by Stephen Tall on October 16, 2012
Lib Dem Voice regularly surveys current party members to find out their views on a range of political issues, with some 550 individual Lib Dems taking part. Our most recent survey was conducted in the days leading up to the party’s Brighton conference, and asked our usual range of questions about how the Lib Dems and the Coalition Government is doing, to rate the performances of leading party figures, as well as on on a range of topical matters.
Here’s a quick summary of 10 things we found out:
1. Support for being in Coalition with the Conservatives remains high: 74% of members still support the Coalition, only slightly down on August (77%) and June (80%).
2. 74% believe the Coalition will last until 2015 with 67% actively wanting it to last until at least that date – in spite of the fact that 79% think Coalition will be bad for the Lib Dems’ election prospects.
3. However, there has been a sharp fall in approval of the Coalition Government’s record. It now stands at a net +4% compared with +23% in August and +28% in June.
4. There has been a fall in the number of Lib Dem members believing the party is on the right track: a net +9% believe party on right track compared with +23% in August and +31% in June.
5. And this has been mirrored in views on Nick Clegg’s leadership: for the first time he has a negative net satisfaction rating among members at -2% compared with +13% in August and +19% in June.
6. All five of the Lib Dems’ cabinet ministers score positive net satisfaction ratings among party members, though there is a wide spectrum: Vince Cable +75%, Edward Davey +51%, Michael Moore +26%, Nick Clegg +4% and Danny Alexander +3%.
7. By a narrow margin – 44% to 37% – Lib Dem members back the Coalition’s proposed reforms to replace GCSEs with a new EBacc exam system.
8. An overwhelming proportion of Lib Dem members support an overall increase in aviation capacity – 77% to 17% – with a plurality wanting this outside London and the South-east. A massive 79% oppose a third runway at Heathrow.
9. Almost two-thirds (64%) support Nick Clegg’s proposal to introduce means-testing so that better-off pensioners would no longer be entitled to receive benefits such as winter fuel payments, free bus passes and television licences.
10. And, by 69% to 22%, members oppose the idea – floated in the press and quickly rejected by Vince Cable and others – that the Government should look at freezing some unemployed, sickness and housing benefits payments for the next two years.
If you would like to take part in the surveys please sign up at http://forum.libdemvoice.org. To catch up with all the results from Lib Dem Voice’s surveys of party members please visit http://bit.ly/eywGSO.