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. @ Old Nat

    I wouldn’t like to jump the gun ahead of the shadow cabinet elections – but once I have the list of names, I’m fairly confident I will be able to match them to the roles faster than Ed Miliband. I should probably send him my list & save him a bit of time. ;-)

  2. Amber

    That will be interesting. I don’t know how you guys do this, so I’d appreciate your letting me know how this election is done.

    Do Shadow Cabinet candidates need a certain number of nominations, and are these from CLPs or are MPs the only ones involved?

    I assume that the list of confirmed candidates will be available, and that subsequently the list of elected MPs will be published. Does Ed have any flexibility in introducing others to the Shadow Cabinet – eg from that great democratic institution the House of Lords?

    At which stage are you willing to publish your list of who your Leader will allocate to the various shadow posts

    At the nomination stage – or at the “Sh!t, how did s/he get elected and to which irrelevancy can I put them” stage.

  3. Eoin

    “I have a ruthlessly loyal streak that is distasteful to pragmatists”

    Further thoughts on that.

    A pragmatist would be happy to have such a “ruthlessly loyal streak “. Only someone with principles would find such an attitude distasteful.

  4. @ Old Nat

    The shadow elections are a shambles! Any MP can nominate themselves! So what deters every member of the PLP putting themselves forward? There’s a vote & it’s published.

    Kremlin watching, with bells on; e.g. When Gordon Brown stood for election in the Blair shadow cabinet he came about 14th. This has since been mocked in the press.

    It’s because they don’t [want to] understand the way it goes. Each MP only has a limited number of votes to spread around. There will be 19 candidates elected but the leader can also pick a few who aren’t in the top 19. However, he can’t pick somebody who hasn’t put their name forward.

    So, Gordon Brown was definitely getting picked for the Chancellor role & everybody knew it, so what was the point in wasting a vote on him? Hence his #14 ranking.

    Anyway, I think this pretty much covers it, in outline. If you like, I can get all the gory detail about how many votes each MP has & what the maximum number of leader’s picks are these days. I don’t have it in my head, it’s such a long time since they did a shadow cabinet election. 8-)

  5. Thanks Amber, that was useful.

    So at which stage are you going to predict Mr Ed’s choices?

  6. @ Old Nat

    At the nomination stage – or at the “Sh!t, how did s/he get elected and to which irrelevancy can I put them” stage.
    There are usually tooooo many self-nominations so I will wait until we have the nineteen before I publish my forecast of Leader’s picks & match the people to the roles.

    You are correct, it is the who s/he ones that are fun. And when somebody gets an awesome amount of votes & you know the leader doesn’t particularly like them. That person often gets the Home Office or that thing that Eric Pickles does. ;-)

  7. Amber

    “or that thing that Eric Pickles does.” – eats?

    I’ll look forward to seeing your pick(le)s. :-)

  8. OldNat,

    I am glad your gardening has gone into abeyance! :) Your posts are priceless :)

    As for the Black watch? they made Roland’s crew look like evangelists ;)

  9. @ Amber

    I’m not sure Murphy would be a particularly good shadow Chancellor. He doesn’t strike me as one who could effectively spar on economic issues. I think he’d be a great shadow foreign secretary though if David Miliband gave up the front bench or became the Shadow Chancellor.

    Have front bench elections occurred yet? There’s a possibility that Murphy might fail to make it to the Cabinet isn’t there?

  10. @ Chris Lane

    I think that it depends on how Ed handles himself and how the economy does. If the coalition hangs on until 2014 or 2015, the economy is doing well, anger over cuts has subsided, and people like Cameron, it’s probable that the Tories will be reelected and probably take a majority in the process. No matter how well Ed Miliband does as leader.

    I don’t think politics is so easily predictable. I think most betting people in 2008 and 2009 and even early this year would have assumed Cameron would win a majority and a large one at that. Most people gave Obama no chance at getting the Democratic nomination in 2007, let alone becoming president. Things can change and bewilder us.

  11. @Oldnat – “Very difficult to appoint an MP from Scotland to a Ministry that doesn’t deal with Scotland.”

    ?? The Chancellor sets all the spending totals and sorts out the UK wide tax rates. Holyrood just decides how to ivide the money it’s given. Can’t see the problem.

    @Joe James B – “I may be allowing my views to influence this, but I don’t think Labour will make serious inroads onto the Conservatives until they show they do understand there has to be an urgent plan to cut the deficit.”

