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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    I understand what you are trying to say, but with respect our backgrounds have damn all to do with it.
    Either we can defend our country from any number of hostile developments, or we cannot. It does not matter whether one is a left wing academic, or some old buffer from the home counties who used to be a soldier.

    This issue is much bigger than politics, it is potentially about survival as a nation. We had the pacifists of the left in the 30s and those on the right who felt Hitler and Mussollini could be accommodated. These politicians of BOTH main parties very nearly gave the Third Reich
    victory. These lessons still count, I reiterate, the world is still very unstable.

  2. Eoin, Not that it undermines your point in any way but Howard retired at last GE

  3. Roland,

    But if your orientation is pacifist you beleive peace accords suffice not nuclear weapons :) Ireland has only been invaded by 1 country in the last 900 years. We did not have any WMD. Since 1921, ROI neutrality has served it very well. The best form of defence is to first disarm yourself.

    When is the last time that England where invaded?

  4. Hooded,

    Not retired- he’s just gone upstairs. Lord Ervine/ Falconer and others were enough trouble up there. I suspect he could be too.

  5. @John Fletcher
    “Yes of course he must express his views, but in cabinet.”
    IMHO the real decisions are made further upstream where detailed work is carried out, long before they reach Cabinet. If so then Mr Fox is right to get his twopennorth in early doors.

  6. Roland, 
    I don’t dispute for one second the importance of defence. Nor with the health of the nation or the education of our children. 
    Fox has a very strong case to make, and if he does his ‘job’ properly then it is an irrefutable one. I don’t think he should be choosing to conduct it in public. Even if the leak was the work of civil servant, Fox has ‘previous’ on this.
    He also could have done more to ensure defence was wholly or partly ringfenced when he was shadow if he feels that strongly about it, although I appreciate the commitments Labour had made were somewhat unknown then.

  7. This ‘Defence’ issue…just musing whether that retired army general (can’t remember his name) who criticised the Lab gov and planned to be part of the Con gov has had a hand or an influence in any of this?

    He strikes me as the kind that ain’t too bothered by protocoland procedures, and says what he thinks.

    It’ll be deliciously ironic if he is partly involved in this.

  8. @ Hooded Man

    Even if the leak was the work of civil servant, Fox has ‘previous’ on this.

    You make my point beautifully. Thanks :D

    If you are speaking as a subject of Eire, fine. But I am speaking as an Englishman. The last invasion is of absolutely no consequence whatever. It is the considerable number that (A) were defeated before they got started, (B) were defeated at sea, and most important of all, but unknowable in number, (C) those which the enemy dared not launch because we were to strong. You cannot really be serious when you make this point. You are educated enough to know that Napoleon, Kaiser Bill, Hitler, to name only 3 would have come if they dared to come. Add to that list the Russians in the 50s or 60s. It was not British bad teeth and halitosis which stopped them.

  10. @ Mike N

    General Dannatt

  11. John Fletcher


  12. “DC cant afford to lose Liam Fox”

    Yes Eoin

    And he isn’t going to.

  13. Alec


    @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. ”

    Eoin’s suggestion was Murphy for Justice Secretary. That was the reference.

  14. Roland,

    The Ministry of Defence is the biggest oxymoron in Whitehall. It should be known as the Ministry of Attack.

    Hitler would have happliy avoided a barney with Britian. It was you guys who stuck up for poland rememebr…? Likewise with the Kaiser it was your entente cordial with the French, your affections for the Belgians and your meddling in the Balkans that saw you play a hand in that conflict… I venture to say that Napolean’s ambitions lay eastward to the urals and caucuses.. Most of Britains wars they choose to involve themselves in.. Eygypt, Korea, Iraq, Kosov, Bosnia, even as far back to Crimea, the Opium wars and Mehmet Ali cirsis (I & !!) your actions were always in the name of some Greek or Tartar injustice… I got all the way down that without mentioning the splash of red on Africa.

  15. Billy Bob

    “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.”

    I’m glad you said that.

    I have been collecting little pieces of him which look encouraging for Cons.

    And that was one of them. He does it on Radio too-with “Oh come on”; and ” Look , you know what I mean”.

  16. Eoin, ‘Not retired- he’s just gone upstairs. Lord Ervine/ Falconer and others were enough trouble up there. I suspect he could be too.’

