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

by Stephen Tall on March 13, 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. Over 500 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Miliband rating slips back again, to -84%, among Lib Dem members

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

    0% – Very well
    7% – Well
    Total well = 7%
    47% – Badly
    44% – Very badly
    Total badly = 91%
    3% – Don’t know / No opinion

Will party members giving Ed Miliband a big thumbs-down keep the Labour leader awake at night? It seems doubtful. But there is nothing inevitable about his rating being as low as it is; after all, his net satisfaction has dropped from -61% five months ago to today’s can’t-get-much-lower -84%. Lib Dem members’ dim view of his leadership is simply a magnified version of the wider public’s. At the moment, such scores have little more than curiosity value. But with most polls pointing currently to a second hung parliament, the credibility of the Labour leader as a potential Prime Minister may become more significant.

Cameron ratings down 7% in a month

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

    3% – Very well
    55% – Well
    Total well = 58%
    30% – Badly
    6% – Very badly
    Total badly = 36%
    6% – Don’t know / No opinion

There’s a small but noticeable slip in David Cameron’s ratings among Lib Dem members, with net satisfaction at his performance as Prime Minister standing now at +22% compared to February’s +29%. As with Nick Clegg’s ratings decline, I suspect this is largely down to opposition to the Coalition’s NHS reforms.

I’m sure, by the way, some journalist somewhere will look at our survey figures and *lightbulb moment* pen the headline, ‘Cameron more popular with Lib Dem members than Clegg’, as the Tory leader’s personal satisfaction ratings currently stand higher than the Lib Dem leader’s do. In anticipation, can I point out that Lib Dem members’ expectations of their own leader are set much higher than they are for the leader of the Conservative party. I’m pretty confident in saying Lib Dems would not like to swap.

And as I’ve noted before, 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 if we asked that question, I don’t know).

• Over 1,300 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 507 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 4th and 8th March.
• 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 here

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.