LDV Poll Result: Majority of Lib Dem members reject conference accreditation

by Stephen Tall on June 3, 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 560 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Members oppose accreditation 52%-36%

The decision by the party to approve a system of police accreditation for Lib Dem members attending this year’s Autumn Conference triggered one of LibDemVoice’s most vigorous recent comments threads. We asked our sample of members their view:

LDV asked: The party has announced there will be a system of police accreditation for members attending this year’s Autumn Conference citing concerns over security now the Lib Dems are in government, and possible financial liability in the event of any insurance claim being rejected if police advice is not followed. Members opposed to accreditation say that there is no evidence accreditation will increase safety, that it discriminates against transgender members, and that the party has severely compromised its liberalism by acceding to police requests without sufficient cause. What is your view?

    36% – I accept the need for police accreditation for members attending conference
    52% – I do not accept the need for police accreditation for members attending conference
    12% – Don’t know / No opinion

A majority of Lib Dem members in our survey (52%) reject the party’s decision, though a significant minority of 36% do say they accept the need for accreditation. In spite of Tim Farron’s announcement last week of a compromise to help transgender members, this one’s going to run, I suspect. Here’s a selection of your comments:

For the sake of the tiny risk of things going wrong, the Party has taken an over the top, intrusive, illiberal measure.

There is no evidence that it increases security or would prevent anyone intending to disrupt conference (or worse) getting access.

Party members need to grow up, stop the petty navel gazing and accept the realities of being a party of government

Agree for financial/insurance reasons, not on security grounds.

It is noticeable that no one has come out and said what the alleged financial liabilities of rejecting accreditation actually are.

I don’t accept the need but also think there is too much fuss in the blogosphere about this – makes us look self-obsessed and out of touch with the country.

If there is accreditation there should be no opportunity for failure over identification of past gender identity and other personal and sensitive issues. Police advice should be followed where possible, however.

I’m not going this Autumn because it annoys me so much that this has been done.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 560 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 28th May and 1st June.
  • 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.