Who Lib Dem members want to see stay/axed in the next Cabinet reshuffle

by Stephen Tall on August 20, 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.

LDV asked: In the next couple of months David Cameron and Nick Clegg are likely to hold a Cabinet reshuffle. For each of the following 28 Cabinet members please say whether a) they’re doing a good job and should stay in their post, b) they could be doing a better job but should still stay in their post, c) they’re doing a poor job and should be removed from their post or d) Don’t Know/Never heard of them…?
NB: To produce the overall ‘net stay in post’ figures, below, I’ve added together the first two options (a and b above) and subtracted the third (c).

All the data is available below, but here are the key two Top 5s for those who want the quick skinny.

Top 5 cabinet members Lib Dem party members think should stay in post:

    Vince Cable, Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary 95%
    Ken Clarke, Justice Secretary 88%
    William Hague, Foreign Secretary 88%
    Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary 81%
    Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister 66%

Lib Dem Scottish secretary Michael Moore just misses the cut, at number 6, with a net +56% of party members saying he should stay in post (just 9% thought he should be removed). Danny Alexander languishes further down the list, at 14, with a ‘net stay in post’ rating of +45% (with a significant minority of 27% Lib Dem members thinking he should be removed as Treasury Chief Secretary). Intriguingly two Tory cabinet ministers — Clarke and Hague — feature in Lib Dem members’ top 5, testament I suspect not only to how they do their job but also that, for Tories, they’ve exceeded our expectations (whereas some Lib Dem cabinet members may not have met expectations)… Oh, and it also probably reflects a fear of who else from the Tory side might get their job in the reshuffle.

Bottom 5 cabinet members Lib Dem party members think should stay in post:

    Jeremy Hunt, Culture, Media & Sport Secretary -66%
    George Osborne, Chancellor -60%
    Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary -53%
    Baroness Warsi, Tory Chairman -39%
    Michael Gove, Education Secretary -30%

Few surprises here who props up the list of cabinetistas Lib Dem members would like to see up for the chop at the forthcoming reshuffle. Two further cabinet ministers recorded negative ‘net stay in post’ ratings: Eric Pickles (Tory communities and local government secretary) with -26%, and Theresa May (Tory home secretary) with -15%.

I’ve uploaded a GoogleDoc spreadsheet with all the data from these results, as shown below:

Here’s the full list of ‘net stay in post ratings’:

    Vince Cable, Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary 95%
    Ken Clarke, Justice Secretary 88%
    William Hague, Foreign Secretary 88%
    Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary 81%
    Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister 66%
    Michael Moore, Scottish Secretary 58%
    David Cameron, Prime Minister 55%
    David Willetts, Universities & Science 54%
    Andrew Mitchell, International Development Secretary 53%
    Iain Duncan Smith, Work & Pensions Secretary 53%
    Sir George Young, Leader of the Commons 48%
    Justine Greening, Transport Secretary 48%
    Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary 46%
    Danny Alexander, Treasury Chief Secretary 45%
    Oliver Letwin, Cabinet Office 25%
    Lord Strathclyde, Leader of the Lords 21%
    Owen Paterson, Northern Ireland Secretary 15%
    Francis Maude, Paymaster General 14%
    Caroline Spelman, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Secretary 12%
    Cheryl Gillan, Welsh Secretary 7%
    Patrick McCloughlin, Chief Whip 0%
    Theresa May, Home Secretary -15%
    Eric Pickles, Communities & Local Government Secretary -26%
    Michael Gove, Education Secretary -30%
    Baroness Warsi, Tory Chairman -39%
    Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary -53%
    George Osborne, Chancellor -60%
    Jeremy Hunt, Culture, Media & Sport Secretary -66%
  • 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.