What Lib Dem members think of the impact of the Coalition

by Stephen Tall on March 15, 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.

Party members give Lib Dems 7 out of 10 for influence within the Coalition

How would you rate the extent of the Liberal Democrat influence within the Coalition Government, where 10 is highly influential, and 1 indicates no influence.

      1: 0%
      2: 3%
      3: 11%
      4: 8%
      5: 9%

Lacking influence = 31%

      6: 18%
      7: 26%
      8: 17%
      9: 4%
      10: 2%

Achieving influence = 67%

This is the first time we’ve asked the party members who participate in LibDemVoice’s surveys this question, asking you to rank on a scale of 1-10 the level of influence you think the party is exerting within the Coalition. What’s clear from this first result is that the majority think the party is achieving influence: 67% give a mark in the upper range 6-10, compared with 31% in the lower range, 1-5. And I suspect a number of people who opted for 5/10 were probably indicating neutrality on the question. The modal average is 7/10, the mean average is 6/10.

This question replaces a question we had been tracking asking ‘Do you agree “yes or no“ with the following statement: The Coalition is implementing a significant part of the Lib Dem manifesto.’ The last two surveys had shown 80%+ of members agreeing with that statement. The question about the level of influence is deliberately intended to be a more subjective measure of how effective members feel the party is being within the Coalition at achieving Lib Dem goals.

60% of Lib Dems say Coalition is bad for party’s electoral health

Do you think the Coalition Government will be good or bad for the Lib Dems’ electoral prospects at the next general election?
(Changes since February 2012)

      15% (-1%) – Good
      60% (-1%) – Bad
      19% (+4%) – Neither good nor bad
    9% (+1%) – Don’t know / No opinion

Interestingly the figure of 60% of Lib Dem members believing the Coalition will be bad for the party’s election fortunes is the lowest since last September. It is, though, a far cry from July 2010, when a minority of party members, 43%, took that view. The 15% who think it will be good for the party is bang in the middle of party members’ expectations since summer 2010: the range has been a narrow pessimistic/realistic 13-17% of you.

80% say Coalition will last ’til 2015

How long do you expect the coalition government will last?
(Changes since February 2012)

      1% (n/c) – It will end this year, 2012
      5% (+2%) – It will end in 2013
      10% (+4%) – It will end in 2014
      80% (-8%) – It will last the full term, until 2015
    3% (n/c) – Don’t know / No opinion

The 80% of you who who think the Coalition will last the full course, though down on last month’s surprisingly high 88%, is still the second highest figure we’ve recorded since we’ve been asking this question. It’s clear the vast majority of you believe that, whatever the difficulties both parties are currently encountering, the Coalition will stay the full course of the first fixed-term parliament.

• 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.