    I don’t disagree with you on this, although I imagine that pretty soon the debate is going to get much more complex than how to cut the deficit. We’ve now got senior Bank of England MPC members arguing that there is a risk of a Japanese style ‘lost decade’ because policy makers are understimating the long term damage to the size of the economy by the austerity measures and saying that the capacity for growth is much greater than most believe.

    This is very much in line with Labour’s general view on deficit reduction timing. If we get any hint that austerity measures will mean the UK economy is going to follow the Irish experience, the debate will get much more complex and move significantly beyond the deficit alone.

  12. “the finance community didn’t like it but now they claim to speak for the whole business community”

    Richard-I was refing you to Richard Lambert of CBI

  13. EM on Today:-

    Interviewer reminded him :-
    He never criticised Iraq when Labour were in power.
    He chaired a Labour economic strategy committee
    He wrote their last manifesto.

    His answers- I was subject to collective responsibility/ things change/unless we have “humility” people won’t vote for us.

    This man’s progress in the cold light of day is going to be very interesting to observe.

    A snippett-the “Living Wage” committment will be a quid pro quo for Con’s Corpration Tax reduction. If companies don’t pay it, they pay higher tax ( !)

    RE Fox’ letter.
    Dannatt was on Today & pointed out that Labour left a huge MOD forward committment which was not funded. So the MOD starting point is something like minus 10% just to pay for that-before they start looking for real savings.
    It is a Labour legacy problem excacerbating what would have been a problem anyway.

    Good Q2 economic output figures-particularly given the squeeze on disposable incomes.

  14. Very quick conference update :

    Ed Miliband’s speech was outstandingly good. Really very surprising. I was a tough audience – a David supporter AND I didn’t get my seat in the hall.

    All the David supporters I spoke to were very enthused, calling it perhaps a blessing in disguise.

    There were flashes of early Blair and I don’t think Cameron would have enjoyed that hour very much.

  15. I fail to see why everybody is looking forward to Ed M at PMQ with such glee. Ed asks the questions. DC answers them. That’s it.

    The only danger for Ed M: If he tries to be an attack dog & he doesn’t carry it off becuase he’s already said that’s not the kind of politics he intends to do.

    If Ed M asks straight questions, that he really wants answered, & DC does the nasty stuff then Ed M will look good. If they are both civil & serious PMQ will be judged in a different way – or not judged at all. 8-)

  16. Anthony
    Typical that.. Moderate my comment but let the 90% Labour contingency on here say anything but discuss polling!

  17. @Colin – “His answers- I was subject to collective responsibility/ things change/unless we have “humility” people won’t vote for us.”

    It’s easy to knock opponents for the kind of politcal manouveres they make, but I guess the flip side would be what you might post if Ed maintained that Iraq wasn’t a mistake and Labour ran the economy well. There are times you need to give politicians a break and allow them to admit errors.

    As ever, the level of judgement applied depends on which party one supports. Many Lib Dem and Tory leaning posters have accepted Clegg’s shift on cuts this year and someone earlier noted that Cameron promised to match Labour spending plans once, maintaining this stance right up to and beyond the financial crash. We didn’t hear many complaints when they switched tack.

    “A snippett-the “Living Wage” committment will be a quid pro quo for Con’s Corpration Tax reduction. If companies don’t pay it, they pay higher tax ( !)”

    To my mind, this sounds like a very good idea. Why not have varying tax rates to reflect the level of social responsibility shown by companies. I have long also suggested differential tax rates based on the gap between a companies highest and lowest earners. There is a mass of evidence that large earnings gaps are bad for society and using the tax system is a more efficient policy tool than direct regulation.

  18. Quick conference update – Ed’s speech outstandingly good.

    Before the Tories accuse me of bias, I was a very tough audience. A dejected David supporter, sure we had made the wrong decision after a miserable, flat day at conference. AND I didn’t get my seat in the conference hall so was furious.

    Reds – He really does have “it” to my great surprise and he made a pretty god job of re-positioning Labour.

    9/10 and an uncomfortable hour for Cameron I imagine.

    I can’t WAIT for PMQs myself……

  19. Rob – YG polls aren’t up until 6pm, it’s normally up until around about 4pm (but even then, the last hour or so will just be the last dribs and drabs. The overwhelming majority of people answering the poll will have been people who had not watched the speech).

    Roger Mexico – Populus could hardly do it as a phone poll! There are ways of making sure people watched the video, for example, they could have embedded the video in a flash file with the link to the next page of the survey appearing at the end of the video (or if the video was 2 minutes long, they could have discarded responses from people who spent less than 2 minutes on the page!). I don’t know what they actually did, but there are plenty of plausible ways of doing it.

