The rest of YouGov’s post-Miliband poll is in the Sun here, and should be up on the YouGov website shortly. On the whole it’s pretty positive for Miliband – albeit, in a “reserving judgement” sort of way.

43% think Miliband will do well as leader, compared to only 23% badly, 34% don’t know yet. 33% think trade unions will have too much influence over Labour under Ed Miliband, 29% disagree, and 38% don’t know yet. On YouGov’s regular tracker of leaders’ qualities Ed Miliband scores best on being in touch with ordinary people (23%) and sticking to what he believes in (17%), but unsurprisingly 44% don’t yet know enough about him to answer. On the whole, he is still an unknown quantity for the public.

Perhaps the most interesting question on there is whether people think the election of Miliband moved the party to the left. 42% think it has – this includes 35% of Labour supporters, but they overwhelmingly see this is a good thing. YouGov also asked if the description of “Red Ed” was justified – only 19% thought it was, 31% did not (and again, 51% didn’t know).

Meanwhile the Times front page was dominated by some Conservative party polling from the start of the September. Basically, Populus showed respondents two video clips of David and Ed Miliband and asked people to rate them on various attributes, with the conclusion that David Miliband came out far better than Ed… confirming, albeit in far more detail, previous polls that showed David was more attractive to the wider public than Ed. I suspect “leaked” in the paper may translate as “deliberately released on the day after Ed Miliband became leader to undermine him now it’s too late for Labour to pick the good one”.

UPDATE: Rubbish reporting of polls times – the New Statesman dismisses the Conservative party’s Populus poll because “Without more information about when precisely the poll was conducted, who the respondents were (party affiliation and so on), and whether responses were based purely on campaign videos, it is impossible to consider this a serious blow to Ed Miliband”. Sound words indeed that I would normally agree with… except 10 seconds research on Populus’s website would tell you it was a nationally representative poll conducted between the 3rd and 5th September, in fact the dates are even in the Times article (it doesn’t tell you whether any other stimulus was used beside campaign videos, but Populus would be obliged under BPC rules to tell any journalist who asked). At least make an effort, dammit.

512 Responses to “More polling on Ed Miliband”

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  1. I really think the Conservatives are making a huge strategic error in going negative so early and on such little evidence. It’ll establish little more than they just want to throw mud at the new leader. It reinforces the “Nasty Party” image, and it puts them in a “Cry wolf” position of diminishing the returns on going negative in an actual election campaign.

    Again, the Conservatives fail to recognise that being in government means having to defend your own efforts more than attacking the oppositions. See how well that’s faired for the Democrats in the US!

  2. I must say the Populus poll seems a waste of time and money. People would have not judged on the video alone, but also on formed opinions. As very little was known about Ed Miliband prior to the leadership race, it is hardly surprising that David Miliband would score more highly in a public personility contest. Totally meaningless. I’m pretty sure that Cameron, at the start of his leadership, would have scored very similarly to Ed Miliband. I think that it is a totally pointless excercise for any psephologist to sift through the reams of tables in order to glean any information.

  3. Ed’s chubby cheeks and boyish smile make him much purtier in my book than big bro :)

    For one who makes so much of statistical accuracy, your general comments are no more than a predictable joke. I am a pretty regular poster on this board and have never read anything you have to say which is not totally anti Tory. I think you should wait and see what Edward Milliband says later on today about his own party’s record, before worrying about what the Tories say about him. Your constant diatribe about major Tory gaffs just gets silly and boring.

  5. @C.L.A.D
    I totally agree with your comment. Its very nearly time certain posters caught on to the fact that the vast majority of the population could not care less about Ed Milliband until his girl friend has her baby or he marries her. This on-line Westminister village world some posters inhabit, adds nothing to understanding what the voters think. I have not the slightest doubt that this polls questions have been answered by the first thing that came into the punters head in most cases.

  6. Without seeing the video clips or knowing how the focus group was selected, it’s hard to judge the relevance of the outcome.

    YG polling, on the other hand, is useful stuff. Ed M will be hard pressed to say the public didn’t approach him with an open mind. It’s up to him. Smears will rebound on the smearers, if Ed does keep ‘in touch with ordinary people & their concerns’ over the coming years.

    If Ed doesn’t keep in touch, that’s his failing. After Gordon Brown’s experiences, he should’ve anticipated taking a good kicking from the media when he decided to stand.

