Just how much campaigning do Lib Dem members do?

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!’

  • 1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Just over 600 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 19th and 23rd July.
  • 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 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.