    Emma – I don’t know for certain, just a vague recollection that would make sense if true!

  20. @ Colin

    A snippett-the “Living Wage” committment will be a quid pro quo for Con’s Corpration Tax reduction. If companies don’t pay it, they pay higher tax ( !)
    This could be a sensible strategy; at the moment, employers who count on working family tax credit, housing benefit etc. to top up wages are being subsidised by the tax payer.

    There’s obviously a lot of work to be done on this; impact assessments etc. We’ll see how it works out.

  21. Sorry for double post. Flippin mobiles….

  22. Good to get your live report Sue.

    But is it true DM bailed out of the Movt for Change rally?

  23. Couple of interesting stories doing the rounds.

    A number of bloggers are suggesting that Liam Fox could leave the government today after the leak of his very strong letter to DC.

    The Telegraph also has a cracking report of an analysis by Terry Smith of the impact of bank and hedge fund charges and fees on returns to investors. In short (no surprises here) the majority of fund managers are ripping off investors. If Ed M picks the right fights with the right vested interests, he will make life very uncomfortable with a cuts obsessed government heavily backed by the city.

  24. Alec,
    Interesting re Fox.
    I wonder whether DC could replace him with David Davis, who i’smite ‘considered’ on Trident but still keep the right happy.
    Fox is certainly just becoming a troublemaker, and perhaps too inflexible.

  25. “is more ‘considered’ re Trident”

  26. I think Liam Fox has to go.

    DC and GO will have to assert that no exception can be made otherwise all department heads will adopt a an atttitude similar to LF’s.

    And this is a big challenge to DC’s authority.

  27. Alec

    “what you might post if Ed maintained that Iraq wasn’t a mistake and Labour ran the economy well”

    To the former, I would look for a rational analysis of the basis for going in, the perceived outcomes-bad & good, his own stance then, and an explanation, in context of the above analysis, of any change in position he now adopted.

    To the latter, I wasn’t aware that he had said they ran the economy badly. He has accepted regulation policy was a mistake-but not aware he has rowed back on their economic management.

  28. Amber

    “This could be a sensible strategy; at the moment, employers who count on working family tax credit, housing benefit etc. to top up wages are being subsidised by the tax payer. ”

    I don’t really understand enough about this.
    I thought we had a minimum wage?
    Is he saying employers are not paying it?
    What are the stats involved & who produced them?

    What is the difference between “minimum wage” & “living wage”-and who will decide ?

    What will it cost -as you say what will the employment & economic impacts be?

    He was as incoherant on Today about his “High Pay Commission”. He was asked about pay differentials in the professional football industry-he said he “didn’t have a problem” with footballers wages.

    Is it just low paid workers in Banks he is concerned about ?

    We need much more time to fill some of the blanks in , and watch him being exposed to the media, and the Government-and real life.

    At present I see no reason to doubt my original feeling, that DM was the bigger threat for Cons.

  29. Hooded Man

    “Fox is certainly just becoming a troublemaker, and perhaps too inflexible.”

    I think this is a misreading.

    Fox is trying to get Cameron to understand , that beyond a certain point it will be difficult for DC to present MOD cuts as sensible & credible -ie a double whammy of lost political credibility & impaired military capability.

    Rob Sheffield makes the claim that this has wider implications & can be read as a proxy for all departments.

    Clearly that is now a risk-and the leak has exposed it.

    But Fox is right to fight his corner-that’s his job.

    And MOD have a special problem-a legacy of forward committments to spend for which there was no funding set aside . He has to address this legacy ( he called it a Labour shambles this morning on tv) before he even gets started on saving costs per se, along with other departments.

    Cons need to spell this out & quantify it.

    It is a huge problem for Fox A pity that the negotiations are so publicly exposed-but there we are.
    He is right to put the case-that’s what he gets paid for.

    DC & GO have to weigh it all up-that’s what they get paid for.

  30. Ed Milibnad and the IRaq war,

    at the time of the cabinet meeting before the Iraq war decision Ed M was in New York. (not an MP at the time as people know). He had the ear of GB (Don’t ask me how). He telephoned GB an hour before the meeting to try to talk him out of supporting the war on Iraq. He failed.

    I’ll get the New Statesman article backing it up when I can.


    You are correct on PMQ. He has to take it very slowly…

  31. This is the article. I wont paste from it but if you scroll down to the subsection : Nothing but the truth.

    h ttp://

  32. I think Fox has to go.

    Not becuase he is wrong about Defence Cuts but because of the way he is conducting himself.

    He is a senior minister and has a number of was of communicating directly to the PM over GOs head.

