EXCLUSIVE: How party members rate the performances of leading Lib Dems

by Stephen Tall on July 9, 2010

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of the Coalition Government’s budget, and what you make of the Lib Dems’ and Government’s performance to date. Over 350 party members have responded, and we’ve been publishing the full results of our survey this week.

Today, in the final part of our survey, we focus on the performances of the leading lights of the Liberal Democrats – those of our MPs in the cabinet, those occupying ministerial positions, and other leading Lib Dems.

LDV asked: How would you rate the performances of the following leading Liberal Democrats and government ministers?

Full results are published below, but here’s three key lists for those who want to cut to the chase …

Top 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

    Nick Clegg +65%
    Vince Cable +60%
    Chris Huhne +51%
    Lynne Featherstone +38%
    Danny Alexander +37%

Much has changed since the last time we asked this question: back in February, we asked party members to rate the performances of the Lib Dem shadow cabinet. Currently, such a group no longer exists, and many of those individuals serving in government have very different posts to those they then occupied so there’s little point in direct comparisons of figures. However, it’s interesting that both Chris Huhne and Vince Cable have seen their previous very high personal ratings among party members slip in the past few months – from +82% and +95% respectively – though they remain still among the top 3 most popular Lib Dem members of the government.

The perhaps surprising new face is Danny Alexander – as Chair of the Manifesto Group, he scored just +5% in our survey as recently as September 2009, yet there he is now ranking among our top 5 Lib Dems, with a net approval rating of +37%.

Bottom 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

    Edward Davey +9%
    Michael Moore +9%
    Jeremy Browne +8%
    Alistair Carmichael +8%
    Nick Harvey +2%

The list is perhaps an unfair one – after all, there has been little time as yet for any junior ministers within the Coalition Government to make their marks. And Alistair Carmichael in particular in the Whips office is unlikely to have much of a public platform on which to shine. Still, the list stands as a reminder to all our Lib Dem ministers of the value of communicating effectively with party members about the work they’re undertaking on behalf of the party, even if it isn’t making the front pages. And at least they’re all showing positive net ratings.

And here’s how other leading Lib Dems score (with February 2010 ratings in brackets):

    Simon Hughes, Deputy Leader +55% (n/a)
    Ros Scott, Party President +31% (+14%)
    Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats +17% (+26%)
    Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly +17% (-14% for predecessor, Mike Tuffrey)
    Tavish Scott, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats +7% (0%)
    Fiona Hall, Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs +4% (-11%)

Simon Hughes as Deputy Leader is now rated among the most popular Lib Dems overall, with only Nick Clegg’s approval rating higher – suggesting the benefits in popularity of not being directly involved in government! Ros Scott sees her ratings recover strongly after the dip they took following the perceived mis-handling of the expenses rows last year.

Kirsty Williams, though, sees a drop – which may reflect some disappointment with the party’s results in Wales at the general election, rather than any failings in Kirsty’s leadership. Tavish Scott sees a slight increase in his ratings, perhaps refecting relief that the party didn’t lose any of its held Scottish seats. Caroline Pigeon has made a very strong start in her leadership of the Lib Dem group in the London Assembly. I’m delighted for Fiona Hall that her ratings have increased: she deserves credit for her visibility during the Copenhagen summit on climate change, but as that was held over six months ago I’ve no explanation for her recent increase in popularity among party members.

As promised, here are the results in full …

Lib Dem cabinet ministers and government ministers:

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
Very effective 35%
Quite effective 45%
Quite ineffective 11%
Very ineffective 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 4%
Net effectiveness +65%

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Very effective 28%
Quite effective 47%
Quite ineffective 11%
Very ineffective 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 9%
Net effectiveness +60%

Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Very effective 16%
Quite effective 52%
Quite ineffective 14%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 16%
Net effectiveness +51%

Lynne Featherstone, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities) for the Home Office
Very effective 18%
Quite effective 35%
Quite ineffective 10%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 34%
Net effectiveness +38%

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Very effective 20%
Quite effective 44%
Quite ineffective 19%
Very ineffective 8%
Don’t know / No opinion 8%
Net effectiveness +37%

Steve Webb, Minister of State to the Department for Work and Pensions
Very effective 9%
Quite effective 28%
Quite ineffective 8%
Very ineffective 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 51%
Net effectiveness +25%

Norman Baker, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport
Very effective 8%
Quite effective 29%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 50%
Net effectiveness +24%

Sarah Teather, Minister of State for the Department for Education
Very effective 9%
Quite effective 28%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 6%
Don’t know / No opinion 47%
Net effectiveness +22%

David Heath, Parliamentary Secretary (Deputy Leader) to the Office of the Leader of the Commons
Very effective 11%
Quite effective 19%
Quite ineffective 7%
Very ineffective 1%
Don’t know / No opinion 62%
Net effectiveness +22%

Andrew Stunell, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to the Department for Communities and Local Government
Very effective 5%
Quite effective 20%
Quite ineffective 6%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 65%
Net effectiveness +16%

The Rt Hon. Lord McNally, Minister of State for the Ministry of Justice

Very effective 8%
Quite effective 19%
Quite ineffective 8%
Very ineffective 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 61%
Net effectiveness +15%

Paul Burstow, Minister of State for the Department of Health
Very effective 4%
Quite effective 18%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 66%
Net effectiveness +10%

Edward Davey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Very effective 4%
Quite effective 17%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 67%
Net effectiveness +9%

Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland
Very effective 3%
Quite effective 18%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 68%
Net effectiveness +9%

Jeremy Browne, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Very effective 4%
Quite effective 16%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 68%
Net effectiveness +8%

Alistair Carmichael, Deputy Chief Whip to the House of Commons
Very effective 5%
Quite effective 12%
Quite ineffective 6%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 75%
Net effectiveness +8%

Nick Harvey, Minister of State (Minister for the Armed Forces) for the Ministry of Defence
Very effective 3%
Quite effective 11%
Quite ineffective 8%
Very ineffective 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 74%
Net effectiveness +2%

Other leading Lib Dems:

Simon Hughes, Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons
Very effective 26%
Quite effective 44%
Quite ineffective 10%
Very ineffective 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 15%
Net effectiveness +55%

Ros Scott, Party President
Very effective 17%
Quite effective 33%
Quite ineffective 12%
Very ineffective 7%
Don’t know / No opinion 31%
Net effectiveness +31%

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Very effective 9%
Quite effective 18%
Quite ineffective 7%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 63%
Net effectiveness +17%

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly
Very effective 10%
Quite effective 16%
Quite ineffective 6%
Very ineffective 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 66%
Net effectiveness +17%

Tavish Scott, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Very effective 3%
Quite effective 18%
Quite ineffective 9%
Very ineffective 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 66%
Net effectiveness +7%

Fiona Hall, Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs
Very effective 5%
Quite effective 12%
Quite ineffective 8%
Very ineffective 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 70%
Net effectiveness +4%

You can catch up with the results of all Lib Dem Voice’s members surveys by clicking here.

Note: when first published, this post suggested Vince Cable’s rating stood at +50%. This was a mistake: it is +60%, and the article has been amended accordingly.