The full tables for YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times are now up here. As usual there were a range of subjects.

Firstly, there are some bad findings for Ed Miliband. Asked if he is “up to the job” of Labour leader, 27% said yes and 40% said no. Of course, most of those condemning him will be supporters of other political parties – for questions like this the more relevant figures are those for Labour supporters. 19% of current Labour supporters and 21% of people who voted Labour in 2010 think that Ed Miliband isn’t up to it. 23% of Labour supporters aren’t sure.

Asked whether Ed or David Miliband would have made the better leader, 36% of Labour supporters think David wouild have been better, 26% think Ed was the right choice. To some extent this shouldn’t be a surpise – after all, polls before the leadership election consistently showed the public preferred David to Ed – but clearly Ed hasn’t yet been successful in altering opinions.

As I’ve said in response to other negative ratings about Miliband – right now these ratings aren’t disasterous. Miliband doesn’t seem to have impressed people yet, but he doesn’t seem to have made a strong negative impression on the public either (there is no perception of Miliband as having “something of the night”, or Hague in his baseball cap, or even the poor old “Quiet Man”). I don’t think there’s anything so far that Miliband can’t come back from. There’s also some better news for Miliband is that people don’t think Cameron’s “son of Brown” jibe is fair – only 24% thought it was a fair description of his policies, 43% thought it was not (though I wonder whether questions like this are just the public rejecting the playground politics of slinging insults across the despatch box)

Turning to Ed Miliband’s policies, YouGov asked whether he should have done more to support the student protests, done more to distance himself, or whether he got the balance about right. Overall the public were pretty evenly spliy between the three answers, 23% thought he got it right, 23% that he should have supported it more, 26% that he should have distanced himself. Amongst Labour supporters 46% thought he got it right and 33% thought he should have supported them more, only 8% wanted him to distance himself more from the protests.

On the 50p tax rate for those earning over £150,000, the subject of disagreement between Miliband and Alan Johnson, 37% agreed with Miliband’s view that it should be permanent as it is a question of fairness and values. 46% thought it should be a temporary measure to tackle the deficit and eventually be reduced to 40%. This is an unusual finding – after all, we are used to most polling showing high levels of support for higher taxes on the rich.

Moving on, there were a series of questions upon prison and sentencing policy. Asked about the government’s broad policy of using fewer short prison sentences and more community sentences, the public were evenly split – 42% supported the policy and 44% were opposed. Amongst the Conservative party’s own supporters opinions were not much different – 48% of Tories supported the policy and 44% were opposed. Asked about the opposing arguments of Ken Clarke and Michael Howard – between Clarke’s view that short prison sentences are expensive and ineffectual, and Howard’s view that “prison works” – 35% were more of the view that prison worked, 40% were more of the view that community sentences would do more to reduce crime.

Both these findings go slightly against the grain – there is an assumption that the public are very right wing on law and order, and in many cases they are (look, for examples, at polls on early release, what proportion of sentences criminals should serve, or many polls on the death penalty). However, the British public’s views on law and order are often not a stereotypical kneejerk – look, for example, at this poll from back in 2007.

Finally there were a group of questions about Wikileaks. 46% of people thought the release of the diplomatic cables was wrong, with 36% supporting it. 42% thought the releases did pose a threat to Western security.

Asked about Julian Assange, views were evenly divided – 26% agreed with the characterisation of him as a traitor to the West, 28% saw him as a champion of freedom of information. 31% did not view him as either of these extremes. In regard of the Swedish sexual assault charges against him, 43% thought the allegations against him were probably trumped up to try and silence Wikileaks, 18% thought they were probably genuine. Despite this, 52% thought he should be extradited to Sweden.


44 Responses to “YouGov on Ed Miliband, prison policy and Wikileaks”

  1. There’s always been a perception that judges are soft on crimes of violence and hard on property crime because only working class people are the victims of crimes of violence while crimes against property are middle class crimes.

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  2. Anthony

    With regard to the Ed Miliband questions, I was a bit surprised at the way question order was handled. The “which brother is better” question was asked at the end after the other three, which all put Ed M in a potentially negative light and didn’t mention David.

    When ComRes did something similar in their first London Mayor poll, you rightly chewed their balls off over it (in your restrained way).

    I mention this because the David v Ed question will probably be the one that gets used by those picking and choosing out of the polls to publicise, though without the context you have fairly set it in.

