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

by Stephen Tall on May 5, 2011

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of a variety of key issues, and what you make of the Lib Dems’ and Government’s performance to date. Over 500 party members responded, and we’ve been publishing the full results of our survey over the past 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:

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… (with January 2011 ratings in brackets)

Top 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

  • Chris Huhne +63% (+65%)
  • Steve Webb +53% (+46%)
  • Vince Cable +51% (+8%)
  • Lynne Featherstone +49% (+37%)
  • Norman Baker +44% (+27%)

There’s one big change this month compared with January’s figures: the return of Vince Cable to the top 5, following his for-one-month-only appearance in the Bottom 5 last time. Vince has bounced back from a fall to just +8% net satisfaction in January (after the tuition fees row and his unguarded remarks to undercover Torygraph hacks) to +51% today. Interestingly, his bounce-back has not been mirrored by party boss, Nick Clegg, who finds his net satisfaction ratings stuck at +18% — no lower than last month’s but enough to see his relative position slip to the Bottom 5 of our Lib Dem government ministers. Nick’s ratings among party members have dropped from +60% (Sept.) to +33% (Nov.) to +18% in each of our past two surveys.

Lord (Tom) McNally drops out of the Top 5, even though his net personal satisfaction rating has ticked-up, from +28% to +33% — exactly the same rating as Sarah Teather, who has also seen a notable increase in her standing among party members in the past three months.

Bottom 5 Lib Dem performers in the Government:

  • Michael Moore +19% (+21%)
  • Nick Clegg +18% (+18%)
  • Jeremy Browne +15% (+2%)
  • Nick Harvey +13% (+13%)
  • Paul Burstow +3% (+18%)

Paul Burstow’s rating has dropped significantly compared to January, the fall-out no doubt of the controversy over the Coalition’s proposed NHS reforms, which have proved controversial with many Lib Dem activists as witnessed at our spring conference in Sheffield. Jeremy Browne’s ratings climb, though not by enough to see him leave the Bottom 5. His government colleague, Danny Alexander, does, however: his ratings have improved from +16% to +24% since January, which suggests the budget has gone down reasonably well with Lib Dem members.

As I note each time: “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.” For the record, all Lib Dem government ministers are still showing net positive satisfaction ratings, and have done since the beginning of the Coalition. It’s also noticable that, generally speaking, personal satisfaction ratings are higher than in January.

And here’s how other leading Lib Dems score:

  • Tim Farron, Party President +69% (+69%)
  • Simon Hughes, Deputy Leader +53% (+39%)
  • Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly +31% (+27%)
  • Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats +26% (+25%)
  • Chris Fox, Lib Dem chief executive +17% (+14%)
  • Fiona Hall, Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs +14% (+13%)
  • Tavish Scott, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats +13% (+13%)

Tim Farron, newly installed as party president, continues to be well-rated, with a stellar +69% net satisfaction rating. Not so very far behind him is the party’s deputy leader, Simon Hughes, on +53%. Two of the Lib Dems’ female leaders, Caroline Pidgeon in London and Kirsty Williams in Wales, continue to record strong satisfaction ratings in the +20%s; while both Fiona Hall and Tavish Scott have sustained January’s increase in their personal ratings, which had previously been more or less neutral.

As promised, here are the results in full …

Lib Dem cabinet ministers and government ministers:

Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Very satisfied 26%
Quite satisfied 48%
Quite dissatisfied 8%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 15%
Net satisfaction +63% (+65%)

Steve Webb, Minister of State to the Department for Work and Pensions
Very satisfied 26%
Quite satisfied 34%
Quite dissatisfied 4%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 33%
Net satisfaction +53% (+46%)

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Very satisfied 24%
Quite satisfied 44%
Quite dissatisfied 12%
Very dissatisfied 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 15%
Net satisfaction +51% (+8%)

Lynne Featherstone, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities) for the Home Office
Very satisfied 21%
Quite satisfied 39%
Quite dissatisfied 7%
Very dissatisfied 4%
Don’t know / No opinion 28%
Net satisfaction +49% (+37%)

Norman Baker, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport
Very satisfied 14%
Quite satisfied 40%
Quite dissatisfied 7%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 36%
Net satisfaction +44% (+27%)