    Sorry, I thought you were referring to the rear ‘greenseats”

    With our history and background its a bit late to turn ourselves into Norway.

  18. Hooded Man

    “Fox on the other hand has been much keener to conduct his debate with the Treasury in public.”

    You seem to be suggesting that Fox leaked his own letter.

    If he did that is unforgivable & he should go.

    If it was not him-but an MOD jobsworth-then I see no problem.
    It was Fox’s absolute duty to make his boss aware of the balance of risks & costs.

    WE are at war-our young people are dying for this country. Fox speaks for them.

    I am beginning to buy the crticism that a Strategic DEfence REview is being squeezed out by the Spending REview.

    That has t stop. If the SDR needs more time-they should give it to them. The Spending REview will just have to have contingencies in it pending SDR completion.

    Anyway-there is a huge question about how unexpected, and unpredictable conflicts can be funded out of fixed annual budgets. There should be a contingency reserve for wars-I thought there was.

  19. @ Eoin

    Ref you post to Roland of 12.50.

    Though I do not agree with your pacifist views I think I am correct I saying that since 1900 there has only been one year when the Army has not been in some form of combat operation or other.

    Guess we just like a fight. :D

  20. @ Eoin

    Ref you post to Roland of 12.50.

    Though I do not agree with your pacifist views I think I am correct I saying that since 1850 there has only been one year when the Army has not been in some form of combat operation or other.

    Guess we just like a fight :D

  21. Roland,

    Many of your causes of intervention were good causes. Of that I have no doubt. A 60,000 standing army equipped with naval, air and land attack weapons is a bare minimum.

    I would ask the USA to station its nuclear weapons here. Get them to pay for it. The Trident System is for a different era and as a determent a US station would suffice.

    Colin made a good point about the costs of conflcits which red got yous into. If it were not for those conflicts, I’d imagine the level of cuts would be greatly reduced.

    By the way I am researching Cecil Rhodes at the moment and the first chimurenga (A background to a piece I am wriitng on ZANU PF women). The Rhodesian Army were a tenacious lot.

  22. John F,

    Your tar us Celts with the rep for liking a barney and a more mild mannered bunch you’ll never meet. But yes, Englishmen are a macho bunch

  23. @ Eoin

    Dont know what happened there. Corrected my post from year 1850 to 1900 but both seem to have made it onto the board.

  24. @ Eoin

    The Rhodesian Army were a tenacious lot.

    If you have not done so already look up C Squadron 22 SAS.

  25. Colin,
    you are absolutely right if Fox is genuinely right to be ‘appalled’. Aside froM IDS though, Defence is the only dept where information has been ‘leaked’ and disagreements widely publicised so I have my suspicions. Happy to be proved wrong though, and a well-briefed sacking of the culprit for leaking sensitive documents would be a good start.

  26. John F,

    I got an excellent site up with that reference. Thank you.

  27. @John Fletcher – “Not becuase he is wrong about Defence Cuts but because of the way he is conducting himself.”

    Do we know if Fox leaked this? It could equally well be DC. Nothing like a neutered Fox in the cabinet if his private bluster is exposed?

    @Eoin – “Hitler would have happliy avoided a barney with Britian. It was you guys who stuck up for poland rememebr…? Most of Britains wars they choose to involve themselves in..”

    Thankfully this country did stick up for Poland, and all the other countries invaded by the most unpleasant ideology of 20th century Europe. Ireland’s role in the fight against Fascism was not particularly impressive.

    and – “Ireland has only been invaded by 1 country in the last 900 years.”

    Don’t kid yourself – if you hadn’t been either the neighbour or directly controlled by one of the most powerful European nations throughout that time, you would have suffered more invasions than Poland.

  28. @EOIN

    “Hitler would have happliy avoided a barney with Britian. It was you guys who stuck up for poland rememebr…? etc”

    I don’t often join in these endless threads but I couldn’t let that one pass.

    Do you really think Hitler would have happily invaded the rest of Europe and left Britain alone if they HADN’T have had the Armed Forces etc to act as a deterrent?

    You are one hell of a rose-tinted spectacled pacifist if you do.

  29. I tend to follow the rule that whenever anyone mentions Hitler in an internet comment thread it indicates a descent into the realms of the daft.