    @ Roland
    I agree, a big soapy wedding with Peers Morgan & Simon Cowell on the guest list would be just the kind of PR nonsense that would send Ed M sky-rocketing in the polls. Yuk! 8-)

    When you put it like that, it seems that Teddy Edward
    has a similar start to Dave C. As you so rightly say, its up to him what he makes of it. For every “toffee nosed Eton git”, there is “a son of a Russian Marxist Jew”.
    Very unfortunate, but very predictable.
    BTW, on the last thread you gave the Labour movement full credit for raising us out of our malodorous pits and crushing despond. I don’t entirely agree, although I would give some credit. I think we would look a lot more like a smaller version of the USA, rather than the way we are.

  8. “For every “toffee nosed Eton git”, there is “a son of a Russian Marxist Jew””

    Surely not?

  9. In this morning’s YG, they ask the question about the most preferable form of gov.

    54% of LDs prefer a blue/yellow gov.
    27% of LDs prefer a red/yellow gov.

    Ed’s election aint changed much :)

  10. Since the election YG have asked the question “which party seems old and tired”

    Consistently Labour have been viewed as the most tired.

    In May it was 54%
    by July it had dropped to 50%
    by Sept. it was down around 45%

    After Ed Miliband’s election it is at its lowest for a very long time (although still high in my view)

    41% of voters now view Labour as tired…

    sometimes its said arties need a spell in oosition to renew them in the eyes of voters…

    Red’s renewal seems to be occuring at quite rapid pace. If that decline ocntinued… we might see another party overtake them as the one viewed as most tired… that is probably a good year of so off but it is progress for reds nonetheless.

    Interesting figures regarding LD preference for whom they wish to sleep with. I would have guessed the opposite amoung the rank and file. It certainly confirms my confidence that the coalition is not going to buckle. Perhaps any Liberals who by instinct dont like debt, but expect £zillions to be thrown at social issues, will be helped by the IMF comments. The usual economic commentators, are very quiet on this board regarding the IMF by the by.

  12. Roland,

    Even if Clegg goes, I do not see the coalition buckling. No offence, but I think your stuck with them ;)

  13. I commented on another thread about the very low turnout in the Union vote in this election.

    A poster on pb puts this in succinct context :-

    “The whole point of the Electoral College was to give EQUAL weight to the views of MPs, Party members and Union members. But within that concept is an implicit understanding that turnout will be roughly equal in each section.

    Instead what has happened is that equal weight has been given to the views of almost 100% of MPs, approx 60% of Party members and just 7% of Union members.

    It absolutely beggars belief. What if turnout in the Union section had only been say 1% or 2%? Should that TINY proportion of Union members have the same influence as the majority of Party members? “

  14. @EOIN
    “Stuck with them” how very dare you ! A lovely bunch of freaks, er, I mean people.

  15. I presumed a large chunk of the LD red/yellows long since flew the coop ?

    Cleggy certainly seems to have a problem convincing the ladies of his honesty. And it ain’t because they think he’s a charismatic ‘rogue’ either……..

  16. @Eoin:

    Maybe 54% of LDs prefer now a blue/yellow gov ’cause the majority of those who voted LD and preferred a red/yellow gov are now decided to vote for Labour.

    Maybe is the reason why Labour increased 11 points its support while LD lost 12.

    So maybe the majority of those who voted LD in the election preferred a red/yellow gov.

  17. Colin,

    A fixation with the method at which someone asumes power, under the rules, however, they are written is against the spirit of deomcracy.

    Criticise blue’s 36% in MAy 2010
    Criticise Eds Union vote Spet. 2010

    tis the same thing…. under the rules laid out before them, they are both legitimate holds of power…

  18. @COLIN
    Prepare for the forces of hell to descend upon you mate. Perhaps its a quiet time of day and you will be saved. This system is beyond criticism and embodies all that is finest in the democratic process.


  19. Roland

    “The usual economic commentators, are very quiet on this board regarding the IMF by the by.”

    Some of them have commented Roland-” its only the IMF” is the basic reaction.

    I think they are refering to the IMF who are part of the ECB’s European Financial Stability Facility -the lifeboat to which Ireland will have to turn if they lose access to the market for funding their welfare state and rescuing their banks .

    It’s that IMF who say GO’s plan looks good.

  20. Roland


    Left is Right

    Bob’s Your Uncle.

  21. @ colin

    I think to be fair the system can be damned either way. If the union turnout had been higher then there would have been grumblings about members votes being worth 200 union/affiliate votes, and MPs being worth 10,000 or suchlike.

    Once you knock out the non-labour supporters and electorally apathetic from the unions/affiliates then turnout would inevitably be much much lower…..

  22. “tis the same thing”

    Don’t think so Eoin.

    We have one big electoral college in UK GEs.

    If we had three-and they all got equal vote weighting-and one turned out 100% to vote, -and one turned out 7% to vote -I would criticise it………….wouldn’t you?

