Lib Dems crash to four per cent in North-East

THE Liberal Democrats are in meltdown across the region as they pay the price for coalition with the Conservatives, according to research.

Nick Clegg’s party has plunged to only four per cent in a series of opinion polls in the North-East, having boasted the support of 24 per cent of voters at the General Election in May.

The rating is by far the lowest recorded for the Lib Dems anywhere in the country – the next lowest is ten per cent in Greater London – and below the most calamitous score in any national poll, which is eight per cent.

Ipsos Mori also found that the 20 per cent decline in Lib Dem popularity in the North- East since the “Cleggmania”

of May was steeper than anywhere else in the country. The polls were carried out before Thursday’s controversial vote to treble student fees to a maximum of £9,000 a year, but are certain to have recorded the widespread anger in the run-up to it.

Every Lib Dem MP vowed, back in May, to vote against any rise in fees – and actively courted the support of students and their parents – triggering claims of betrayal.

Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos Mori, said: “It is traditional for Lib Dems to drop in the polls outside of election campaigns. This is usually down to a lack of media exposure.

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“But now they’re in Government and making headlines – albeit negative ones – and their support has still fallen.

“Especially interesting is the drop to only four per cent in the North-East.”

But the study was ridiculed by Ian Swales, Lib Dem MP for Redcar, who said: “We are not tearing ourselves to bits.

This will blow over.”

Mr Swales – one of 21 Lib Dems who defied Mr Clegg by voting against higher fees on Thursday – added: “This opinion poll appears to have been taken when the Lib Dems are facing the one issue, tuition fees, that is most difficult for us. I have no fears that it is our real position.

“The party on the ground is still healthy, the people I meet locally are happy and residents are happy.”

Asked if the Lib Dems were badly damaged by the fees controversy, Mr Swales replied: “Not really. The public will judge us over a longer period and we are achieving an enormous amount in the coalition.”

Carol Woods, the defeated Liberal Democrat candidate for Durham City, said the polls were “very disappointing”, but what was most disappointing was that the vote to raise tuition fees had gone through.

If elected, she would have been “fairly and squarely against” raising fees – in line with Lib Dem policy, she said.

Ms Woods refused to comment on Mr Clegg’s future, but said: “We will have to see how things pan out. We need to see if we can sort this out.”

Ipsos Mori’s results reflected the average of several polls carried out between June and November.

In total, 5,029 people were interviewed across the country.

Yesterday, Mr Clegg said the fees revolt was “no surprise”, given the different views within his party, and added: “The party has discussed this in a calm and respectful manner, which I think will now allow us to move forward without rancour.”

Comments (11)

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3:12pm Sat 11 Dec 10

Dante says...

Never mind the rights and wrongs of whether the country can afford to give free education to Uni students, or whether this is the fairest way to do things, one thing the electorate dont do is forget, nor do they forgive what they see as treachery.

I said months ago, travelling around the UK on business, from what I'm told, the Libs are finished and Clegg will never ever be elected again in Hallam.

They pinned their colours to the Tory mast and whilst the Tories will survive, the Libs will not because people see them as the two faced party who gave power to the Tories, and lied / changed their minds.

Sorry Libs, but you now need to decide if you will join the Labour or Tory party because they way I hear people, UKIP or BNP will be the thrid party in England
Never mind the rights and wrongs of whether the country can afford to give free education to Uni students, or whether this is the fairest way to do things, one thing the electorate dont do is forget, nor do they forgive what they see as treachery. I said months ago, travelling around the UK on business, from what I'm told, the Libs are finished and Clegg will never ever be elected again in Hallam. They pinned their colours to the Tory mast and whilst the Tories will survive, the Libs will not because people see them as the two faced party who gave power to the Tories, and lied / changed their minds. Sorry Libs, but you now need to decide if you will join the Labour or Tory party because they way I hear people, UKIP or BNP will be the thrid party in England Dante
  • Score: 0

9:34am Sun 12 Dec 10

st-george1 says...

Have to disagree with Danti on this matter ...
Treachery in the Uk was at its very worst during the 13 long misguided, incompetent and dishonest years of the so-called Blair, Brown, Mandelson years masquerading under the Labour Party banner ... nothing to do with the Conservatives or the Lib Dems or anyone else ... something it seems the state-reliant people of the North East prefer.
This is the Labour Government that lied and cheated and lied again from start to finish, with some of the poorest and fastest decling standards in Europe and the world until the decent people, those wanting to work, kicked them into oblivion, hopefully forever, to ensure that the Millibands and the TUC can do more damage.
Having been responsible for the many thousands of deaths of our young soldiers and innocent men, women and children around the world, too many selfish and greedy socialist people have no shame.
Now we have the 'Socialists' currently doing what they do best ...whipping up so much fear with their lies that we now have an even bigger threat to our country than Al Qaeda, the Taliban or the IRA .... the student anti-social militant scum-bags that are being being allowed to roam our streets.
We cant afford to grit our roads today, how can students expect more free education. Labour broke this country.
Have to disagree with Danti on this matter ... Treachery in the Uk was at its very worst during the 13 long misguided, incompetent and dishonest years of the so-called Blair, Brown, Mandelson years masquerading under the Labour Party banner ... nothing to do with the Conservatives or the Lib Dems or anyone else ... something it seems the state-reliant people of the North East prefer. This is the Labour Government that lied and cheated and lied again from start to finish, with some of the poorest and fastest decling standards in Europe and the world until the decent people, those wanting to work, kicked them into oblivion, hopefully forever, to ensure that the Millibands and the TUC can do more damage. Having been responsible for the many thousands of deaths of our young soldiers and innocent men, women and children around the world, too many selfish and greedy socialist people have no shame. Now we have the 'Socialists' currently doing what they do best ...whipping up so much fear with their lies that we now have an even bigger threat to our country than Al Qaeda, the Taliban or the IRA .... the student anti-social militant scum-bags that are being being allowed to roam our streets. We cant afford to grit our roads today, how can students expect more free education. Labour broke this country. st-george1
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Sun 12 Dec 10

MSG says...

