by Stephen Tall on August 16, 2013
Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 600 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.
81% put in time for the party
Including campaigning, leafleting, social events, meetings and any other party activity, how much time do you think you spend on party activity in the average month?
22% – Up to 5 hours
12% – 6-10 hours
15% – 11-20 hours
12% – 21-30 hours
5% – 31-40 hours
17% – More than 40 hours
16% – None
3% – Don’t know
Three brief points on this:
1) There are an awful lot of party members volunteering huge amounts of time for the party: more than one-third (34%) in our survey are occupied by party activity for more than 20 hours a month, the equivalent of five hours each week.
2) 81% of members in our survey are, by definition, activists. That’s not too surprising: they’re all people who’ve signed up to our members’ forum and responded to an email survey. But it does mean our surveys aren’t necessarily representative of the wider non-activist membership. (Though it doesn’t automatically mean they’re unrepresentative either: it all depends whether there are issues on which activists’ views differ from the wider membership.)
3) In the comments, many members talked of scaling down their activities in protest at the party’s actions in government (‘Less than I did – somewhat disaffected’, ‘On activist strike’, ‘Most members of the branch have now left or resigned due to govt policies’). But it wasn’t all doom-and-gloom: ‘I live in a strategic seat, and am employed as a ‘Campaigns Intern’ for the seat. We’re doing rather well,’ ‘Seeking to become more active in the run up to the European elections and the next General Election,’ and ‘I should spend more time!’
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and edited the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.