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Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Don’t believe the Times hype


8:45 am - September 14th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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The Times today (£) reports on a supposedly devastating poll for Labour leader Ed Miliband.

On the eve of Mr Miliband’s first anniversary as Labour leader, almost two thirds of the public (63 per cent) say that they find it hard to imagine the Labour leader running the country. His own side is also pessimistic, with 49 per cent of Labour supporters saying that they find it difficult to see him in Downing Street and 22 per cent who “strongly” hold this view.

Sounds bad huh? Except, it’s out of kilter with other polls – most notably with the monthly Ipsos-Mori political monitor. Quite significantly, in fact.

In their last monthly monitor in August, Ipsos-Mori / Reuters found that only 29% of Labour supporters were dissatisfied with Ed M.

And even this number isn’t surprising, given it has been barely 18 months since one of the Labour’s party’s worst defeats ever.

* * * * * * * * *

Below, the net satisfaction line for Ed Miliband shows he is at about the same level as Cameron after the same period of time as party leader.

* * * * * * * * *

And here is the clincher.

Across the entire British public, Ipsos-Mori / Reuters show that Ed Miliband’s net satisfaction rating as leader is even better than Cameron’s.

Ed Miliband also has a higher satisfaction number (36% satisfied) than Cameron had at any time until October 2007 (nearly two years after he became leader).

* * * * * * * * *

It’s about to get worse for Cameron

While the story doesn’t fit in with the Westminster narrative, Cameron’s ratings have fallen sharply since he got elected. Only a few loyal Cameroons have recognised and warned about this, most notably Matthew D’Ancona.

And they will get worse. The economy is refusing to recover, and sooner or later the “It’s all Labour’s fault” line will run out of steam. The polls already show the government has lost huge amounts of credibility on the economy. I don’t see this turning around anytime soon, if at all over the next four years.

Maybe a significant proportion of the public can’t see Ed Miliband as Prime Minister. But that perception can be changed, and Ed M has shown capacity over the summer to deftly respond to circumstances.

On the eve of party conferences, despite the Times poll today, Ed Miliband has less to worry about popular support than David Cameron does.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Labour party ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Nice try, but the other polls you show shouldn’t make anyone less worried. People can answer that they are satisfied with the way a leader is doing (‘Aw bless him, he’s really trying!’) and yet not be able to see him in Downing Street. So your evidence doesn’t contradict the Times. And I notice that you do not see fit to include here the recent ICM poll putting the Tories ahead (ahead!) of Labour.

Hate to be the pooper at the party, but the trajectories that Ed is following most closely are Howard and IDS. Both abject failures.

Ed is attempting to triangulate, to win over Mail & Telegraph reading voters. It is failing to do that, but it is succeeding in alienating his main potential base, i.e non-Labour voting lefties.

Labour will not win the next election. The Tories might not manage it either, but I do not think that Ed M will ever be Prime Minister.

Does anybody really care what a poll says?
Our politicians are all of such a staggering mediocrity that they would be unable to find their bottoms unless they were benefitting from the intimate attention of a dominatrix.
Can we please move onto a more substantial or provocative debate.

Now perhaps this is an unpopular view with some people, but I actually think that Ed Milliband will prove to be a much better leader than most people give him credit for.

I believe his main problem so far is his relative youth and lack of experience and confidence, but my gut feeling is that he’ll grow into the role. We saw a hint of what he could be capable of with the Murdoch affair.

The fact that the Westminster/media establishment hate him and he came in as an outsider is in my view one of his biggest assets.

We should recall that Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher were both dismissed as no-hopers to begin with.

What @1 said.

Also, whilst only 29% of Labour supporters were “dissatisfied” [with the way Ed Miliband is doing his job as leader of the Labour Party], a full 47-8% did not describe themselves as “satisfied” – which really isn’t that different to “49 per cent of Labour supporters saying that they find it difficult to see him in Downing Street”.

(I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to suggest that if you’re not “satisfied” with an individual’s performance as leader, you’d not find it particularly easy to see him or her in Downing Street.)

Non-story.

Bless.

7. Mike Killingworth

Perhaps someone could explain to me why Cameron and the government are more popular to-day than they were two months ago…

7 – Because that poll was taken in the middle of the furore about hacking. Short term effects have now faded, because people have short memories, and it wasn’t the great game changing event that some on the left hoped it would be.

Methinks Sunny is clutching at straws. Can’t imagine Miliband winning a general election in much the same way that Kinnock as PM never seemed likely. All three major party leaders look and sound bland beyond belief. What does Miliband stand for? I know Cameron doesn’t actually believe in anything but there seems to be no evidence that Ed has a vision or drive either.

Goes against the grain somewhat but if Labour is to start to meaningfully prosper then it needs to consider Mrs Balls as leader (if hubby will let her).

I’m waiting for the typo in the URL of this site to be fixed, for some reason “Labour” has been spelled “Liberal”.

