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

by Stephen Tall on October 11, 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.

Miliband slips from -20% to -48% (but note the caveats below)

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

  • 1% (-1%) – Very well
  • 22% (-14%) – Well
  • Total well = 23% (-15%)

  • 50% (+4%) – Badly
  • 21% (+9%) – Very badly
  • Total badly = 71% (+13%)%

  • 6% (+2%) – Don’t know / No opinion

First important point to note: our survey was conducted before the Labour conference and Ed Miliband’s well-received conference speech. Second important point to note: though the figures show Ed Miliband’s ratings among Lib Dem members markedly down that’s compared to August — it may simply be a case that our survey at the height of the summer holidays, which was very positive for Miliband, was a blip. As with all the party leaders our first post-conference survey will be interesting to compare to this baseline.

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

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

  • 1% (n/c) – Very well
  • 33% (-8%) – Well
  • Total well = 34% (-8%)

  • 50% (+6%) – Badly
  • 11% (n/c) – Very badly
  • Total badly = 61% (+6%)

  • 5% (+3%) – Don’t know / No opinion

For the third 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 61% to 34%, a net -27% reckoning David Cameron is doing a bad job as Prime Minister. As with Mr Miliband, we’ll have to wait til our next survey to see if his conference speech — liked by Tories which might have the opposite effect on Lib Dems — boosts his standing in our next survey.

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).

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