What Lib Dem members think of the Coalition and Nick Clegg now (Part 2 of 2)

by Stephen Tall on January 16, 2011

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 660 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

To read Part 1 — What Lib Dem members think about the party and its leadership — click here.

What Lib Dem members think about the Coalition and its future

LDV asked: Do you approve or disapprove of the Coalition Government’s record to date? (Comparison with November’s figures.)

  • 60% (67%) – Approve
  • 28% (23%) – Disapprove
  • 11% (10%) – Don’t know / No opinion
  • Net approval: +32% (+44%)

There has been a sharp fall in approval for the Coalition Government’s performance since November, down to +32% — though this means it’s still rated positively by a 2:1 majority of Lib Dem members. In August, net approval was +45%, and in November it was +44%, so the drop this month is noticeable.

LDV asked: How long do you expect the coalition government will last? (Comparison with August’s figures)

  • 3% (1%) – It will end this year, 2011
  • 11% (5%) – It will last another year or two, until 2012-13
  • 8% (14%) – It will last another three years, until 2014
  • 72% (77%) – It will last the full term, until 2015
  • 6% (3%) – Don’t know / No opinion

There has been a small shift among members thinking the Coalition might end prematurely within the next three years, up from 6% in November to 14% today. However, confidence in the ‘stickability’ of the Coalition remains high: while five months ago fewer than two-thirds (63%) of members expected the Coalition to last the full term, that figure now stands at more than 70%.

LDV asked: Do you think the Coalition Government will be good or bad for the Lib Dems’ electoral prospects at the next general election? (Comparison with November’s figures)

  • 13% (14%) – Good
  • 53% (52%) – Bad
  • 17% (14%) – Neither good nor bad
  • 17% (20%) – Don’t know / No opinion

No big shifts in opinion among Lib Dem members here — as last month, a slim majority believe it will prove to be bad for the Lib Dems, with 47% split between good, neutral and unsure.

Here’s a sample of your comments:

I don’t think we should put the party’s popularity before principle – in particular at present the principle of ensuring economic recovery and maintaining a strong coalition government.

The longer it lasts the better for us because we need to be able to say we have seen the country through an economic crisis and we have modernised our institutions.

I believe we’re doing all we can, and I believe we’re making a positive difference to how the country is run as opposed to a strict Tory government; I also believe that it has been an unmitigated PR disaster that needs to be proactively managed in 2011 and beyond, lest we get all but obliterated in the next elections.

Too early to judge. If maintains current course of action, and we boost our communications strategy than good.

I think the government will shuffle on as a ‘conspiracy of optimism’ for another couple of years, after having lost most of it’s credibility through comments made in private by ministers, various scandals, and so on. The conservatives will take considerably less electoral damage, having succeeded in their excellent plan, to use us to announce unpopular policies, and to take credit for any popular ones.

Total suicide. I would rather be selling raw sewage on the doorstep next election – we are going to be punished severely for what the leadership has done.

If (big if) the economy continues to improve, people may thank the Lib Dems for the risks they’ve taken and the stability they’ve brought

Ultimately, it is up to us to determine whether we get a good result for the party out of this coalition – and that will depend on courage of our convictions about what is best for the UK.

  • Over 1,300 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 662 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 3rd and 9th January.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past accurately predicted the winners of the contest for Party President, and the result of the conference decision to approve the Coalition agreement.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll