Polling shows women have dumped the Lib Dems. Latest statistics from IPSOS/MORI on how women and men say they would vote if the election were held now shows Lib Dems have dropped from an 8 point lead with women voters compared to men to a 2 point deficit with women voters.
Back in April 2010 (i.e. just ahead of the general election) 32% of the public said they would vote LibDem, this divided into 28% men compared to 36% women, a remarkable 8% gender gap between the sexes.
Current polling shows the Lib Dem vote has haemorrhaged to 11% of voters who say they would vote Liberal Democrat. This 11% is composed of 12% men and a mere 10% women.
It has been clear for decades the way women vote determines the outcome of elections. For example, a recent article mentioned that if women had never got the vote, there would have been no Labour governments at all since 1945.
To become a credible political party, the Liberal Democrat Party must address this dangerous loss of women’s support. A conclusion in the recent Young Fabian analysis suggests there may well be no women in the Parliamentary Party whatsoever after the next election.
What to do? More exhortation dumped on the backs of women to put themselves forward, try harder, dig deeper into their shallow pockets, run around like scalded hens seeking a constituency in the face of the Party’s long history of disdain for women at authoritative levels (not one woman at the Party’s negotiating tables when the Coalition was being hammered out) is a failed ‘policy’. Until the Party faces up to the seriousness of its situation re. women, it cannot continue to claim it reflects reality nor that it is a suitable instrument in Parliament to represent the philosophy of liberalism itself.