Jo Swinson, Julian Huppert & David Laws top Lib Dem members’ reshuffle promotion wish-list

by Stephen Tall on August 23, 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: Which backbench Lib Dem MPs who are not current ministers would you like to see promoted? (Please write-in.) (NB: I’ve set the cut-off for inclusion in this list at 5 individual mentions.)

    Jo Swinson 77
    Julian Huppert 73
    David Laws 66
    Tim Farron 25
    Duncan Hames 21
    Simon Hughes 19
    Andrew George 16
    Tessa Munt 16
    Charles Kennedy 12
    Chris Huhne 12
    Jenny Willetts 12
    Tom Brake 10
    Adrian Sanders 9
    Greg Mulholland 9
    Stephen Williams 9
    John Pugh 8
    Malcolm Bruce 8
    Stephen Gilbert 8
    Ian Swales 6
    Martin Horwood 6
    Norman Lamb 6
    John Leech 5
    John Thurso 5
    Menzies Campbell 5

There’s little doubt which three Lib Dem backbench MPs are the clear favourites of our sample of party members to merit promotion to government posts: Jo Swinson, Julian Huppert and David Laws each received write-in mentions from approximately one-quarter of the c.280 members who responded to this question.

Some respondents were conflicted about naming any backbenchers for government posts: “keep them untainted with the future in mind!” was one refrain that echoed. A couple of those who feature above — notably, Julian and Tim Farron — were also named as individuals whose current roles (fighting the Draft Communications Bill and being Party President respectively) were too important to see them lost to a mid-ranking government post.

Besides Julian, Duncan Hames (aka Mr Jo Swinson) and Tessa Munt were the highest-rated of the 2010 entrants. Chris Huhne’s return was seen by those who named him as contingent on being acquitted of the ‘perverting the course of justice’ charges he faces.

  • 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 offered accurate guides to what party members think.
  • For further information on the reliability/credibility of our surveys, please refer to FAQ: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate?
  • 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.