The latest Lib Dem Voice survey of party members included this question:
Which prominent Lib Dems who are NOT MPs (eg, peers, campaigners) are doing an effective job of promoting the party to the public? Please write-in.
The top ten names given by party members were:
- Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott
- Lord (Paddy) Ashdown
- Mark Pack
- Evan Harris
- Baroness (Shirley) Williams
- Lord (Chris) Rennard
- Caroline Pidgeon AM
- Willie Rennie MSP
- Baroness (Susan) Kramer
- Stephen Tall
Seven of those are current or former Westminster Parliamentarians and only one (myself) has not previously held elected public office. (Stephen was a councillor in Oxford.)
It is no surprise that (ex)Parliamentarians feature heavily, especially given that they are more likely to get media opportunities such as Question Time than non-Parliamentarians. Even so, their dominance being quite so great in the list is, to me at least, a sign that as a party collectively we’re missing a trick or two given the way in which the internet has opened up the ability to feature in such a list to (at least in theory) a much wider range of people.
It’s a point excellent blogger Richard Morris has also picked up on, concluding:
At the very least – the results of the LDV survey say to the Lib Dem blogging fraternity (of which I am proud to be a part) ‘must ty harder’.