Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Lib Dem popularity one year on- a review of a review

I've just read Sebastian Payne's review ( ) in the Telegraph that reviews the Party's polling and found it quite interesting.

It is true that Lib Dem popularity has collapsed somewhat since the heady days of last May. This can be laid at the door unpopular policies such as Tuition or the NHS. It is also to say it is fair that Nick Clegg has indeed been a "lightening rod" - somewhat unfairly at times, for the Coalition and any policy decisions not liked by the public.

Indeed the results Mr Payne references in the Sun poll are quite shocking:
30% (down 10% on last year) think Clegg is doing a good job
63% (up 7% on last year) don't know what the Libdems stand for.
59% (up by 20% on last year) think Nick is doing badly.

Writing with reference to the YouGov graph (above) Mr Payne asks the question:

Has the Liberal Democrat party weathered the trial of the past year any better? ... the answer is again no.

Hold up there Custer. Yes, the chart does show the Lib Dems sliding down in popularity since October 2010, which should be of no surprise to anyone in the Party, but then it evens out. Yes there are slight fluctuations in the party's popularity of a percentage or so but it has levelled out. Surely that is weathering and damage control, the fall was halted.

Of course, opposition parties always do well in the polls during Parliament as they don't have to make difficult decisions and can promise everyone whatever they want without having to deliver it. Labour have always benefited from taking Liberal (and LibDem) support over the last century as both parties attract voters from the same areas of society and any party that talks about taxing people more and cutting public services will lose support of the public, indeed so have the Conservatives.

Basically, the situation on paper looks grim, but we've stopped the inevitable downward slide in support and evened out. The optimist in me says that we have now got a solid foundation on which to build and re brand the party or publicise more and really grow from our successes and experience in Government.

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