Lib Dem members’ support for Coalition still high… but approval of Government hits new low

by Stephen Tall on September 29, 2012

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum before conference to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

74% of members continue to support Coalition with Conservatives

LDV asked: Do you support or oppose the Lib Dems being in the Coalition Government with the Conservatives? (Comparison with August 2012?s figures)

    74% (-3%) – Support
    21% (+3%) – Oppose
    5% (n/c) – Don’t know / No opinion

Support for the Coalition remains high, at 74%, in spite of, well, everything. The net support rating, at +53% (down 6% on August), is the lowest we’ve yet recorded: as recently as February it was +71%. So while overall support for the Coalition is still solid (amazingly so, in fact, considering all that’s happened), the trend over the past few months is markedly down.

Approval of Coalition Government’s record dips to just +4%

LDV asked: Do you approve or disapprove of the Coalition Government’s record to date? (Comparison with August 2012?s figures)

    47% (-11%) – Approve
    43% (+8%) – Disapprove
    10% (+3%) – Don’t know / No opinion

The net approval for the Coalition’s record to date has taken a further big hit, down to just +4% now: that’s down an astonishing 19% since August, and is by far the lowest figure we’ve yet recorded in these surveys. As recently as February, net approval stood at a far healthier +40%. Again the trend, perhaps unsurprisingly at the government’s mid-term mark, is downwards.

We shall see in our next survey whether this week’s conference, generally reckoned to have been a low-key success for the party, provides a boost to these figures.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with More than 550 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 19th and 22nd September. NB: most responses received before Nick Clegg’s apology broadcast.
  • 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 FAQs: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate? and polling expert Anthony Wells’ verdict, On that poll of Lib Dem members.
  • 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.