    How did we end up here?

  30. Alec,

    For the last 90 years ROI has been controlled by noone. Al Qaeda left us alone, as did Hitler. The cold war we avoided and Iraq, Korea, Vietnam, Falklands and many other conflcits we took no part in. In fact in the 90 years since ROI’s independance its forces have only been deployed to police the ISrael Lebanon border or other such conflcits in Africa.

    Sadly, for you, your post has no basis in fact.

    BT says…

    Hitler is on record as vieiwng the UK as a potential ally. He is known to have been an admirer of its past imperialsit exploits. Look into the background of negoations prior to the signing fo the Nazi-Soviet pact. Britian tried desperately to do a deal before that. The 1935 Anglo_German naval agreement might also be worth your interest.

  31. Spencer.

    Godwin’s Law.

  32. Spencer

    Mentioning Hitler hardly seems irrelevant, when discussing wars!

  33. Well I am glad others have pointed out the real facts of life to Eoin, I get fed up with playing the militarist Tory warmonger sometimes. There is one thing for sure, without Britain going against its own best interests and fronting up Germany, there would be no Milliband brothers to argue about now. On that basis, what attitude will the Brilliant Comrade have towards Trident ?

  34. Eoin

    RIght – so you actually would have trusted Hitler’s politics.

    Oh dear – this bad dream gets worse.

  35. BT,

    It is quite an acheivement to derive that from my post. It is quite at odds with anything I said. I was in no way reccomending that route was taken by the UK. It is a historians job simply to point out the facts. The following three books all available through google books will confirm my original point.

    Hitler’s Personal Pilot: The Life and Times of Hans Baur
    By C. G. Sweeting p. 100

    Hitler: profile of a dictator
    By David Welch p. 58

    A Childhood in Bohemia
    By Erika Storey p. 77

  36. @ Eoin

    “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.”

    That’s more than Obama did.

  37. There’s a nice story about King Edward going to visit Hitler, and him seeing a map in Hitler’s study of Europe coloured brown, and Britain coloured light brown.

  38. (My original post to 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…

  39. King Edward – didn’t they have to hide the old Nazi in Bermuda or something because he was becoming such an embarrassment?

    @ Eoin

    Ireland is well placed to be neutral, having relatively little bad blood with nations outside the British Isles. The UK is in an entirely different position. Unilateral disarmament (I’m not sure if this is what you are advocating, so do correct me if I’m wrong) would signify a huge loss of power and independence for the UK. I would like to see a world free of WMD, but unfortunately there are too many potential aggressors for this to occur in the foreseeable future.

    There’s also a negative side to neutrality, as evidenced by Dev in WWII.

  40. On the subject of Dr Fox (now that brings back memories on capital fm in the 80’s) .I think he is right to bring it up.However this would not become an issue if we left Afghanistan and Iraq now.We don’t have the money anymore to fight needless wars and charity begins at home. So if you have to cuts,make sure our troops are NOT busy fighting pointless wars now.

  41. One explanation of the Afghanistan decreasing as a matter of public concern is that with the Conservatives in government they are no longer sending their attack dogs out against Labour on the issue, thereby decreasing negative public exposure.

    That is not to say that the situation is not improving – I just doubt the general public would have much appreciation of this in the short term.

  42. @eoin – “Sadly, for you, your post has no basis in fact.”

    Neat move, focusing on 90 years in the last post and conveniently sidestepping the remaining 810 years from the original claim. As I say, if Ireland was a little agricultural island facing the major western trade routes all by itself, with no big Britain next door, you would have been regularly mashed by invaders throughout those 810 years (and quite probably once or twice in the 90).

    You are absolutely right that Hitler thought Britain could be an ally. It was weird function of his warped theories of genetics that we were ‘the same people’. Quite a few British felt a permanent accomodation was useful to UK interests, while many recognised that even if we didn’t want to seek a permanent accord we needed to try to delay the onset of conflict while we got our armed forces to a point where they could actually defend us. Many others felt Fascism was so evil it required a fight to the death – some people even volunteered to fight against it in Spain.

