State of the Party survey results – No to a Lib-Lab pact

13th September, 2012 10:19 am

Labour activists don’t want to see the party talking to the Lib Dems about working together post-election. That’s the message from the latest LabourList “State of the Party” survey. 57% said that Labour shouldn’t be talking to the Lib Dems about a post-2015 future, whilst 39% thought the party should be. That’s certainly an obstacle the leadership will need to overcome as they make repeated overtures to Vince Cable and others.

Better news for the leadership though as LabourList readers believe that Miliband and Balls and winning the argument on the economy – with 54% believing this is the case compared to 34% who don’t. But considering we’re in a double dip recession, it’s perhaps telling that a third of our readers still aren’t convinced Labour are winning the argument.

Miliband’s position as leader remains as secure as ever though, with 62% of our readers viewing his performance as either Excellent or Good.

We also asked questions on whether or not you thought the party had changed, and how many of you would be attending conference. We’ll have posts on these specific issues, the shadow cabinet league table, and your backbench MP of the month, all coming later this week.

517 LabourList readers voted in this month’s survey – thanks to those who took park.

  • Most Conservatives don’t want to be in Coalition with the Lib Dems either, but in a hung Parliament, it’s not a question of choice. Labour may well find that they will have to work with one of the other parties after the next election.

  • Previous poster is spot on. Regardless of what the membership say, Labour will have to do what it can to make up the numbers if it’s just the largest party and without an overall majority – regardless of past ‘sins’ committed by the LibDems. We really need to get out of this unhealthy tribal mentality in British politics – it doesn’t do us any good.

  • AlanGiles

    Actually Mark, Given the undisputed unpopularity of the Coalition, the Labour lead is a bit flaky – 10% (and according to a poll in one of our tabloid comics yesterday that lead would be reduced if Boris Johnson(!) was Conservative leader (everybody must be desperate).

    Given that the poll lead doesn’t appear to grow at any great pace, I would advise Labour to keep their options open – there won’t be many LibDem MPs left in 2015, but you might need what there is.

    • For a party that has just come out government after thirteen long years, a 10% is not flaky in fact it is quite good!

      •  And considering that we were 7% behind the tories, it IS a massive turn around.

        • AlanGiles

           John, My point is the coalition has failed in practically everything it has tried to do. It seems totally ineffective and the two parties are at each others throats (e.g. Peter Bone on Nick Clegg yesterday). the public has little or no confidence in the government. Business has little faith in it.

          Yet – despite all that – and provided we accept the figures from News International’s poll, if Cameron were to be replaced as Conservative leader the figure would rise from 31% to 37% in terms of their support.

          My advice, for what it is worth, would be for the policy review Labour is undertaking, to be completed in less than the leisurely 2/3 years that was envisaged. At the moment it really is difficult to know what Labour really stand for.

          • PeteWilson89

             I agree Alan, the Shadow Cabinet really needs to start suggesting real policies to the British public, if they can’t see an alternative then when the economy starts to pick up (which it almost certainly will before 2015) we’ll be out in the cold. Balls on the Andrew Marr show revealed the problem, he came on simply to say the word predistribution and show his sympathy for Vince Cable, beyond that he had nothing to offer.

            Ironically I think Labour does have some strong policies floating around that if marketed would connect with people. Land Value Tax is gaining ground via the Coop Party, Welsh Labour and Fabian Society – all are selling it as way to encourage inner city growth and an income stream that would allow a government to scrap Council Tax and Stamp Duty. Establishing certain restrictions in could also help British farmers, who we should be reaching out to.

            Then there’s Balls’ often whispered call to slash VAT, again it would be a boon to the average consumer. Rail nationalisation, a major house building campaign, fighting loan sharks, a concerted campaign to promote credit unions, all could prove popular and valuable. There’s a chance the Shadow Cabinet intend to support some or all of these ideas, problem is they’re taking their sweet time about it.

            All that said, Labour climbing 17% in the polls in two years is hardly small potatoes, particularly when you consider many of the first-time voters who came out in droves to back Maggie in 1979 and 1983 are now approaching that golden voting period of pensioner age – these people have historical reason to see a parallel with 2010

    • DancingMice

      A record 13% in the Sun You Gov today. The Olympic mood may become reinforced further in our direction by the Independent Hillsborough report and furore. Did Blair ever hold a 17% lead for more than a well or two?

