UK & World News
Poll: Clegg Unpopular With Lib Dems
Nick Clegg has promised Liberal Democrats will "hold their nerve", as he arrived at his party conference after an exclusive poll for Sky News revealed his dire personal approval ratings.
As Lib Dem members gather in Brighton for the annual event, the results of the Ipsos/Mori poll commissioned by Sky show he has a negative rating of -43 among the party faithful.
Calculated by taking the number of people who say they are dissatisfied from those who say they are satisfied, this is far lower than David Cameron's -24 and Ed Miliband's -9.
But Mr Clegg was upbeat as he greeted Lib Dem supporters, while acknowledging the party had been through a bruising time.
"It is a tough time economically for the country and it has been a challenging time for the Liberal Democrats politically," he said.
"But I don't want anyone to be in any doubt: the Liberal Democrats are going to hold our nerve and see this through.
"We are halfway through a five-year journey and we are doing some very important things: rescuing and reforming and repairing the British economy; delivering fairer taxes in tough times and improving schools for children up and down the country.
"Those are things we are very proud of."
The new opinion poll also reveals that a substantial minority of Lib Dem supporters, 33%, want the coalition dissolved and a general election held immediately.
Worst of all, it found more than half - 51% - of Lib Dem supporters are dissatisfied with Mr Clegg's performance.
This compares to both other leaders, who have more than 50% approval among voters who support their parties.
The results were revealed after Mr Clegg issued an extraordinary mea culpa on breaking his pledge not to increase tuition fees in a video that has now sparked a series of internet spoofs.
There may be no direct threat to the current leader in Brighton but this could change before long if the Lib Dems continue to perform as poorly in local elections as they have done over the last two years.
Members have found the tuition fees U-turn is still a toxic issue as they campaign and Mr Clegg is desperate to suck the poison from it and focus on what he sees as Lib Dem successes in government.
One of those is the raising of the income tax threshold towards the Lib Dem target of £10,000.
The Lib Dems private polling reveals that they are seen by many as the party of fair taxes, so the slogan for this conference is "Fairer tax in tough times".
It is hardly a rallying cry at the barricades but the Lib Dem leadership believes it will remind people that they have had an effect in government, and that it has been benevolent.
They readily admit that part of their strategy between now and the next election due in 2015 will be to show the clear differences between the Lib Dems and their Conservative coalition partners while keeping the coalition going "in the national interest".
In an eve-of-conference interview with The House magazine, party president Tim Farron said he preferred a "confidence and supply" deal with one of the larger parties after 2015 rather than another coalition.
Despite being regarded as a potential future leader himself, he also backed Mr Clegg and said anyone considering a leadership challenge would be "reckless".
Two days of the conference will focus on the economy but priority will also be given to green policies and education. The issue of House of Lords reform will also rear its head once again.
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what do you think?
You are sorry !!!!! I bet your not a fraction of how sorry I am that this government won the last election . They won't be happy until Britain is in ruin and everything has been sold off and privatised . It's a sinking ship and we are all being dragged down with it .........so dont give us sorry .............you won't be sorry until there nothing left to ruin !!!!!
Wrong target Kimberly - Who sold-off Britains assets ? Answer = Blair & Brown Westinghouse sold - now we have to rely on the French or Russians to build our replacement nuclear power stations, or the lights go out startinging 2025 Half our gold reser ves at $256 p/oz - now it's hit $1,780 p/oz British manufacturing was 24% of GDP - now it's 13& of GDP
Kimberley gengisken is right the problem we all have is we forget quickly or are too young that we did not see. Certainly Thatcher has a lot to answer for but then did leave a balanced budget and Labour messed up afterwards as they have every time they have been in office. That is not to say that some aspects of their policy may have been right. Now you have almost 600 failures sitting in Westminster - come back Guy Fawkes all is forgiven (oops thats me marked)
The fib dems have lost it and they know that when the next general election comes they will be no where to be seen. The poll is not ssupprising in the light that they did not make 3rd place in many elections and lost so many council seats. What is a good move is to disolve the coalition and force a general election. That may save the party but with the fib dems saying they would side with labour now puts that in doubt if they did that. Members of that party have every right to be worried.
To date I think everything he stands for is rejected by the people but then Lib Dems appear to lack reality and their track record as Libs was about the same.
