When will the Coalition end? Here’s what Lib Dem members say…

by Stephen Tall on November 6, 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 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Three-quarters say Coalition will be bad for Lib Dem prospects in 2015

LDV asked: Do you think the Coalition Government will be good or bad for the Lib Dems’ electoral prospects at the next general election? (Comparison in brackets with September’s figures.)

      9% (+3%) – Good


      73% (-6%) – Bad


      15% (+4%) – Neither good nor bad


    3% (-1%) – Don’t know

There’s a small shift away from the pre-conference pessimism, when 79% of you expected the next election to be bad for the party: that figure has declined to 73%. Mind you, that compares with 43% of party members who expected Coalition to be bad for the Lib Dems in July 2010. Back then, fully 23% of you hoped it might yield good results for the party, a figure which now stands at 9%.

Four-fifths say Coalition will last the course

LDV asked: How long do you expect the coalition government will last? (Comparison in brackets with September’s figures.)

      0% (n/c) – It will end this year, 2012


      3% (-2%) – It will end in 2013


      16% (-2%) – It will end in 2014


      79% (+4%) – It will last the full term, until 2015


    3% (n/c) – Don’t know

74% want Coalition to go on into 2015

LDV asked: When would you like the Coalition to end? (Comparison in brackets with September’s figures.)

      9% (-3%) – As soon as possible, definitely this year


      4% (-1%) – It should end in 2013


      11% (-4%) – It should end in 2014


      37% (-1%) – It should stop shortly before the 2015 general election so the two Coalition parties can set out their different plans


      33% (+7%) – It should continue right up to the 2015 general election


      4% (+1%) – It should continue beyond the 2015 general election


    2% (+1%) – Don’t know

It’s interesting to compare the two tables above asking, respectively, when people think the Coalition will end and when they would like the Coalition to end. The results aren’t all that different. More than three-quarters, 79%, expect it to last a full term until 2015. A cumulative 74% would like it to last into 2015 or even beyond. The single biggest shift is the proportion wanting the Coalition to last right up to the May 2015 general election: up from 26% in September to 33% now.

Our most recent tracker question asking about support for the Coalition showed Lib Dem members remain in favour by 77%-18%. And as we see above 13% of members would like it brought to an end within the next year or so — though only a small minority (3%) expect that to happen.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 550 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 28th and 31st October.
  • 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.