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

by Stephen Tall on March 29, 2013

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 650 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Miliband edges ahead of Cameron among Lib Dems (though ratings of both decline)

We’ve been asking this question for 18 months, and over the past year there has been quite a reversal in fortunes for the two party leaders, as this graph illustrates:

miliband cameron ratings - mar 2013

Here’s the detail from this month’s survey…

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

  • 0% – Very well
  • 26% – Well
  • Total well = 26% (-8%)

  • 55% – Badly
  • 15% – Very badly
  • Total badly = 70% (+7%)

  • 4% – Don’t know

  • Net rating = -44% (-15%)
  • Do you think Ed Miliband is doing well or badly as leader of the Labour party?

    • 1% – Very well
    • 29% – Well
    • Total well = 30% (-3%)

    • 47% – Badly
    • 17% – Very badly
    • Total badly = 64% (n/c)%

    • 6% – Don’t know

  • Net rating = -34% (-3%)
  • A year ago Ed Miliband’s ratings reached their lowest recorded figure among Lib Dem members: a massive -84%. Since then, bolstered by the pummeling (self-)inflicted on the Tories and more confident performances, the Labour leader has gained ground. For the second time, he finds himself nosing ahead of the Prime Minister — though that is due to the continuing fall in Mr Cameron’s ratings. A year ago he had a net rating of +22% among Lib Dem members. Today it stands at -44%.

    I don’t suppose either are bothered by what Lib Dem members think of them, but it’s an interesting barometer of their credibility as potential partners if there were to be another post-2015 coalition. As I customarily note, by the way, rating David Cameron’s performance as Prime Minister is a subtly 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. Though I could hazard a guess).

  • 1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 647 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 14th and 17th March.
  • 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.