    By communicting in a letter to the PM maked “eyes only” (an open invitation to leak if there ever was one), and on the day of EDs speech and the week before the conference, is IMO very naughty.

    The reson given for the timig was the Security and Defence Committee meeting the next day. Fox is on the committee so he could have made his views known at the meeting.

    Defence is sacred to all true Blues, but so is the Party. By posturing this way Fox is IMO putting one before the other. If he were loyal he would find a way to express his concerns without undermining the party and the coalition.

    IMO he is posturing and mischiefmaking and should pull his horns in or be invited to fall on his sword.

  33. Amber/ Eoin

    “The only danger for Ed M: If he tries to be an attack dog & he doesn’t carry it off becuase he’s already said that’s not the kind of politics he intends to do.”

    I agree he has to play himself in over a few months (and we should expect Cameron to best him at the start) but it will be a fruitless mistake to try and use it as a venue for an ‘polite-but-vigorous’/ ‘grown up’ academic seminar/ shareholders Q&A.

    There will be increasing occasions- over the coming months/ years- when he will have to get angry and hostile even if he has to force himself to project that way as it is not his personal preferred style.

    That is what opposition in a parliamentary democracy generally – and PMQ’s specifically- requires. Especially at a time of (IMHO) unnecessarily ideological/ extreme government.

    He needs some tips from Ed Balls on that.

  34. @Amber Star,
    I have the greatest respect for your obvious experience in political matters and your intellect.I also thought very early on that Ed would win.This was not based on anything other than a gut instinct having watched and read about politics for many years.The same instinct agrees with you,he will be our next prime minister.

  35. Blues,

    DC cant afford to lose Liam Fox. Remember Redwood and Davis are already outside Cabinet. It would be a slow crumble and Boris would be eyeing it attentively.

    You keep your friends close……..

  36. After yesterdays example of great oration and the definite firm footsteps towards the sunlit uplands of debt, strikes and untruths regarding “yawn” immigration. We now face a crucial question. What is the first duty of any government ? If you believe it is some left wing holy cow, read no further. If you believe it is adequate defence of the realm and its people, then you know Dr Fox is in the right and Cameron had better listen.
    For the many who will disagree, please explain what makes the world a safe place in 2010.

  37. @Rob Sheffield – “… politicfial nous and steel”

    1960 Labour conference highlights replayed on BBC Parliament last night. Foot and Gaitskell in open and empassioned disagreement over disarmament. Then on BBC24 a Hardtalk interview with Bob Crow.

    Trades unionism makes the average voter feel conflicted… it reminds them of a consiousness that threatens to submerge the manufactured aspirational self image.

    There is a distinctly retro feel about the ‘New Generation’ theme. Looking back to a model beyond Blair/Brown, Ed cited the mythic Wilsonian ‘white heat’.

    Maggie or IDS (or ‘something of the night’ Michael Howard)?
    Ed has a characteristic method of dismissing questions he has no time for… a quick shake of the head and a premptory “No.” If he cannot correct this, people will find him autocratic and divisive.

  38. @John fletcher

    “I think Fox has to go.”

    The coalition are running out of Lib Dems (willing to serve) and hard to see which senior Conservative would want this poisoned chalice or who- if they accept- won’t start to seriously unbalance the make-up of the coalition cabinet: David Laws anyone? Someone absolutely unbothered by massive cuts to public spending so will take the axe to the military and defence budgets with great abandon one would assume.

    However, the political cat is out-of-the-bag (whether Fox goes or not, so one is tempted to say why get rid of him.) Because the language he used plays straight into the hands of those saying ‘yes to cuts but not as deep or as speedy as those proposed by this government’.

    Expect Liams phraseology to be replayed and replayed.

  39. @BILLY
    As a Tory I have never ducked the fact that my party supported Blair regarding Iraq. But as we now know Blair was not exactly the most transparent politician who ever served his sovereign. A bit more genuine intelligence might have changed many Tory minds.

    But the big point for the people who were tasked to do Blairs bidding, is the disgrace of his chancellor not being a “military fan”, refusing to give anything approaching adequate funding. The craven way he denied this later on, and ignorant view that things could be put right overnight, caused casualties.
    The Tories in 5 months are doing a much better job in the current hangover from Blair where I happen to have a son serving at present.

  40. @ Eoin

    You keep your friends close……..


    I disagree. If Fox is allowed to grandstand this way then it will gve the green light to all other Mnisters to do the same and the whold edifice of the coalition will come crumbling down.

    For now that is the danger.

