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Nick Clegg’s approval ratings rise dramatically amongst Lib Dems in August

We can all agree that the roller-coaster ride that has been the life of Nick Clegg would make for a terrific feature film. However this isn’t a film and it is real life and he has been pilloried by the majority of people. Labelled a traitor and a liar his popularity with the public is not exactly sky high any more. The heady days of April 2010 seems like a different world to what he faces today.

His popularity within his own party isn’t great either. Many old school Lib Dems feel that going into a coalition with the Tories was just plain wrong and many of the new generation believe that not getting our way on the student fees was tant amount to treason. Overseeing an election where we lost MPs despite growing our vote numbers by around a million and pushing through with the Referendum on the voting system when we were being set up to lose has lost him a lot of support.

In July an Ipsos Mori poll for Reuters said that 47% of Lib Dems were satisfied with his performance but a whopping 41% were dissatisfied. In August however these numbers have seen a decided shift. 55% are now satisfied but only 29% are dissatisfied but his approval ratings within his own party have gone up 17% in a month.

So what have we seen in the past month? Mainly the News of the World’s death and if along has changed up to 17% of Lib Dems perception of their leader then I’ll be surprised. Therefore it is more likely that Lib Dems are happy with what he is saying about the civil unrest of earlier this month and how we should be handling the situation.

His ideas that we should use more community punishments instead of just locking people up is huge amongst Lib Dems. I think it is something the vast majority of Lib Dems would agree with. You can’t just give up on people and rehabilitation needs to be given a far higher priority than it is. People don’t feel part of their community and that is something we need to address but ‘The Big Society’ is not the answer. You can’t force a community to come together.

I have no idea what the future holds for Nick Clegg. He’s been much-maligned with the electorate but just as much so – if not more so – amongst the members within his own party. It would have been easy to not go into coalition and sat back and watched the economy go into the tank. He took a very tough decision which may hurt the party long-term but five years is a long time in politics. Things change and if things change for the better for the electorate then the party (and Clegg) can say that they were part of the reason.

The end is not nigh for Clegg but if he is to continue then he needs the strong support of his party and it slowly looks like he may be getting that once again.

Edit: Just for clarification. This question was asked to Lib Dem Voters. Not necessarily Lib Dem Members.

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  1. Steve Steve

    we now have a party with less MP’s, Less councillors. at times a lower opinion poll rating than when Ming Campbell was leader, Probably a declining membership.

    Billionaires, bankers, coporations and senior civil servants still getting huge bonuses and avoiding tax, while we increased student fees and offer those on the minimum wage the figleaf of £1000 increase on the tax threshold, it should have gone to £10,000 in one go.

    It was obvious that the govermnets policies would lead to riots and looting, even George Osborne said ‘we have ignored these people for too long’.

    Having seen Nick’s expenses claims for gardening etc, the absolute dishonesty and betryal of the students and the continuing massive gap between the wealthy and the rest of the worlds population. I no longer agree with Nick.

  2. Denis Denis

    How about his brave defence of human rights in general and the Human Rights Act in particular in the Guardian this morning. Way to go, Nick!

  3. neilmonnery neilmonnery

    Erlend – thank you for your point. I have put clarification in the post. My feeling is that the Lib Dem mantra has been clouded and the more our distinct voice is heard the more the electorate will cool hostilities with us.

  4. Erlend Watson Erlend Watson

    Note that the Lib Dems being polled are supporters rather than members.

  5. Erlend Watson Erlend Watson

    My gut feeling is that the rise in party rating may well be due to people returning who believe in these issues, Resulting in increased popularity for him saying things they believe in.

  6. neilmonnery neilmonnery

    That might be a very good point. A lot of people won’t have renewed (when I say people that should read students) who didn’t get what they wanted so may well have given up on both the party and politics in general.

  7. I’d like to believe that party members are becoming more realistic about the possibilities of coalition and the huge amount of Lib Dem policy that’s going into Government.

    However, I’d probably suspect that one of the things that’s happened is that a lot of the party members who joined during Cleggmania in May 2010 have finally left the party (12 months’ membership plus three months’ grace period takes us to August 2011).

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