Revealed: What Lib Dem members think of Ed Miliband and David Cameron

by Stephen Tall on February 16, 2012

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. Some 570 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Miliband slumps to -83% among Lib Dem members

LDV asked: Do you think Ed Miliband is doing well or badly as leader of the Labour party?

    1% – Very well
    6% – Well
    Total well = 7%
    41% – Badly
    49% – Very badly
    Total badly = 90%
    3% – Don’t know / No opinion

Well, I imagine Ed Miliband has more to worry about right now than what our survey of Lib Dem members has to say. Still, his overall net favourability rating of -83% is really quite dire. In September 2011, it stood at just -61% so this a steep and sharp fall. At the moment, such scores have little more than curiosity value. But with all polls pointing currently to a second hung parliament, the credibility of the Labour leader as a potential Prime Minister may become more significant.

Here is a sample of your comments:

This is our big chance. Labour have not done well. Question marks as to why they were heavily defeated in 2010 remain and their overall economic policy lacks close scrutiny – they recognise the need for cutting the structural deficit too!

I think he’s shifted the language, policies and priorities of the Labour Party in the right direction, but he’s not come across as authoritative in public, which costs parties at elections, and one third of the way to the likely next election date, Labour still doesn’t have a narrative of what a Labour government would do. As they too would have to cut, how would their cuts be different, for example?

He’s getting fits and starts of not being too bad, but if they keep him they’re going to bump along the bottom for an awful long time.

Has good ideas but not a good communicator and not a man of the people. He’s good at ‘getting’ the anti-free market greed mood – better than us.

Michael Foot, Ian Duncan-Smith, Michael Howard, need I say more

Cameron recovers to +29% after sharp ‘veto’ dip

Do you think David Cameron is doing well or badly as Prime Minister?

    2% – Very well
    60% – Well
    Total well = 62%
    28% – Badly
    5% – Very badly
    Total badly = 33%
    5% – Don’t know / No opinion

A couple of months ago, at the height of the furore over his so-called European summit ‘veto’, David Miliband’s ratings among Lib Dem members plummeted to just +8%. Now tempers have settled (and Mr Cameron has been forced to adjust to reality rather than pander to his right-wing) his ratings have recovered to +29%, only a notch down on the +34% he received last September.

As I’ve noted before, though, rating David Cameron’s performance as Prime Minister is a different question from rating his performance as Conservative party leader (whether Mr Cameron’s ratings would be higher or lower among Lib Dem members, I don’t know). Here is a sample of your comments:

Bad leadership – populist and not thought-leadership. Tories want a majority second term, clearly so trying not to alienate the electorate. Short-termist.

You have to wonder whether he is storing up longer term trouble in return for short term headlines.

Given his backbenchers he is doing as good a job as is possible.

He’s winning the economic argument but then Clegg is silent and Milliband is incompetent. He’s got no real opposition – were he to have somebody of stature, I suggest things might be different

He’s doing things I don’t like and I’m not convinced he can keep the right wing under control. He’s superficially impressive, but how different would he be if he had managed that one-seat majority?

He’s doing well but from a low bar.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 570 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 31st January and 4th February.
  • 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
  • * Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.