What Lib Dem members think about the Libya military intervention and its aftermath

by Stephen Tall on October 2, 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 550 party members responded, and we’re continuing to publish the full results.

Lib Dem members backed Libya intervention… and two-thirds are optimistic for country’s future

LDV asked: Do you think Britain, France, the US and other countries were right or wrong to take military action in Libya?

  • 76% – Right
  • 15% – Wrong
  • 9% – Don’t know

An overwhelming majority, therefore, of Lib Dem members backed the UK’s involvement in the military action targeted against removing Colonel Gaddafi from power in Libya. This is similar to the level of support we recorded in April, shortly after the military intervention was launched, when 73% back the UK government’s action.

LDV asked: How optimistic/pessimistic are you that the outcome of the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya will lead to peaceful and stable self-government without descent into civil war?

    4% – Very optimistic
    60% – Optimistic
    Total optimistic – 64%
    25% – Pessimistic
    5% – Very pessimistic
    Total pessimistic – 30%
    6% – Don’t know

Two-thirds of party members, regardless of their support for or opposition to military action, believe things will turn out well for Libya. A significant minority, however, are of the opposite view. Here is a selection of your comments:

  • It will take some time, but Libya has a number of things going for it, notably that its government infrastructure was never that centralised.
  • Even the US has admitted they have seen Islamist/Al-Queda people in the rebels, so the outlook is very unclear.
  • We should realise that all revolutions – esp.1789 – have been followed by some rather nasty things, but its inevitable that with our media dominated situation there’ll be exaltation. In this case an Arab (should be Berber) tribal nation isn’t going to morph into an ideal European democracy overnight.
  • I expect there to be ongoing friction and conflict over a number of years, but am hopeful it will not escalate to engulf the whole country. However, there is oil involved…
  • It’s never as simple as removing a dictator. The people need to be ready. We need to get out of their way and let them get on with it.
  • In Iraq and Afghanistan we tried building the new administrations after the invasions, whereas with Libya the NTC was already in existence, making an orderly transition much easier.
    • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 550 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 11th and 15th September.
    • 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