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

by Stephen Tall on August 17, 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.

Miliband, at -20%, gets best rating yet among Lib Dems

LDV asked: Do you think Ed Miliband is doing well or badly as leader of the Labour party?
(Comparison with June results in brackets)

  • 2% (+1%) – Very well
  • 36% (+11%) – Well
  • Total well = 38% (+12%)

  • 46% (-5%) – Badly
  • 12% (-6%) – Very badly
  • Total badly = 58% (-11%)%

  • 4% (-2%) – Don’t know / No opinion

A significant shift in Ed Miliband’s ratings this month, according to our sample of party members. As recently as March, a whopping 91% of Lib Dems said he was doing badly as Labour leader, with only 7% having a positive view. But now a combination of factors — the Government’s omnishambles, Labour’s good local election performance, the uncharismatic socialist François Hollande’s victory in the French presidential election, the UK’s continuing economic woes — have converged to make the prospect of Ed Miliband as prime minister if not likely at least a little less implausible. His net negative rating of -20% is his best score yet among Lib Dem members, and not for removed from opinion of David Cameron (see below). Here’s the trend over the year or so we’ve been asking the question:

Cameron recovers – slightly – from June’s lowest rating yet

Do you think David Cameron is doing well or badly as Prime Minister?
(Comparison with June’s results in brackets)

  • 1% (n/c) – Very well
  • 41% (+3%) – Well
  • Total well = 42% (+3%)

  • 44% (-2%) – Badly
  • 11% (n/c) – Very badly
  • Total badly = 55% (-2%)

  • 2% (-2%) – Don’t know / No opinion

For the second successive survey, David Cameron’s net ratings among Lib Dem members is into the negative zone. Back in March, more Lib Dems were impressed with Mr Cameron as PM than were unimpressed by a margin of 58% to 36%, a net satisfaction rating of +22%. Since then, though, his smooth image and reputation for competence have taken a battering, and the position today is almost a mirror image: Lib Dems now think he’s doing badly by a margin of 55% to 42%, a net -13% reckoning David Cameron is doing a bad job as Prime Minister.

And as I customarily note, 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). Here’s the trend over the year or so we’ve been asking the question:


  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with 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,’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


* 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.