    As often happens, I presume the wide variety of questions extra to the usual ones were put in a bit randomly without thought of internal connections. (Just as well – if you had to consider Julian Assange’s effect on X Factor etc, you’d never get anything done).

    To make your life more of a misery I’ve also asked you various things on the previous thread. ;)

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  3. I don’t think Mr. Miliband needs to worry particularly. Most of the damnation comes from those who would already be against him – I suspect most of those in Labour would be former Blairites, and condemnation from Conservative voters is to be expected. I don’t his perception is negative, like Hague, Howard and Duncan-Smith acquired, but rather, he has no real perception, and has been remarkably astute in managing to avoid one so far. I think this gives him in advantage insofar as that he can wait until the perfect timing to give his image and character a little more solidity, and seemingly step into a waiting limelight, rather than risk revealing himself too early and risking momentum.

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  4. Anthony:

    I love this site. I’ve been in and out and about with stuff over past few weeks but I dip in here for a quick catch up and always find something interesting…..that takes you behind the general reportage….

    Milliband stuff in interesting in particular…as I also feel he’s elusive… not uncomfortable like say Brown or Heath or Duncan Smith; certainly not slick like say Wilson or Cameron; not obviously a game-changer like Blair or maybe MacMillan. He’s laso not like Thatcher…clearly defined by a ‘view’ …though I remember her not being all that brilliant as Leader of the Opposition. Elusive and not paricularly prone to grandstanding…no rash pre-emptive promise on student fees…but capable of a strike…so elusive….but that may become his USP….but its interesting of itself in modern politics where the media love to define you or dismiss you…

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  5. I think the key rider here is that Ed Miliband’s relatively poor personal ratings don’t appear to be a drag on his party in terms of voting intentions. In fact, since he became leader, Labour’s standings in the polls have continued to rise. Now, the improvements may be down to a multiplicity of factors, many of which have already been well rehearsed on these pages, but if his ratings were as genuinely bad as Hague’s and IDS’s were, then you would expect a negative impact on the poll ratings of the party he leads. That hasn’t happened which suggests he’s in neutral territory with most voters yet to make up their minds about him. I accept that nearer a General Election when voters are choosing a Prime Minister, his personal ratings will become much more important, but that GE could be over four years away. Plenty of time for him to work on the aspects of his style and personality that may be currently failing to convince.

    My early impressions of him are generally positive. Gauche and unrefined, maybe naive, in some ways, but I detect a keen intelligence, an inner calmness and astute political mind that may become quite an asset to his party in time. Way to early to say he’s a Hague or IDS in the making, much as his opponents would dearly like him to be!

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  6. Roger –

    The main concern on question order is things like voting intention or equivalent, which should always go first. We then always put the trackers straight afterwards, since if the questions they followed were different from week to week it would risk making them unreliable as trackers.

    Beyond that, everything risks affecting everything – so the Ed not up to it job would have been affected if we’d asked about students and 50p first… but equally the way we’ve done it, people who’d said they didn’t think Ed was up to the job may have been influenced to then give negative reactions about his decisions. Normally I go for broad question followed by specific questions, but there’s no right answer (take the “Son of Brown” question – that certainly risks being influenced by the things we’ve asked about Ed, but you couldn’t run a question including a jibe against Ed before any of the other EM questions!)

    We had a survey for a client last week with two questions both of which we thought really did risk having an effect on each other – whichever way we put it round – but there’s no easy solution to that (other, I suppose, than putting them on seperate surveys… but if the client wants to be able to cross break them against each other that’s not an option). (Just in case you are interested, the client ended up only running one question, so the problem went away)

    In terms of questions on different subjects, to be honest we don’t worry too much if X Factor affects Wikileaks or whatever. I think it hugely unlikely they do! I’ll normally put all the political stuff together at the start just so it makes logical sense for respondents (respondent experience is, of course, just as much of a concern in survey design).

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  7. John Murphy –

    Thatcher was regarded negatively as LotO – people thought she was shrill, and she polled worse than Jim Callaghan.

    Didn’t do her any harm in the long run.

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  8. she polled worse than Jim Callaghan.

    Didn’t do her any harm in the long run.

    wrote AW

    Nor did Jim Callaghan (‘crisis what crisis?’)

