Majority of Lib Dem members expect party to make general election gains

by Stephen Tall on February 13, 2010

At the start of the week, Lib Dem Voice invited the members of our private discussion 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 200 of you who completed it; we’re publishing the results on LDV over the next few days.

We asked party members what their expectations of how the Lib Dems will perform at the coming general election:

Thinking of the next general election, what do you think is the most likely result for the Liberal Democrats?

Here’s what you told us:

  • 9% – A significant increase in the number of MPs (75 or more)
  • 43% – A small increase in the number of MPs (64-75)
  • 22% – Maintain roughly the same number of seats (c.63)
  • 21% – A small decrease in the number of MPs (51-62)
  • 4% – A significant decrease in the number of MPs (50 or fewer)
  • 2% – Don’t know / No opinion

This indicates a significant shift upwards in the confidence of party members since last we asked a similar question, back in November 2008. Then, 45% thought we’d increase our number of MPs, while 55% expected a drop.

Today 52% expect an increase, while just 25% expect the party to suffer a net loss of MPs. The rest of those who expressed an opinion expect the party to maintain roughly the same number.

Here are a few of your comments from the survey:

  • We’ll lose a few to the Tories (though not as many as the pundits predict) and gain a few from Labour (though not as many as some party faithful hope).
  • Impossible to tell from UNS; and some candidates will have to pass the expenses test. But I am more optimistic than I have ever been because of the quality of our front bench team and our policies. I will cross my fingers that we run a better campaign than in 2005, where the media crashed us on LIT and Charles’ reputation had begun to slip. I hope NC will not be presented as a one man band; the party have some good frontbenchers who are well able to make our case and should be used, e.g. Vince of course, Chris Huhne, David Laws, Norman Baker, Sarah Teather….
  • It could probably be bigger if people in the party spent a bit more time doing and a little bit less time with tittle tattle.
  • Nick Clegg is a very good media performer and the vote share will rise consistently over the campaign and especially following the debates.
  • Similar position to 1997 – we will either go down to 40 or up to 90 with no half-way.
  • I think we’ll take a few from Labour and hold a lot of the Conservative gains.