No opinion = 43%
Net satisfaction = +5% (+16%)

Other leading Lib Dems:

Andrew Duff, Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs
Very / quite effective = 25%
Very / quite ineffective = 31%
Don’t know / No opinion = 45%
Net satisfaction = -6% (–)

Mike German AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Very / quite effective = 14%
Very / quite ineffective = 39%
Don’t know / No opinion = 48%
Net satisfaction = -25% (–)

Mike Tuffrey, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly
Very / quite effective = 14%
Very / quite ineffective = 35%
Don’t know / No opinion = 50%
Net satisfaction = -21% (–)

Ros Scott, Party President-elect of the Liberal Democrats
Very / quite effective = 60%
Very / quite ineffective = 8%
Don’t know / No opinion = 32%
Net satisfaction = +52% (–)

Tavish Scott MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Very / quite effective = 33%
Very / quite ineffective = 17%
Don’t know / No opinion = 50%
Net satisfaction = +16% (–)


You can catch up on the result of all previous LDV members’ surveys by clicking here.

Enjoy reading this? Please like and share:

No comments

So Clegg (net satisfaction 31% last time you asked) and Alexander (11%) were discussing the merits of Huhne (67%), Webb (39%), Goldsworthy (34%) and Laws (20%) – and it was Laws they seemed to have the highest opinion of, on the whole.

Interesting.

by Clegg's Candid Fan on December 1, 2008 at 8:12 pm. Reply #

For the record, the last published results of Nick Clegg’s net approval rating was +50%, not +31% (which was the pre-conference figure). We’ll be publishing November’s figure tomorrow, Tue.

Also, to be fair, I think the leader – whether it’s Clegg or whoever – gets judged more on the basis of the party’s overall current popularity than other shadow cabinet members do.

Eg, I’d hazard that Norman Baker’s consistenty high popularity has more to do with his justified status as a dogged Parliamentary battler than it does his advocacy of Lib Dem transport policies.

by Stephen Tall on December 1, 2008 at 8:33 pm. Reply #

There are obviously some big ‘popularity gaps’ in the Shadow Cabinet. Some of them are obviously not wholly down to the people themselves – Roger Williams at Wales is unlikely to get more coverage because, well, Wales isn’t that major (esp. after devolution).

However, some are less explainable. Nick Harvey, for example, at Defence has held that position for a while (2006 according to Wikipedia). Defence isn’t out of the news – indeed, it’s still in the news what with Obama’s possible plans concerning Afghanistan. There is little excuse for it, in my opinion.

Why we have Clegg criticising people such as Steve Webb when we have people in the Shadow Cabinet who are punching below their (undoubtedly substantial) weight, and have people like Susan Kramer languishing at Families, is beyond me. Clegg will no doubt be forced into a reshuffle soon enough, after the Mirror story, and he should use that as a great opportunity.

by Thomas Hemsley on December 1, 2008 at 9:26 pm. Reply #

Well, I voted effective for Baker because I had heard him talk about a specific policy and been impressed, but perhaps others voted as you say.

Speaking of Baker, if he’s really gone from 6% to 60-odd%, isn’t he a high climber?

by Jennie on December 1, 2008 at 9:31 pm. Reply #

Thomas, if Susan Kramer “languishing” at families comes out with results like we’ve seen this week, then I, for one, welcome our new family spokesman overlord.

by Jennie on December 1, 2008 at 9:34 pm. Reply #

I thought that was the amount they’d increased by.

by Thomas Hemsley on December 1, 2008 at 9:35 pm. Reply #

Ah, I thought that was previous score. My bad.

by Jennie on December 1, 2008 at 9:38 pm. Reply #

“For the record, the last published results of Nick Clegg’s net approval rating was +50%, not +31% (which was the pre-conference figure).”

Mea culpa.

My fault for looking at the list of “Related posts” and rashly assuming that they were given most recent first, and that “LDV members’ survey (4): what you think of Nick Clegg’s leadership” was more recent than “LDV members’ survey (3): big post-conference boost for Clegg leadership”.

Anyway, I’ll eagerly await Nick’s latest rating…

by Clegg's Candid Fan on December 1, 2008 at 9:51 pm. Reply #

Comparing Jennie’s post and mine, I realised something that hadn’t struck me before – “Mea culpa” is Latin for “My bad” (almost). Or is it that “My bad” is Californian for “Mea culpa”?

by Clegg's Candid Fan on December 1, 2008 at 9:54 pm. Reply #

Well, I’ve never been anywhere near California…

by Jennie on December 1, 2008 at 9:57 pm. Reply #

Have you ever been anywhere near Latin?

by James Graham on December 1, 2008 at 10:06 pm. Reply #

Sorry, I didn’t think you had – I just tend to assume that a lot of these phrases emanate from California, probably because I first heard them on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

Then again, maybe I’m not so far of the mark. An Internet source says “My bad” came into popular use via the 1995 film “Clueless”, which is set in …. Beverly Hills!

by Clegg's Candid Fan on December 1, 2008 at 10:11 pm. Reply #

Latin is a language
As dead as dead can be
First it killed the Romans
And now it’s killing me…

by Jennie on December 1, 2008 at 10:13 pm. Reply #

“Have you ever been anywhere near Latin?” – reminds me of something my teacher told me today:

“I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have
was that I didn’t study Latin harder in school so I could converse with
those people.” – Dan Quayle. 😛

by Thomas Hemsley on December 1, 2008 at 10:34 pm. Reply #

Why is Ed Davey still at Foreign Affairs? The guy is an economist, he knows little or nothing about foreign affairs, even to the extent of believing that France is not a member of NATO.

One of the reasons the party did so well in 2005 (despite Kennedy and many other things) was its high foreign affairs profile and its opposition to Cheney’s war in Iraq. And that was in no small part down to Ming Campbell, a true foreign policy heavyweight.

I don’t know who should replace Davey, but replaced he needs to be.

by Sesenco on December 2, 2008 at 12:53 pm. Reply #

While I don’t particularly rate Davey’s performance in Foreign, in principle I think having an economist in that post makes perfect sense. Almost all global issues are fundamentally economic in nature.

by James Graham on December 2, 2008 at 1:10 pm. Reply #

Maybe, but an economist with more interest in the rest of the job too would be good. IMO, Davey’s tenureship has been characterised mostly by timidity in coming forward on what used to be pretty core Lib Dem issues (respecting international law, etc).

by Andy Hinton on December 2, 2008 at 11:54 pm. Reply #

Tenureship? Is that even a word?

by Andy Hinton on December 2, 2008 at 11:55 pm. Reply #

Leave your comment

Required.

Required. Not published.

If you have one.