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  9. Wolf

    “There’s always been a perception that judges are soft on crimes of violence and hard on property crime because only working class people are the victims of crimes of violence while crimes against property are middle class crimes.”

    I think most of those of my friends and colleagues who are Judges would consider the above c omment is nonsence. Crimes against property include burglery and the vast of such crimes occur in relatively poorer areas and most of the burglars are not “middle class.” Similarly the high volume thieving of mobile phones etc. tends not to involve the “middle class”.

    To consider “only working class people are the victims of violence “is also naïve especially now that much more domestic violence is reported to the police.

    I suggest you take the time to attend a Criminal Court or a hearing of the Criminal Injuries Appeals Panel and you will soon realise why judges generally do not have the perception you suggest.

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  10. Seen Assange a very strong contender for Oztralian of the year. I agree; he’s done more for freedom of speech than anyone else in many decades. Stuff the USA as he’s made them look silly. I’m tired of their bully boy tactics.

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  11. Anthony – NB spelling – disastrous not disasterous.

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  12. I simply do not believe enough people even know who Miliband is, let alone form an opinion about him. Labour are currently mopping up disaffected lib dem voters. Personally, I think the more voters see of Miliband, the less they will like him. He’s pretty repulsive.

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  13. Bert
    Agreed about EM and the same goes, more seriously, for the opinions on the Wikileaks chap. It always worries me intensely when the public starts giving verdicts on crimes they know not what of. It i actually helpful that pollsters reveal this even though it is so disturbing. It helps us to understand what i call the ‘sieg heil me too’ phenomenon.

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  14. Sorry about the Godwin’s law transgression there

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  15. Ed Miliband would not have been my first choice, in fact he went down in my estimation during the leadership campaign.

    He is self assured, perhaps there is something in the ‘new generation’ thing; he doesn’t seem too bothered, or in any hurry to fulfill the expectations placed upon him.

    This will be a good thing if there is a long term plan to build concensus on policy, and confidence in his leadership.

    The test will be whether he can demonstrate authority within the shadow cabinet and PLP at defining moments… whether he can be decisive (there have been doubts about him on that score).

    Callaghan is not the parallel, but there is something of the 70′s suit about him. Labour before Thatcherism, before Militant tendency, before the SDP. Incidentally that is also where his brother is coming from (Anthony Crosland).

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  16. “crisis what crisis?”

    Howard, Callaghan never actually said that. His reply to a journalist’s question was: “I promise you that if you look at it from outside, and perhaps you’re taking rather a parochial view at the moment, I don’t think that other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.”

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  17. @ Nick Hadley

    No offence, but I think it is a mistake to assume that Ed Miliband’s leadership is not having a drag on his party’s poll ratings.

    True, Labour support has increased by around a dozen ponts since the general election. However, we have no way of measuring whether or not it might have increased by more than that had the party elected a different leader.

    My old boss Bob Worceser used to have a saying – that “still waters run deep”. What he meant by this is that a party may have the same NET share of the vote from one election to the next – but that does not mean that the said party has not lost or attracted any voters: very often, the composition of a party’s support will change even if it’s overall level of support remains constant.

    Hence, in the case of Labour, a few people who voted for the party in the May 2010 general election may have deserted them for other parties (and if you look at the relevant cross-break in the tables which Anthony provided a link for, you will see Labour has, indeed, lost support) but the party has more than made up for it by winning converts from the Lib Dems.

    I hold to the view that EM has not, at this stage, proved to be disastrous for the party: he is reasonably photogenic (and has a full head of hair!) but I fear he is a prisoner of his intellect and generally comes across as being a bit too slow and deliberative.

    One advantage he has is that he is not seen as the ideological prisoner of Blair and Mandelson. This will not necessarily help him with the wider electorate but it does at least enable him to carry the entire labour movement with him – and if he can do so then that unity could pay electoral dividends later on.

    If he can get some by-election wins under his belt – combined with a good set of results in next May’s locals – that, too, will earn him time to prove himself. But his party’s success may not completely obscure the perceived weaknesses in his leadership skills: back in 68, when the Tories were enjoying a 30-point poll lead, there were mutterings about Ted Heath’s leadership of the Tory Party (and I seem to remember the late Sir Robin Day asking him “how bad does it have to get?” during one TV interview).

    So my guess is that the EM leadership is already a factor in the current voting intention trends – albeit outweighed (at least for the time being) by other issues.

