LDV members’ survey (1): 67% say Lib Dem general election result “disappointing”

by Stephen Tall on May 29, 2010

Lib Dem Voice has been conducting a survey this week of party members registered on our members’ forum asking them for their views of the coalition, Labour leadership and the party’s general election result. Over 400 have responded, and here’s part one of what you’ve told us …

LDV asked: How would you rate the Lib Dems’ general election result?

Here’s what you told us:

1% – Very good
9% – Good
22% – Okay
52% – Disappointing
16% – Very disappointing

LDV then asked: Which of the following reasons do you think best explain why the Lib Dems did less well in the general election than opinion polls suggested? Please tick all that apply.

74% – Traditional two-party squeeze, with Lib Dems not seen as credible government
47% – Drip-drip effect of anti-Lib Dem stories in rightwing press
44% – Failure of party to rebut anti-Lib Dem propaganda effectively enough
42% – Larger resources of trade union-sponsored Labour and big business-supported Tories meaning we were out-campaigned
41% – Unpopularity of Lib Dem policies (eg, on EU, immigration, Trident)
38% – Public fear of hung parliament and unstable government
24% – Ineffective national campaign that failed to take advantage of Lib Dem surge
22% – Inaccurate opinion polls over-stating our position and hyping unrealistic expectations
20% – Over-ambitious targeting strategy which spread our resources too thin
11% – Decision not to rule out coalition leading to too much hung parliament speculation

Among other reasons put forward by party members were the following:

  • Small-c conservative voting, fear of change
  • just the usual effects of the FPTP system – our Party seems to have a ludicrously high expectation of what we can do through campaigning – yet when it comes to it its almost irrelevant – the surges of the other two parties simply washes right over
  • General Election and Council elections being held on the same day.
  • Disorganisation at constituency level
  • I think that we need to review our GOTV procedures. Labour are brilliant at getting their vote out and we lost out because of that in some places.
  • 18 to 25 year olds not turning out. In some seats (esp v Labour eg Oxford E, Islington S) we peaked in 2005 because of our opposition to the Iraq war
  • People wanted to vote for us, but in the end the fear of those on the left was a Con government and the fear of those on the right was a Lab government so people didn’t take the risk
  • Not having Chris Rennard running the campaign
  • Generally, we talked too much in the last two weeks about coalitions and hung parliaments and the overall messages got a bit lost…