Roll on the proportional representation Euro elections. As Dante indicates the BNP or UKIP can capitalise on this Lib-Dem collapse.
I predict the third candidate elected at the next Euro poll in the north east will be UKIP replacing the Lib Dems .
Roll on the proportional representation Euro elections. As Dante indicates the BNP or UKIP can capitalise on this Lib-Dem collapse. I predict the third candidate elected at the next Euro poll in the north east will be UKIP replacing the Lib Dems . MSG
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Sun 12 Dec 10

Uncle Monty says...

Students don't expect free education nor are they asking it for it St George and all the hysterical anti-Labour ranting and abuse in the world won't change that fact.

Simple fact is that the Lib-Dems have let the Tories use them as their human shield and are now paying the price. They are finished and their Tory mates won't be long following them.
Students don't expect free education nor are they asking it for it St George and all the hysterical anti-Labour ranting and abuse in the world won't change that fact. Simple fact is that the Lib-Dems have let the Tories use them as their human shield and are now paying the price. They are finished and their Tory mates won't be long following them. Uncle Monty
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Sun 12 Dec 10

Uncle Monty says...

Students don't expect free education nor are they asking it for it St George and all the hysterical anti-Labour ranting and abuse in the world won't change that fact.

Simple fact is that the Lib-Dems have let the Tories use them as their human shield and are now paying the price. They are finished and their Tory mates won't be long following them.
Students don't expect free education nor are they asking it for it St George and all the hysterical anti-Labour ranting and abuse in the world won't change that fact. Simple fact is that the Lib-Dems have let the Tories use them as their human shield and are now paying the price. They are finished and their Tory mates won't be long following them. Uncle Monty
  • Score: 0

2:04am Mon 13 Dec 10

george robson says...

The Conservetives have always wanted education only for the wealthy . They want the majority to be smart enough to do the grunt work but not smart enough to realise how much they are getting screwed .
The Conservetives have always wanted education only for the wealthy . They want the majority to be smart enough to do the grunt work but not smart enough to realise how much they are getting screwed . george robson
  • Score: 0

8:17am Mon 13 Dec 10

*shakes head slowly* says...

A £40k debt isn't so scary when your family's rich.
We have returned to the time when only the children of the rich get education.
...and there are morons who applaud this.
A £40k debt isn't so scary when your family's rich. We have returned to the time when only the children of the rich get education. ...and there are morons who applaud this. *shakes head slowly*
  • Score: 0

9:06am Mon 13 Dec 10

st-george1 says...

Education for the wealthy is a load of rubbish ... we all get or have had at least 9 years free education to learn to read, write and to converse, unfortunately the UK is worst at this and anyway its the Charlie Gilmour's of this world who are the morons and seem to think the rest of us owe them ... unlike the majority of the immigrants who have settled here.
Education for the wealthy is a load of rubbish ... we all get or have had at least 9 years free education to learn to read, write and to converse, unfortunately the UK is worst at this and anyway its the Charlie Gilmour's of this world who are the morons and seem to think the rest of us owe them ... unlike the majority of the immigrants who have settled here. st-george1
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Mon 13 Dec 10

*shakes head slowly* says...

Speaking of immigrants (which we weren't, this is a thread about education cuts) - the biggest bunch of freeloading boors in the country are the royal family and their hundreds of hangers-on. Let's do what stgorge says and kick them out. They're just greeks and germans, sponging off us, after all. Can we afford not to get rid of them?
Speaking of immigrants (which we weren't, this is a thread about education cuts) - the biggest bunch of freeloading boors in the country are the royal family and their hundreds of hangers-on. Let's do what stgorge says and kick them out. They're just greeks and germans, sponging off us, after all. Can we afford not to get rid of them? *shakes head slowly*
  • Score: 0

5:15pm Mon 13 Dec 10

Sage says...

The Lib-Dem voters can only blame themselves. They knew when the voted that the Lib-Dems could not get overall power. At least now they have some say; they should be satisfied with that and accept that life is tough.
The Lib-Dem voters can only blame themselves. They knew when the voted that the Lib-Dems could not get overall power. At least now they have some say; they should be satisfied with that and accept that life is tough. Sage
  • Score: 0

10:06am Tue 14 Dec 10

mcjordiuk says...

*shakes head slowly* wrote:
A £40k debt isn't so scary when your family's rich.
We have returned to the time when only the children of the rich get education.
...and there are morons who applaud this.
yep totally agree here.. im just pleased i got my degree and im currently in hock to the tune of circa 15k to the SLC. i couldnt afford to go if i had to owe 40k. that could buy my house what im in now..
seems uni is gonna be for the wealthy and its disgraceful..
[quote][p][bold]*shakes head slowly*[/bold] wrote: A £40k debt isn't so scary when your family's rich. We have returned to the time when only the children of the rich get education. ...and there are morons who applaud this.[/p][/quote]yep totally agree here.. im just pleased i got my degree and im currently in hock to the tune of circa 15k to the SLC. i couldnt afford to go if i had to owe 40k. that could buy my house what im in now.. seems uni is gonna be for the wealthy and its disgraceful.. mcjordiuk
  • Score: 0

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