Ashcroft’s latest poll: a couple of interesting findings about the Lib Dems

by Stephen Tall on June 8, 2013

Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft — who spends more on polling than all three main political parties combined — published the latest of his surveys yesterday.

It contained little good news for his party: ‘Perceptions of the Conservatives have been eroded further … This is the price we have paid for spending half a year talking amongst ourselves.’ And none of the party leaders would’ve been much chuffed by public perceptions of them, though Nick Clegg comes off worst, ‘[combining] the weaknesses of the other two, being “weak”, “out of his depth”, and “out of touch” all at the same time.’

One finding caught my eye, asking which outcome at the next general election the public would most like to see:

ashcroft coalition poll

In total 31% of the public would like to see the Lib Dems involved in a Coalition government after the next election. On the face of it that’s pretty encouraging news — almost 1-in-3 people want to see the Lib Dems continuing to govern.

But there is a sting in the tail. That 31% is divided between those who want to see the Lib Dems govern with the Tories (13%) and those who want to see the Lib Dems govern with Labour (18%). If the Lib Dems are in a position to be in coalition after the next election, and if we strike a deal with either party, it will antagonise whichever group wanted the other option!

Finally, it’s interesting to see what attributes are associated with the different parties. We trail Labour on all of them, but lead the Tories on two: we’re seen as more united, and being for everyone, not just the better off:

ashcroft party perceptions 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.