What factors Lib Dem members think are MOST to blame for UK economy remaining in recession

by Stephen Tall on August 9, 2012

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

A mix of factors, but global / Eurozone crisis blamed most for UK recession

LDV asked: Which of the following do you think is MOST to blame for Britain’s economy remaining in recession?

    19% – The deficit left by the Labour government
    29% – Global factors and the debt crisis in the Eurozone
    7% – The Coalition’s economic policies and austerity programme
    6% – Banks not lending out money to businesses which need it
    33% – All the above pretty much equally
    6% – Something else
    0% – Don’t know / No opinion

A range of answers to this question, with a plurality (33%) of our sample of Lib Dem members saying the first four factors are all pretty much equally to blame for the British economy remaining in recession. The next most popular answer is the current global situation and the Eurozone crisis (29%), with one-in-five laying the blame squarely at the door of the last Labour government’s over-spending. Of those opting for ‘something else’, most respondents chose a specific combination of these factors. Incidentally, I think this may be the first question ever posed in a LibDemVoice survey which has produced zero ‘Don’t Knows’!

This question was asked by YouGov in early July, though I added the option to choose ‘pretty much all equally’. Voters as a whole ranked the factors in the same way as Lib Dem members, blaming in the following order: the global situation, Labour’s deficit, the Coalition’s policies and lack of bank lending.

Here’s a selection of your comments:

Our previous peak was based on an unsustainable debt bubble. Labour are guilty of committing to spend as if it would never burst.

The government should be candid: yes, part of the problem lay with global factors, but some lay in their control.

The GDP level (corrected for inflation and seasonal affects) has settled down to more or less where it was in 2005/2006. Compared to this GDP in the 2007/2008 period represented a “bubble” which has now burst. I believe that whatever we do GDP will stay roughly where it is for some time, and this is due to global factors and things like the banking crisis.

The previous Gvt’s policies were to blame but not uniquely so – the same policies were being carried out in many western economies including the US

Harping on about Labour being responsible for all our woes makes the coalition look as if it has a simplistic understanding of the problems our economy now faces.

The main problem is a lack of confidence in the economy – businesses need to be persuaded to invest.

Austerity isn’t working blaming the previous government isn’t washing with the public. I have never supported these public spending cuts and the welfare cuts…very against my social liberal philosophy

I see the dead hand of the Treasury and George Osborne cutting capital plans for easy savings and delaying badly needed investment. The fiscal programme of revenue cuts and tax increases is basically fine.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 500 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 3rd and 6th August.
  • 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, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.