  23. @ Eoin

    “A fixation with the method at which someone asumes power, under the rules, however, they are written is against the spirit of deomcracy”

    Freedom of speech (such as criticising a ‘system’) is at the heart of liberal democracy. Is it against the spirit of democracy to criticise the disproportionate nature FPTP after an election? Of course not!

  24. @ Colin – sorry, as you know, I come in peace (or war) ;-)

  25. @COLIN
    What a good job it was only the IMF. However when Dr Professor Chou En Wing of the University of Nanking says “Osborn wrong”, we will I am sure get full coverage.

  26. Michael Vaughan,

    It helps if you criticise it for both parties…

    If reds 36% in 2005 traumatised you so, then it would be understandable if blues 36% had an equal effect.

    Even then, blues might point out that their 36% did not get them a majority….

    Dummy – pram- are two nouns springing to mind :)

  27. @Roland

    Be assure that when, and note *when* not if, Ed Milliband makes a blunder, I will note it. But at the moment, it’s the Conservatives using up political capital to make an attack when there’s no election to fight.

    If they don’t learn, quickly, that they have to defend policies while in Government and save the big attacks for an election, they’ll find those attacks have lost power during a campaign. Ed Milliband being “elected by the Unions” will be old news in months. There is no point in attacking Ed now, and it’ll even help him rally his party around him in ‘face of Conservative hecklers’.

    We’ll see how his first PMQ goes.

  28. Colin,

    Almost every criticism ever made of an electorla system or method at which someone assumes leadership has a measure of self interest.

    The rules of Blues victory in 2010 was known to all before the result.
    The rules of Eds victory in 2010 was known to all before the result.

    Ironically those most critical wont vote for a new voting system to improve it. This only adds to the level of self interest being displayed.

  29. I agree with C.L.A.D. – when your first thought about a poll is “how much did this cost?”, you can be sure the money was wasted. The Populus website is a bit vague, but it looks like face-to-face interview of 2000+ people. I would assume in groups (100 X 20 ?), so they probably paid a participation fee (heavens knows there’s enough questions*). Individually in people’s homes of course would cost even more.

    Without seeing the videos, you can really judge the response. Some of the questions asked to include whatever else knowledge of the Milibands the participants had, but the general impression (apart from tl;dr)is of trying to force negative results. There are 12 questions per Milibrother asking if you agree with a negative quality about them (eg “does not speak human”) and another 11 positive v negative with no don’t know option. The poll response not very informative and of course now well out of date.

    I assume the Tories agreed as the info would have been “leaked” earlier if they thought it helpful.

    Incidentally the data tables for the Ashcroft poll aren’t up yet on Populus’s site – it would be nice to see them.

    *66 including 20 score 1-10 ones. I counted so you don’t have to.

  30. @ Eoin

    Dummys and Prams???

    I made no reference to any specific election – I was merely arguing that criticism of an electoral system in not inherently against the spirit of democracy. I did not differentiate between any elections, national or party-based.

  31. @JAY BLANC
    What Conservatives are saying about Millibands election is current news. Waiting until 2015 to mention the trade union vote does not sound very sensible. However, I agree with the point regarding PMQs.

  32. @ROLAND -“The usual economic commentators, are very quiet on this board regarding the IMF by the by.”

    The IMF don’t have a good track record when it comes to advising countries how to deal with economic problems.
    If there is a strong recovery world-wide recovery then the UK will probably do well under the Osborne plan. But if the world economy slows down again, it won’t.
    Whether schools are able to continue building or some of the other ‘essential’ cuts happen this year or not, won’t make much different to the final outcome.
    Our government does not have as much influence over its own economic fate as you, or the IMF, think.
    Oh. And one final word as to why the IMF lack credibility.


  33. @Roland

    When the attack does nothing to improve electability, and helps your opponent rally his troops, while making you look opportunistic and nasty… There is no reason to make the attack.

    It may well get the Conservatives on the news, and may well distract a little from Labour’s conference high… But it’s not effective, and it may be harmful, so why do it?

  34. Colin

    I’m as critical of the Labour Parties bizarre election system as anyone, but unless you can prove that those who voted were deliberately unrepresentative of those who didn’t I don’t think you’ve any complaint This is UKPR remember – we know about small sample sizes. ;)

    If you’re looking at the Affiliates section, you’d have a better case that it’s the society members who have disproportionate power. They have a much higher turnout on the whole and will all have had an individual vote elsewhere. And of course you can join as many as you want and get a vote from each.

    I do have one query though. Individual members were clearly allowed to vote over the internet, but I get the impression that Union members weren’t. does anyone know anymore about this?