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  18. Ashley/Amber
    The Wall St Journal has a blog on 5 things the Lib Dems can do to turn things round
    1 Change the name of the party to Not the Lib Dems
    2 Change Clegg’s name
    3 Keep Hughes off the media
    4 Thats all they can come with

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  19. Hughes is a shifty undertaker who behaved like a fox in the henhouse that dark November night they decapitated poor old Ming.
    They should throw him in the cupboard until he learns about collective responsibility.

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  20. @Alec/”M”

    I suspect you both have very divergent views about Gordon Brown’s Premiership and the merits of his economic stewardship, but to read a sympathetic, yet nuanced, opinion of him, I urge you to read Robert Skidelsky’s review of Brown’s new book in today’s Observer. As you probably know, Brown has written a book about the recent global financial crisis and his role in trying to tackle its appalling economic consequences.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/dec/12/beyond-the-crash-gordon-brown-robert-skidelsky

    I particularly liked Skidelsky’s last paragraph when he writes this: -

    “One can only hope that this brave, thoughtful, and decent man, who rose to the highest challenges but slipped on the lower slopes of politics, can find a post-political life commensurate with his abilities, interests, and power to do good.”

    This goes to the heart of Brown’s personal tragedy, in my view. A fine Chancellor, and great intellect, who ruined his political reputation by obsessively coveting a role to which he was singularly unsuited. Interestingly, Blair expresses a similar view about him in his memoirs.

    @ Robin Hood

    I take your point about EM’s impact on Labour’s poll ratings and I suppose we’ll never now how much better or worse they would be doing with a different leader, but I still think his impact is probably neutral at present. As a relatively unknown quantity, I suspect he’s neither attracting nor deterring many voters and Labour’s standing is as much to do with “non leadership” factors such as the Lib Dems current difficulties and the mixed economic news. However there will come a time when Miliband’s personality will be a key factor and, as far as we can tell, I’m not sure we can draw too many conclusions on whether he will become an asset or a liability. I suspect the former in time, but I could well be absolutely wrong about that.

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  21. @Alec/”M”

    I suspect you both have very divergent views about Gordon Brown’s Premiership and the merits of his economic stewardship, but to read a sympathetic, yet nuanced, opinion of him, I urge you to read Robert Skidelsky’s review of Brown’s new book in today’s Observer. As you probably know, Brown has written a book about the recent global financial crisis and his role in trying to tackle its appalling economic consequences.

    I particularly liked Skidelsky’s last paragraph when he writes this: -

    “One can only hope that this brave, thoughtful, and decent man, who rose to the highest challenges but slipped on the lower slopes of politics, can find a post-political life commensurate with his abilities, interests, and power to do good.”

    This goes to the heart of Brown’s personal tragedy, in my view. A fine Chancellor, and great intellect, who ruined his political reputation by obsessively coveting a role to which he was singularly unsuited. Interestingly, Blair expresses a similar view about him in his memoirs.

    @ Robin Hood

    I take your point about EM’s impact on Labour’s poll ratings and I suppose we’ll never now how much better or worse they would be doing with a different leader, but I still think his impact is probably neutral at present. As a relatively unknown quantity, I suspect he’s neither attracting nor deterring many voters and Labour’s standing is as much to do with “non leadership” factors such as the Lib Dems current difficulties and the mixed economic news. However there will come a time when Miliband’s personality will be a key factor and, as far as we can tell, I’m not sure we can draw too many conclusions on whether he will become an asset or a liability. I suspect the former in time, but I could well be absolutely wrong about that.

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  22. The problem for Labour is that the Tories and media will keep on referring to him as ‘red Ed’. Even if he wrote a article in The Sun praising Margaret Thatcher as the greatest ever PM, they would still do it.

    What Ed has to do is form a good shadow cabinet team that can unite behind a sensible set of policy positions. They could also do with getting some independent people to help them formulate some of their policies. As the coalition might fall with the next 2 years or weaken following a fracture within the Lib Dems, they really need to get a move on. They can’t gamble on the GE definately being held in 2015, just because legislation for a fixed term parliament may be passed.

    As for PMT’s, Ed should just continue as he has done to date. Ask straightforward questions about issues that affect people, particularly those where there may be a difference of view between the parties and within the Tory party.

