Leading Lib Dems’ approval ratings, as voted by party members

by Stephen Tall on February 16, 2010

A week ago, 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’ve been publishing the results on LDV over the last few days.

LDV asked, How would you rate the performances of the following leading Liberal Democrats? And here’s what you told us (with results from September 2009 – the last time LDV asked the question – in brackets):

Fiona Hall, Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs:
Quite/very effective 17%, Quite/very ineffective 26%
Net effectiveness rating: -11% (-6% in September 2009)

Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats:

Quite/very effective 38%, Quite/very ineffective 12%
Net effectiveness rating: +26% (+34%)

Mike Tuffrey, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly:
Quite/very effective 13%, Quite/very ineffective 27%
Net effectiveness rating: -14% (-13%)

Ros Scott, Party President of the Liberal Democrats:
Quite/very effective 51%, Quite/very ineffective 37%
Net effectiveness rating: +14% (+15%)

Tavish Scott MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats:
Quite/very effective 25%, Quite/very ineffective 25%
Net effectiveness rating: 0% (+10%)

Interesting results:

  • Fiona and Mike have yet to develop strong profiles within the party, with more than half of party members who completed the LDV survey feeling unable to rate their performances as effective or not. Of course, their leadership jobs are different than others’: Fiona, for example, is not the public face of the party when it comes to matters European in the same way Tavish is when it comes to Scotland. (Though she was active in feeding back to members on the Copenhagen summit via LDV).
  • Both Kirsty’s and Tavish’s ratings have slipped somewhat – when this happened last September, I pointed to the fact that Nick Clegg’s ratings had also taken a bit of a hit. Yet this month Nick has recorded his highest approval ratings among party members since he became leader. This may well reflect Kirsty and Tavish’s lower UK-wide profiles (and perhaps some nerves of the party’s election prospects, at least north of the border).
  • Ros’s popularity rating has not recovered since the MPs’ expenses scandal, and the perception she didn’t get a grip on it sooner. Her rating this month is pretty much unchanged since last September, at +14%, but this is markedly down on April 2009’s +50%. Still, a majority of LDV’s party members reckon Ros is doing an effective job overall – the real test will be if there’s a hung parliament, when the party membership will look to its president to ensure our views are represented to the leadership.