Very hard to know what any of these numbers mean,more or less than a Poll today showing that men who have potted plants are on average sexier? Its obvious I know but the depth of a preference is hard to capture, as was famously the case with Major
Milliband appears to be tracking Howard thus far, you could say .As has been pointed out, you are asnwering a question that was not asked. Hopi Sen ( how much do I miss that blog…) immediately saw that New Labour would have choices to make between establishing long term credibility and acting as a protest movement against cuts. Thus far my intuition tells me there has been far too little strategic thinking and the question is about that whereas your answer is not.
I can see Ed pictured sitting on Len McLuskey`s knee like a little puppet this Winter which should make the distinction more urgent .

I would like to point out that basing either political strategy or actual policies on what people judge themselves capable of imagining is pretty fucking weird to start off with. After alI, I can imagine the economy shooting up thanks to cuts, university fees coming down as the internal market works, police doing a better job with fewer numbers, free schools improving the results of all schools, a leaner NHS curing more people by closing hospitals and the lowering of the top rate of tax bringing in billions. And all before breakfast.

There are still issues that Ed Miliband need to tackle before the people can put faith back in Labour, but the reality is that his party will face falling further behind in support…
http://armchairnews.co.uk/2011/06/28/ed-miliband-is-a-loser-whatever-happens/

14. Leon Wolfson

Six factual errors in that article, on a quick skim..

Forget the polls – the surest sign of Ed being holed below the waterline will be Ensign Sunny putting on his life-jacket and scouting the horizon for some ship to jump on.

Awww, sweet. Lots of people throwing their toys out of the pram but no one disputing the actual figures.

Nice. I bet many of them also thought Cameron was going to win the general election hands down.

@16

Apart from the fact that several people have pointed out that “satisfied with performance” is not the same thing as “can imagine him as Prime Minister”. You’re attempting to compare apples with oranges.

George – see penultimate para.
Also – a big majority didn’t see Cameron as PM before the election either. He still became one.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Don't believe the Times hype http://t.co/5qdMuBS

  2. Sue Thomas

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Don't believe the Times hype http://t.co/5qdMuBS

  3. sunny hundal

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  4. Matt Zarb-Cousin

    Matter of time before one of Murdoch's publications started spinning for the government again. As you were! http://t.co/542HeUZ

  5. Alex Braithwaite

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  6. Vincenzo Rampulla

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  7. Peter Campbell

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  8. malcolm

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Don't believe the Times hype http://t.co/5qdMuBS

  9. Tudor Evans

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Don't believe the Times hype http://t.co/5qdMuBS

  10. Richard Murphy

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  11. malcolm

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  12. Nautilus in Red

    RT @sunny_hundal: Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/PahvUyb << interesting

  13. Callum Collins

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Don't believe the Times hype http://t.co/5qdMuBS

  14. Aun-Mohammed Akhter

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  15. Julie Davies

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  16. Life: Downloaded

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  17. Ray Sirotkin

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  18. Citizen K

    Matter of time before one of Murdoch's publications started spinning for the government again. As you were! http://t.co/542HeUZ

  19. Martin Shovel

    RT @sunny_hundal: Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/ljSbWXK

  20. Tony Thomas

    RT @sunny_hundal: Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/ljSbWXK

  21. Soho Politico

    The disservice @DPJHodges' 'liberal conspirators' do Lab is pretending party doesnt have a problem. This is incredible. http://t.co/WA5aVax

  22. David Isaacs

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Don't believe the Times hype http://t.co/5qdMuBS

  23. Soho Politico

    .@sunny_hundal's take seems to be that pretty soon Cameron will be *begging* Ed Miliband to take over his job. http://t.co/WA5aVax

  24. Alex Braithwaite

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Don’t believe the Times hype | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Hxiaki0 via @libcon

  25. Michael Brown

    @sunny_hundal: Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/8KAwSR3 #hackgaterevenge

  26. Michael Brown

    @sunny_hundal: Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/8KAwSR3 #hackgaterevenge

  27. Michael Brown

    @sunny_hundal: Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/8KAwSR3 #hackgaterevenge

  28. Harry Cole

    This is a giggle: http://t.co/apyd055 Best not to accuse others of being "loyalists" when you're the only man in the trench @sunny_hundal

  29. Martin Shovel

    @etominusipi Read this for a contrary view on Miliband's electability http://t.co/ljSbWXK

  30. SadButMadLad

    Sunny Handal still can't do research and now shows that he can't do maths either – http://t.co/BjQZLi4

  31. Marc Stears

    Devastating poll for Ed Miliband? Here's why the Times' front-page today is mostly hype http://t.co/oIVy8Vq

  32. What are Ed Miliband’s chances as PM? Better than the polls | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] As I pointed out earlier, asking slightly different questions of voters with different emphasis gives youvery different results. […]

  33. Sean McHale

    @davidwearing http://t.co/ahIcvhoW 63% of the public say they find it hard to imagine Ed running the country.





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