    Cameron is rubbish at handling questions where specific detail is required and tends to avoid the questions by waffling about the issue in general or firing a question back. Ed therefore needs to also ask short closed questions about detail, so he can pounce if wrong info is given. If Ed plans the questions well and takes advice, he can make Cameron look arrogant and weak on detail, therefore increasing his own rating in the eyes of the public. Performance at PMT’s is very important in terms of personal ratings in these polls.

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  23. Anthony

    I was thinking that the David v Ed question was more like a voting intention than the others – indeed it was a VI in your triumph in getting the Labour leadership right. As such maybe it should have been the first question in the Miliband section. VI style questions also have the advantage that they tend to more “neutral” than other questions – they ask A or B without any context.

    Of course in this case, by suggesting an alternative you could risk skewing the other questions but no one said that getting question order right was easy. :)

    Oh, and if we’re correcting spelling it’s “separate” not “seperate” (I was well in my thirties before I found that out).

    Thanks for your reply on the assumed timetable for boundary re-drawing in the last thread. As you say, there shouldn’t be much in the new way of doing things to slow things down because of the extra resources thrown at the problem. Though hiring loads of QCs does rather make a mockery of the “savings” in getting rid of 50 MPs.

    On reflection, I suspect getting rid of the consultations on review may actually slow things down, as it could increase the scope for judicial review. The other problem in making equalisation the main criterion is that people may object to the allocation of county pairs or whatever, claiming a different bundling up might produce a fairer result. Because you’re doing the whole country at once this would be possible and have a knock-on effect on the whole process. Yeah, geek heaven .

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  24. @Joe James B

    “Hughes is a shifty undertaker who behaved like a fox in the henhouse that dark November night they decapitated poor old Ming. They should throw him in the cupboard until he learns about collective responsibility.”

    Hughes is a busted flush. His decision to abstain on tuition fees was a miscalculation of staggering proportions, and has removed one of the LDs possible escape routes – to abandon the leadership and coalesce around Hughes in a cascade of apology.

    But an abstention was no less a breach of the pledge (to vote against) than a vote in favour. He’s history

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  25. @R Huckle

    “The problem for Labour is that the Tories and media will keep on referring to him as ‘red Ed’. ”

    But if he continues to not do anything that is consistent with that monicker, it’ll fade away. The electorate can only be fooled for so long by “black is white” statements by the media.

    “Ed therefore needs to also ask short closed questions about detail”

    And this is exactly what he has been doing. He’s picking clear identifiable targets, and nibbling at Cameron’s credibility. The school sports question was a case in point. At the time there were questions about why he chose that topic. The answer is that those questions on their own (and the resulting media attention) were responsible for a complete policy U-turn.

    How many more U-turns does he need to produce before people start to see him as quietly and ruthlessly effective?

    And how long before Cameron makes a complete balls-up of answering a series of questions, and the superficial veneer of competence (provided by the fact of office) is shattered.

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  26. So, in a nutshell, we have an electorate that seems centrist and evenly balanced. The parties of left and right are centre-leaning, and their support is about equal. On the great issues of the day the population split more or less 50/50.

    And in this environment of straight-down-the-middle reasonableness the “Centre Party” is getting thoroughly battered.

    Go figure!

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  27. Ed Miliband is doing exactly what he should do. Keep his head down & be fairly elusive. As I said already, it is difficult to hit a moving target.

    The fact that YG has been tasked to ask so many questions about him, it shows that the Coalition’s supporters are probing for any area where they can attack Labour.

    The media has become very used to personality politics. The Labour Party is more popular than its leader; good, IMO, it makes a welcome change.

    Don’t you think Ed’s team has learned from Cleggmania? It doesn’t matter if you are David Cameron’s favourite political joke or politic’s invisible man, provided you can ‘bring it’ when you need to.

    Keep in mind the biggest criticism being levelled at David Cameron & Nick Clegg – i.e. they don’t listen to their own team. Pretty soon, that turns into not listening to their voters.

    Ed M’s greatest strength so far, is that he is certainly a team player. He fields the right man for the job. John Denham – excellent in calling on the Dems & Tories to rebel & vote down the tuition fee legislation. Andy Burnham – concise, knowledgable & clear on the pupil premium. Ed Balls – apparently articulate & decisive in his interview (I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet).