    Ture in the longer run the Tory right will become more of a threat but unless Fox behaves he will have to go.

    The sad thing is that by acting in this way he is making it worse for Defence. He is making it more difficult for the Star Chamber to make a special case for Defence because that would be seen to be giving in to his macho style and encourage others.

    The only way out may be to spin the story that there is 10% of uncosted and unbujeted Labour spending. Therefore If the MOD budjet stood still it would effectively be taking a 10% cut, which is the most one can expect in time of war. I doubt wheter the LD partners will wear that though.

    Anyway since I predicted Defence would be the Cons stumbling block last night just before the story broke in the Telegraph I’m pretty chuffed, all be it I thought it would not be till 20th October. :D :D

  41. Roland,

    Afghan has been dropping down the list of things voters believe to be affecting the country… I’ll go dig out the exact figures but something tells me it dropped from about 25% to 17%…

    this would back up your point that Blues have handled it well. Before DC’s holiday he made a good job of conveying it as an important issue for him…

    Where you and I disagree is that I applaud him for defence cuts. But a difference on that is inevitable given our two distinctly different backgrounds… :)

  42. COLIN
    Re the birth certificate, yes you and I would think it odd.
    However it is so very Hampstead and trendy. When he does marry her, she will still be known as Ms Doris Sprout or whatever her name is. Just so hip, withit & downthere with the kidz .

  43. @ Rob S.

    Yes I always felt Defence was the stumbling block or the Cons and the coalition in the Defecit Reduction plan.

    Defence is sacred to the Blues.

    Good test of DCs abilities. Lets see how he gets out of this one. Now we shall really start to find out what he is made of. :D :D

  44. How distasteful are leaks? The timing of this one suggests that Blues have some very bitter enemies among the civil service. i thought the same of the Quango leak.. After DM’s on camera gaff, the timing couldnot have been better for reds… I can understand why gutter press make so much of it but i wonder if there is scope in the BBC’s charter for them to ignore this stuff?

  45. Colin, 
    All dept ministers have a tough task to put forward the kind of cuts required to make inroads into the deficit. Despite Labour’s protestations that this is ‘ideologically driven’, none will be enjoying the process. Their job is to assess what can be done with and without political and operational risk. Most seem to be attempting to do that in private, aside from some IDS murmurings. Fox on the other hand has been much keener to conduct his debate with the Treasury in public. Perhaps he feels unable to state his case strongly enough and therefore is relying on whipping up public support. Whatever his motives it is entirely unseemly to behave in this way as a govt minister. John F and Rob S are right that this just leads to disunity and becomes much larger than a defence issue.
    He needs a reminder that ‘we’re all in this together’ ;-) 

  46. Nothing wrong IMO with Liam Fox expressing his views. It would be a poor government which only has room for ‘noddy dogs’. The real problem seems to be the leak. Perhaps public servants who fear for their jobs will increasingly become a resistance movement, in which case expect many more leaks.

  47. John F,

    Help me out on this…

    David Davis ran for leadership of the blues
    Liam Fox ran for leadership of the blues
    Michael Howard ran for leadership of the blues
    IDS ran for leadership of the blues
    John Redwood ran for leadership of the blues

    Is that right? (pardon the pun for I gather they are all quite right). If it is true I would not want 5 former leadership contenders outside cabinet, if I was trying to pursue a centrist government. If Boris was to lose in 2012 and return as an MP it could be very uncomfortable for Cameron.

    Disaffected rumps have a habit of bigging up their Brutus’s. They would massage Johnson’s ego to the extent he’d be gunning for the Queen’s job never mind Cameron’s.

  48. @ Cozmo

    Nothing wrong IMO with Liam Fox expressing his views

    Yes of course he must express his views, but in cabinet. Thought this letter was leaked Fox has been negotiating Deficit Reduction in the public area,

    All other ministers have been behaving responsibly.

    Fox is the exception.

    He should wait until the final decision is made. If he than cannot live with it he should go to DC and say so and offer his resignation. That is the correct conduct of a Minister in a Cabinet govt

  49. Cozmo – totally agree. To suggest as someone did, that for Fox to mark his letter ‘Eyes Only’ was a deliberate invitation for it to be leaked is ridiculous.

    He’s perfectly right to make his position clear to the PM prior to the Defence meeting.

  50. @ Eoin

    Disaffected rumps have a habit of bigging up their Brutus’s. They would massage Johnson’s ego to the extent he’d be gunning for the Queen’s job never mind Cameron’s.


    As I said in my post of 11.48, lets see how DC gets out of this one :D :D

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