    I’m against war in general (who isn’t?) but I’m not a pacifist. Yes, Ireland ‘didn’t get involved’ in countless wars and conflicts. In many cases that is something to be admired. However, rigid pacifism also means that as a nation there were times when you stood by and watched gross suffering of innocent people and didn’t lift a finger. That’s something to be a bit less proud of.

  43. I am getting really fed up the way The Labour Party still won’t move on from Iraq.

    I am from a small minority of the party who always supported, it even now. Many other objected then and still do.

    What matters is the everyone moves on. I do not support what Ed said yesterday about Iraq, but he is our leader, and I don’t expect everyone to share identikit ideas.

    DM has gone down in my estimation, for his sillyness over Harriet clapping and probable withdrawal from the Shadow Cabinet. He’s a big boy, but may decide to take his bat and ball home, when he could have given the Labour a few more of his young years.

  44. I wouldn’t mind being hid in Bermuda, I’ll tell you what.

  45. Alec,

    You forget quite a bit.. When it comes to IReland you should really defer…

    In 1798 Napolean sent us 20,000 troops, (See Theobald Wolfe Tone)
    In 1601, The King of Spain sent us 10,000 troops (Kinsale)
    In 1916 the Germans sent us 15,000 rigfles. (see Casement and the Aud)
    Throughout most of the centuries I care to mention, the Scots continually provided us with RedShanks… (See Agnes Campbell’s Dowry)
    The US provided us with funds, arms and safe passage… (See clann na Gael)

    Ireland would not have been crushed where it for Britain- the world likes us. I selected 900 years because pre that the Vikings were a pain… Sadly, once again you are very very wrong


    – four polls between 28 June- 10 Aug showed that 22.75% of voters believed Afghan to be in the top 3 important issues affecting the country.

    Three polls from 23 Aug- 22 Sept. showed that 17% of voters beleived Afghan to be in the top 3 important issues affecting the country….

    Clearly, progress is being made.

    Michael Vaughan,

    When I speak to germans abour Ireland’s neutrality during the WWII they have their own list of supposed trangressions in Éire’s neutrality favouring the British. Eg letting US planes refuel etc.. safely returning UK POWs to England whilst keeping German POWs in internment camps. In terms of providing our emergency services to help alleviate the effects of the Blitz obn Belfast’s shiiping and engineering, we also in the eyes of Germans contravened neutrality. The turth is that neutrality during a world war is particular difficult. Hopefully here aint going to be any more world wars.

    As for disarmament… ‘unilaterally’ it would be foolish of the UK to give up its threat. But I do think the the US should foot the bill or provide the warheads…

    Yes, and his bloody awful wife.

    You are right on every count Michael, I knew you were not all bad.

  47. @Eoin – “Ireland would not have been crushed where it for Britain- the world likes us.”

    How sweet – it’s just the kind of nonsense that we Scots used to parade behind. You really think Napoleon sent 20,000 troops to Ireland because he ‘liked you’? He did it to open another front with Britain and had absolutely no interest in Ireland other than as a strategic position.

    If Ireland was geographically distant from the UK, a small, weak country, with little industry and no military power, it would simply have been fought over by the big European powers with no reference to what the Irish might have wanted. You enjoyed centuries of relative peace only because you fell under the orbit of British interest and British rulers would not countenance a military threat from across the water.

  48. If you will forgive a little game of Hypothetical…

    Do we think that Churchill would have gone into Afghanistan and Iraq?

    Personally, I suspect he would have, though until I meet up with Mytsic Meg, I cannot confirm this…

  49. @EOIN
    Well you believe what you like Eoin but for once I am with Alec. You would have over run like sh.t through a goose about 5 times. Its why Cromwell came over in the first place, Ireland was to handy as a jumping of point for continentals.
    Regarding the world liking you Irish, quite possibly, but they don’t like us. Therefore we need the tackle.

  50. @ Roland

    “It is the considerable number that (A) were defeated before they got started, (B) were defeated at sea, and most important of all, but unknowable in number, (C) those which the enemy dared not launch because we were to strong. You are educated enough to know that Napoleon, Kaiser Bill, Hitler, to name only 3 would have come if they dared to come.”

    I’ve always understood it that Hitler did dare to come but was defeated at sea and in the air in the Battle of Britain. His transport ships for troops were bombed by the RAF before they could be loaded up to invade. This precluded a planned ground invasion.

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