You lie down with dogs, Cleggy, you get fleas. I can't see you getting in, next time around, and the Tory plum sucker will be out as well. A complete and utter disgrace that English kids should have to pay for university at all. Why the jocks get away with it beats me. Any British taxpayer should have the right to free university for their kids. 40k in debt before you even start!!! I don't care about the little pay back deals, that's a load of bull. Living in debt is hard, as most of us will know, apart from the Tories , that is.
Vlad ever thought the SNP may be buying their voters trying to convince them what a utopia they would have with independence - thing is take away the money from the whole of the British tax payer and things might change. Just a thought
d and d Phillips
Blimey...it's not often I give david p a thumbs up, but he deserved it, in spite of his poor spelling. Good morning Mr Shakes. Hope you have a good weekend.
d and d Phillips
Soz. I will gladly supply the missing A. Here is is, "A".
Well, the reason Cleggoid and the LibDums gave for forming a government was "for the good of the country" - Clegg especially then spent all his time pushing a seperate political agenda then sulking like a child when wiser heads reject his foolishness
Oh you DON'T say. Blimey! Is this news? Clegg is unpopular with the Lib Dems???? He is unpopular with the whole country. Mmm let me think why. Well, he is untrustworthy, he betrayed our young people, as well as the rest of us. He is dishonest. He is weak. He is ineffective. He is purely self-serving. He has turned the LDP into the lapdog of the Tories. He is insincere. He is pathetic. He epitomises ALL the qualities of the Lib Dems. He is the living personification of the LDP. He is a coward and he lacks everything that we should admire in a politician, those qualities sadly that today NONE of them have. I'm talking about principles, honesty and the courage of your convictions and most importantly putting the country before self. Byeeeee Clegg, you are a disgrace.
But he does make a good cup of tea
I'm sure he does Michael. He has plenty of experience. It's his job; he makes the tea for his Tory masters.
To my mind you are a little too kind! He is far worse than you make him out to be.
Yes, but I could not say it as good as you.
I'm sorry for beating about the bush there chaps. I could indeed have added a lot more but my porridge is ready.
His wife must starch his shirts because thats what must be holding him up right, its not a spine anyway..........
Oh and I know my porridge is getting cold but there is something else our politicians today are totally lacking in. Do you know what that is my friends? It's called "charisma." Not one single politician today has one single ounce of it.
Dennis Skinner - 'The Beast of Bolsover' has!
He has condemed his party to 4th place behind UKIP at the next election just for his own personal bit of fame. As for Lib Dems being the party of fair tax i dont call taxing pensioners more from next April fair. He bleats on about the high state pension increase but conveniently forgets to mention half of it will be clawed back with the reduced personal allowance for pensioners.
And why should a pensioner get a higher personal allowance than working people
Is Clegg the same man who signed a pledge saying that he would get rid of all universaty fees? You know the same one that when elected then voted to raise them to £9000.00? And he expects us to believe him? I have met many liers but non as blatent as him. I guess Orange will not like this comment so expect it to be deleted fairly quickly.
I did a lovely message but it was saying that Osborne is not nice and Orange would not accept it. Orange is like Cameron, Osborne and Clegg. NOT NICE
Have you heard on the news the transparency of this idiot.? It is all pure unadulterated claptrap. He does not only lack integrity, charisma, courage, principles and service, he also lacks something else very important; he lacks SUBSTANCE. He announces his aim to introduce wealth taxes...but will give NO DETAILS. When asked, the Lib Dems say they are keeping their cards to themselves...COWARDS. They are a minority in the coalition, they have not achieved one single objective of their own. They need to understand that the Tories have them under their feet and that is where they will stay throughout this coalition.
Just say it like it is Michael & stop messing around! LOL!
The only thing this useless man will be remembered for is the the tune that The Poke have engineered out of his "I'm sorry" apology about University fees. The sooner he recedes into political history the better along with David Camoron.
Strange that nick clegg says he will support the current policys until 2015,election year.prehaps his intention is to spin another webb of lies,to both conservertive and labour voters,to get votes,but in the process he insulting true liberal voters,and making laughing stocks of them
d and d Phillips
I agree with Michael Dynes!
Nick 'Horsefly' Clegg needs to be swatted!