  • From what I’ve seen over the past 2 years, it’s definitely not a good move to work with the LibDems. As a party, they do not know what they stand for, feel that if they disagree with joint policy they can go to the press to stop it, leak (pre-announce) budgets and chip away at the government to try to get their own people promoted. They’re a complete liability.

  • Serbitar

    Never say Never or you might end up living in a political Never Never Land…

  • I think it is worth remembering that a third of readers probably are not party members.

    • AlanGiles

       But they can vote, though, and how the Labour party conducts itself, and the attitude towards people who may not totally agree with all the policies (in as much as there at the moment) by those who blindly follow the party line might well decide whether they vote for Labour, or if they feel there isn’t much difference between Labour and the coalition.

      Certainly there is no room for complacency – or arrogance.

      • Chilbaldi

        what Alan said about the fact that these people still vote.

        Also don’t fool yourself into thinking that no Labour members/supporters voted in that way. In all likelihood they did.

    • Brumanuensis

      How do you know it’s a third?

    • Brumanuensis

      How do you know it’s a third?

  • Visual

    Always good to keep the lines of communication open with other parties – for Labour, with both Greens and Lib-Dems, as well as national parties. There doesn’t have to be a “pact” – though an informal  indication of things you agree on with might be useful

  • It’s all rather precarious – if GDP improves next year, as is predicted, this could make quite a big difference to the results above ; of course, the predictions might be wrong as per usual.

  • Brumanuensis

    I voted ‘no’ on the lead question, but it was badly designed.

    I do think we may have to talk to the Liberals at some point. What I don’t want is for us to start trying now, when we’re still in opposition. If 2015 produces a hung parliament, then by all means let the talks begin. I’m open to the idea of having a contingency plan in place for such a possibility. What I do not support is pre-judging the result of any election. Necessity will be the mother of invention, should the occasion demand it.

    • If we went into Coalition with them, think about will happen to all those millions of ex-Lib Dem voters who came to us to vote for a centre-left government and voted against their Lib Dem MPs? The Lib Dems would be a deeply unpopular and toxic party in their own right and we would be tainted by association if we formed a Governemnt with them. The days of a centre-left Lib Lab progressive realignment are dead in the water. The Old Politics has returned.

      • rekrab

        Most people say that the SNP are just a one trick pony (Independence) and in the same vain most people believed the Lib/Dem only stood for PR. Blair blended the mix and the neo-liberal outcome was based purely on winning .Blair believed history started in 1997 and traditional politics was gone, replaced by careerist who mixed a potent cocktail of individualist and collectivists……end result…… Molotov cocktail!!!!!!

        • Well the Lib Dems stood for loads of other stuff. SNP are purely independence based and when they lose the referendum, their party’s raison d’etre will finish. I am glad you finally recognise Blair won elections.

          • rekrab

            Some athletes win gold medals by fake means, once the enhancement is detected their kinda side-lined. 2014 is a long way away! the STUC is closer to the SNP than it is to new labour.

  • Jeremy_Preece

    The idea of LibDems hanging on in government, that Britian can choose either to have them in a coalition with the Tories as now, or can vote to have them with Labour seems unpalitable. I don’t see it. For a start they are now a significant number in the house of commons, after the next election they won’t be.

    As for the party membership view of Ed and Ed “Miliband’s position as leader remains as secure as ever though, with 62% of our readers viewing his performance as either Excellent or Good.”

    This is all very nice to know. Let’s hope that the electorate have the same confidence. And let’s remember that while the Labour Party and various affiliated groups can choose the leader, the electorate choose the Prime Minister and will vote for the party with the candidate they think will be the better PM. 

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  • Alan does not accept that the party has massively improved in its standing in the polls. It is very true to say that unlike last year, Ed Miliband is now a strong Leader of the Opposition who is in the process of making himself a strong future Prime Minister – though most of us would have rather that started sooner rather than later. I agree with you on a Land Value Tax (though I’d rather it contributes to cutting the deficit or cutting tuition fees back down to £3,000), house building, credit unions, tackling loan sharks etc – I reckon they will become policy (some of them sort of are). I think we need to go further for example on tough plans for fiscal discipline, free childcare, welfare reform and a better education policy.

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