  35. Roger –

    I’m a union member (not a Labour Party member) and was permitted to vote over the internet.

  36. ” I did not differentiate between any elections, national or party-based.”

    Should read “do not”

  37. Perhaps the candidates did not do enough to reach the union voters directly; they sat back & thought that the endorsement would be theirs &/or the members would ignore the endorsement & vote for David anyway.

    Did any of the candidates reach out to the union members? Did they reach out to them, specifically via CLP members who were also in unions. I do not think they did but would be happy to be told I am wrong.

    If they sat back & treated 1/3rd of their potential result as the ‘general public’ rather than a particular group they needed to reach out to directly, more fool them.

    If they did not learn the lesson of the 2010 GE, i.e. reach out to specific groups & give them a reason to vote for you, then that is the candidates’ lesson to learn.

    What needs to change? The unions should send literature – supplied by the candidates – to all their members who are eligible to vote. Did any of the candidates request this & were rebuffed? Or did they just not bother to ask? 8-)

  38. WarofDreams

    Thanks for that – someone else said they weren’t able to, but I night have misunderstood them. Can you remember if you were reminded to tick the box about subscribing to the Labour party’s ideals? The reason for the high number of spoilts in the Affiliates Section seems to be because a lot of people didn’t. I wondered if it was easier on-line.

  39. Ed’s come out in support of a Yes vote on the AV referendum. So there goes that “Labour will join the No campaign” assumption a lot around here had.

  40. John Prescott whinging about the rules because he was beaten for the Treasurer position – pure comedy gold.

    Diana Holland, who I voted for, is a grassroots Labour/ union rep. who has worked her way up. Almost none of the general public have heard of her. She had to go up against Prescott, who was highly visible, almost a celebrity candidate.

    And Prescott is the one complaining about unfairness!

  41. The happiest bloc of voters of all with ed Miliband’s speech is most likely to be disgruntled LD voters (not members). Quite a transparent political ploy to welcome them into the labour fold. The fact that much of the speech was a turn off for me must mean it is likely to appeal to centrists. I expect this speech to gain Labour maximum advance in the polls. (It will probably put me to sleep in the meantime). Well done Ed Miliband, very clever ploy.

    David Miliband must be very annoyed, there seems little to separate him and Ed M. Both could have made that speech. There were parts of it DC could also have felt comfortable reading.

  42. I’ve been saying since they started running that there was next to no difference between the brothers, with the minor exception that DM is slightly better at presentation, while EM is now obviously slightly better at targeting his campaign for the election he’s in.

    Once we knew that it’d be a Milliband who would win, we knew that it would be Lib Dem poaching time.

    Successive governments which you would have/did support don’t have a good economic record either, but you still persist in supporting them.

  44. @JAY BLANC
    If the Tories were considering electability at this stage they would be committing the same mistakes as New Labour under Blair. It will be 4 years to another GE, plenty of time for many things to change. In the meantime you are suggesting the Tories should be nice to Milliband. I think reminding people who don’t live and breath politics that the Labour party is in the pocket of the trade union movement is no bad thing.
    When Mr Balls holds forth about the Tories sucking up to their rich city paymasters, you will be the first to applaud, typically, the Tories making the same point about Labour, is seen by you as as a disastrous gaff. Its rubbish.

  45. @Roland

    Leaving repairing the image of the Conservative as “The Nasty Party” till an election campaign will be far too late, particularly considering what is ahead. So yes, they should be “Nice” to Ed. Much more damage could be done with damning with faint praise.

  46. There’s not been much in the way of gaffes from Tories in recent weeks, IMO. Probably a relief after Hague/Coulson issues.

    What would you expect from Prescott Amber ? The man is an oaf.

  48. Glad to hear that Ed is making a push for the centre ground with his speech. If he turns out to be the kind of leader many would have expected David to be, it’s a good thing. It will also be an amusing response to the “anybody but DM” campaign many of the Unions orchestrated.

  49. @JAY BLANC
    Tell me, do you think Labour have always been the height of charm regarding Cameron or Osborn? Do you think the bare malicious hatred (which offended even me) of Clegg was good policy and in order?
    Be very careful who you call the nasty party. It was not a Liberal or a Tory, who called an elderly woman supporter a bigot.

  50. @Roland

    It certainly didn’t help Labour remain in government did it? Now that they are Opposition, they’re much more able to attack.

    And like it or not Roland, “The Nasty Party” is the tagline the Conservatives have been branded with. The Conservatives should work on repairing their image while in government, by defending their policies and not acting like a “Nasty Party”. Gordon Brown is gone from power now, raising him as a spectre doesn’t work any more.

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