Norman Baker – one of the most popular Lib Dem ministers among party members

by Stephen Tall on November 5, 2014

LibDemVoice has been surveying party members throughout the Coalition to find out how well-rated (or otherwise) Lib Dem ministers are. All these results, together with our regular Coalition tracker series, are available online here.

Here’s how Norman Baker has performed in these surveys in the four-and-a-half years he’s been a minister, first at Transport, latterly at the Home Office. The figures below are the net satisfaction ratings (ie, those very/quite satisfied minus those very/quite dissatisfied):

ldv - norman baker ratings

Initially his ratings were quite modest. In July 2010, his rating was +24%, meaning he was reckoned to be the seventh most effective minister. However, his reputation grew in office (by no means a positive trajectory enjoyed by all his colleagues). By the time he finished his tenure at Transport, his rating was +37%.

However, it was at the Home Office that his ratings grew impressively. When we surveyed party members in September his net satisfaction rating was +53%, which saw him ranked the fifth most effective Lib Dem minister in the Coalition. I strongly suspect that would have been higher still following the publication of the Home Office’s ‘Drugs: International Comparators’ study, an attempt to place evidence at the heart of Coalition policy in the teeth of opposition from Theresa May.

Small wonder, then, that Nick Clegg stated in his reply to Norman’s resignation letter, “I very much hope that if the Liberal Democrats are in government after the next election, you will once again make yourself available for Ministerial office.”

* 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.