Sarah Teather, Minister of State for the Department for Education
Very satisfied 12%
Quite satisfied 38%
Quite dissatisfied 12%
Very dissatisfied 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 33%
Net satisfaction +33% (+22%)


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

Very satisfied 9%
Quite satisfied 29%
Quite dissatisfied 3%
Very dissatisfied 2%
Don’t know / No opinion 56%
Net satisfaction +33% (+28%)

Edward Davey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Very satisfied 8%
Quite satisfied 30%
Quite dissatisfied 5%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 53%
Net satisfaction +30% (+24%)

David Heath, Parliamentary Secretary (Deputy Leader) to the Office of the Leader of the Commons
Very satisfied 9%
Quite satisfied 21%
Quite dissatisfied 2%
Very dissatisfied 2%
Don’t know / No opinion 66%
Net satisfaction +26% (+24%)

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Very satisfied 19%
Quite satisfied 33%
Quite dissatisfied 14%
Very dissatisfied 14%
Don’t know / No opinion 19%
Net satisfaction +24% (+16%)

Alistair Carmichael, Deputy Chief Whip to the House of Commons
Very satisfied 7%
Quite satisfied 21%
Quite dissatisfied 3%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 68%
Net satisfaction +22% (+14%)

Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland
Very satisfied 4%
Quite satisfied 23%
Quite dissatisfied 5%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 64%
Net satisfaction +19% (+21%)

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
Very satisfied 17%
Quite satisfied 37%
Quite dissatisfied 21%
Very dissatisfied 15%
Don’t know / No opinion 10%
Net satisfaction +18% (+18%)

Jeremy Browne, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Very satisfied 5%
Quite satisfied 26%
Quite dissatisfied 11%
Very dissatisfied 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 54%
Net satisfaction +15% (+2%)

Nick Harvey, Minister of State (Minister for the Armed Forces) for the Ministry of Defence
Very satisfied 3%
Quite satisfied 21%
Quite dissatisfied 8%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 64%
Net satisfaction +13% (+13%)

Paul Burstow, Minister of State for the Department of Health
Very satisfied 6%
Quite satisfied 25%
Quite dissatisfied 20%
Very dissatisfied 8%
Don’t know / No opinion 42%
Net satisfaction +3% (+18%)

Other leading Lib Dems:

Tim Farron, Party President
Very satisfied 39%
Quite satisfied 37%
Quite dissatisfied 4%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 17%
Net satisfaction +69% (+69%)

Simon Hughes, Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons
Very satisfied 23%
Quite satisfied 43%
Quite dissatisfied 8%
Very dissatisfied 5%
Don’t know / No opinion 21%
Net satisfaction +53% (+39%)

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly
Very satisfied 13%
Quite satisfied 22%
Quite dissatisfied 2%
Very dissatisfied 2%
Don’t know / No opinion 62%
Net satisfaction +31% (+27%)

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Very satisfied 10%
Quite satisfied 21%
Quite dissatisfied 3%
Very dissatisfied 2%
Don’t know / No opinion 64%
Net satisfaction +26% (+25%)

Chris Fox, Lib Dem chief executive
Very satisfied 9%
Quite satisfied 20%
Quite dissatisfied 6%
Very dissatisfied 6%
Don’t know / No opinion 60%
Net satisfaction +17% (+14%)

Fiona Hall, Leader of the UK Lib Dem MEPs
Very satisfied 5%
Quite satisfied 15%
Quite dissatisfied 3%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 75%
Net satisfaction +14% (+13%)

Tavish Scott, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Very satisfied 4%
Quite satisfied 21%
Quite dissatisfied 9%
Very dissatisfied 3%
Don’t know / No opinion 63%
Net satisfaction +13% (+13%)

  • Almost 1,300 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Over 500 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 18th and 24th April.
  • 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

3 comments

New post: EXCLUSIVE: How party members rate the performances of leading Lib Dems http://bit.ly/kbLl4F

by Stephen Tall on May 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm. Reply #

RT @stephentall: New post: EXCLUSIVE: How party members rate the performances of leading Lib Dems http://bit.ly/kbLl4F

by Max Atkinson on May 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm. Reply #

RT @stephentall: New post: EXCLUSIVE: How party members rate the performances of leading Lib Dems http://bit.ly/kbLl4F

by Joshua Chambers on May 5, 2011 at 7:58 pm. Reply #

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