The current state of the economy: what Lib Dem members think about it

by Stephen Tall on September 30, 2014

Economy-in-the-UKLib 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. Some 735 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

“The economy is in a bad way, but is starting to show signs of recovery”

That’s the view of the current state of the economy, according to 44% of Lib Dem members. One-third of you take a more optimistic outlook – 33% say “the economy is improving and on the way to full recovery”. However, just over one-fifth (21%) think the economy is either “still getting worse” (5%) or is showing “no signs of any recovery yet” (16%).

Thinking about the current state of the economy, which of the following best reflects your view?

    5% – The economy is still getting worse
    16% – The economy has stopped getting worse, but there are no signs of any recovery yet
    44% – The economy is in a bad way, but is starting to show signs of recovery
    33% – The economy is improving and on the way to full recovery
    2% – Don’t know

Here’s a sample of your comments…

• There remain issues with the banking sector and housing market, but there are clearly more jobs and more people feeling the benefits of growth.
• There remain a large number of uncertainties about the underlying strengths and weaknesses of the British economy. Government policy is still too focused on short-term stimuli and not enough on long-term resilience.
• the economy has stopped getting worse there are a few signs of recovery but it seems that society is economically more devisive. the rich are getting richer and the poor are worse off…more significant strategies are needed to address this
• The disconnect between price rises and wage restraint is becoming increasingly uncomfortable.
• The problems lie in the nature of the recovery. It is too dependent on financial and other services with little learnt from what caused the the downturn in 2007
• The question though is about whether the recovery is fair, to which the answer is “No!”
• By the definitions of better & worse – but believe these are inherently wrong
• Wage growth still a concern – and what policy response is best to tackle it. Nobody seems to know why there is a lack of wage growth either.
• We are responsible for the beginnings of recovery in the UK economy and MUST own it. We must NOT allow the Tories to take all the credit.
• This has been the slowest economic recovery in over 300 years. Do not think for one second that we’re anywhere near where we should be.
• Work in property at the speculative end of the sector – signs of growth have been slow but present for a year
• All of the economic signs are good, but it may be many years before recovery is felt by the poorest in our society.
• We haven’t begun to feel the worst of the effects of austerity yet. 2016 will be awful.
• Most signs of recovery seem spurious to me, or deliberately generated for pre-election reasons. I have seen the Tories do this time and again. A shame we are part of it this time.
• Times are still hard for the average person. Huge cost of living rise especially on essentials such as energy bills, shopping and fuel.
• much of the financial suffering at the bottom of the ladder is as a direct consequence of Coalition policies
• Growth is based on debt, not investment.
• Most ordinary people have yet to see any benefit from what little recovery there is. Real wages have fallen, and are continuing to fall.
• None of these – the economy is improving but on a fitful path.
• The economy is showing superficial signs of recovery and may be restored to its pre-crash state in time. But, because the entire system is being left essentially in its pre-crash state, another crash with similar results is inevitable, and my confidence in the ability of Britain to weather a second such crash is low.
• Whatever happened to Nick Clegg’s claim that we need to rebalance the economy? It was the right thing to say and do. Why have we stopped campaigning on it?
• The main issue is that of the attacks by coalition on the unemployed, the poor, the disabled, the use of zero hour contracts,part time and the working poor.
• The widening gulf between the rich and the poor.
• It is improving but little sign for ordinary people yet

  • 1,500+ Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with 735 completed the latest survey, which was conducted between 12th and 16th September.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However,’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
  • * Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

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