Sixty eight per cent of those who voted Liberal Democrat in May say it is wrong for the party to break its election pledge to "vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative" - with just 21 per cent thinking the party is right to abandon its promise, a YouGov poll undertaken last week (2nd-3rd December) has reveled.
Sixty eight per cent of those who voted Liberal Democrat in May say it is wrong for the party to break its election pledge to “vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative” – with just 21 per cent thinking the party is right to abandon its promise, a YouGov poll undertaken last week (2nd-3rd December) has reveled.
Among those who say they will still vote Lib Dem, there is an equal split – 44 per cent are opposed, and 44 per cent in favour. Overall, just 41% of those who voted Lib Dem in May would do so again today, with 34% saying they would now vote Labour and 15% Tory.
More than half of Lib Dem general election voters think Nick Clegg is doing badly as leader of the party (56%) – a quarter think he is doing very badly (26%) – with 44% saying the Tory and Lib Dem coalition partners are working badly together, 48% saying the coalition government will be bad for people like them, and 47% saying the coalition government is managing the economy badly.
President of YouGov, Peter Kellner, said:
“It’s clear from these figures that Clegg’s U-turn on tuition fees has played a big part in his party losing around half its general election vote. My belief is that his problem is not just, or even mainly, about tuition fees as such. Rather it is to do with the wider nature of his party’s image.
“Past YouGov surveys have found that voters don’t like politicians who evade straight questions, break their promises, or try to spin their way out of awkward political corners.
“A large part of the Lib Dems’ appeal in the spring was that they promised a different style of politics, more candid and more honest than Labour or the Conservatives. Clegg fostered this image assiduously.
“When Lib Dem MPs publicly signed the pledge to oppose tuition fees, they were not just asserting a particular education policy; they were also seeking to exploit their reputation for a more decent form of politics.
“That reputation now lies in tatters.”
Among other poll findings, 48% believe Wikileaks was wrong to publish its cache of secret diplomatic cables (37% said it was right), 43% say the US government would not be justified (against 38% who believe it would be justified) in prosecuting Julian Assange, arrested this lunchtime in London, and 59% believe the leaks have caused a great deal of damage for the US’ international relations, with 28% believing not much or no damage has been done.
And on England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid, 46% think it didn’t get a fair hearing in Zurich (25% said it did), 78% think the FIFA executive committee is probably corrupt (6% say it isn’t), 74% believe there was corruption involved in FIFA’s decision (7% say there wasn’t), 79% believe the Sunday Times investigation into FIFA (£) was justified (8% say it wasn’t), and 53% say it was right publish the story before the vote (32% say it was wrong).Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.