    And note: over-all, the public feel that Ed M reacted appropriately to the student protests, the biggest & most challenging media story of the day.
    8-)

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  28. Robin

    I suspect that Simon Hughes has no real desire to go for the leadership – if anything his actions are probably more designed to try to keep the Party together and make picking up the pieces earlier afterwards I’m not saying that he’s doing it right.

    The person to watch is Huhne (who apparently would have won last time except for Christmas postal delays). He managed to be conveniently but irreproachably absent for the vote and has kept his head down outside his department. He won’t move against Clegg because the assassin never gets the crown – which is why Clegg moved only behind the scenes when Kennedy and Campbell were deposed. He would be the person best placed to keep the Party together if it left the coalition.

    Amber

    I think you’re being a little enthusiastic in reading the polls. Ed Miliband hasn’t won the heart of the public yet, but they’re prepared to give him a chance. If you want any reassurance I would take it from the vehemence and number of attacks against him. Given who they come from – the Tory fan boys and the ancien regime Blairites – he must be doing something right to attract the ire of all the right people.

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  29. @ Nick Hadley

    “I think the key rider here is that Ed Miliband’s relatively poor personal ratings don’t appear to be a drag on his party in terms of voting intentions. In fact, since he became leader, Labour’s standings in the polls have continued to rise. Now, the improvements may be down to a multiplicity of factors, many of which have already been well rehearsed on these pages, but if his ratings were as genuinely bad as Hague’s and IDS’s were, then you would expect a negative impact on the poll ratings of the party he leads. That hasn’t happened which suggests he’s in neutral territory with most voters yet to make up their minds about him. I accept that nearer a General Election when voters are choosing a Prime Minister, his personal ratings will become much more important, but that GE could be over four years away. Plenty of time for him to work on the aspects of his style and personality that may be currently failing to convince.

    My early impressions of him are generally positive. Gauche and unrefined, maybe naive, in some ways, but I detect a keen intelligence, an inner calmness and astute political mind that may become quite an asset to his party in time. Way to early to say he’s a Hague or IDS in the making, much as his opponents would dearly like him to be!”

    To play devil’s advocate here, is Ed Miliband the one leading Labour’s resurgence or is the fact that they’re the only opposition party against the other two leading to their resurgence? Miliband does seem very intelligent but not necessarily a leader….not yet.

    Btw, I think Gordon Brown was brilliant and did an amazing job economically (not just for the UK but world wide, much is owed to him). He was a disaster as a politician but that shouldn’t take away from his economic acheivements (as Chancellor of the Exchequer or Prime Minister). Being a great politician and being a great leader aren’t always the same thing. David Paterson is a great governor of New York but politically, he’s been a disaster, hated by everyone. Yet we’ve all seen some highly talented politicians who can’t get anything done.

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  30. @ Amber Star

    “Don’t you think Ed’s team has learned from Cleggmania? It doesn’t matter if you are David Cameron’s favourite political joke or politic’s invisible man, provided you can ‘bring it’ when you need to.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything in politics like Cleggmania in terms of the meteoric rise and stunning fall within that short a period of time.

    That said, a party is unlikely to be electorally successful if their leader is unpopular and disliked. That’s not to say Miliband is unpopular and disliked.

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  31. “46% of people thought the release of the diplomatic cables was wrong, with 36% supporting it.”

    ” 26% agreed with the characterisation of him as a traitor to the West, 28% saw him as a champion of freedom of information. 31% did not view him as either of these extremes.”

    I find it incredible when my views are in line with a plurality of Brits (maybe this is why I like following British politics). :)

    Most of the responses from British politicians were noticeably reasonable and intelligent. In contrast to heads of state demanding libel charges against State Department employees (Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of Turkey…..who the hell do they think they’re kidding?) and some various people who have gone to the extreme to call for Julian Assange’s assasination (Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s press secretary……puhleeze) or for him to receive the death penalty (Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin….these two must make Americans look like the dumbest and most bloodthirsty people on the planet).

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  32. htt p://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.com/
    Though you might be interested to see Sue Marsh’s very interesting latest observation, just in case you missed it…..

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  33. last nights poll:

    Con- 41%, lab- 39%- lib- 11%

    I am guessing the two main parties are in reality neck and neck. There is now a consistent pattern of one taking a 2 point lead over the over, then both drawing equal in the next poll, then the cycle repeats.

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  34. Neil A
    I broadly agree with your analysis. There is though a simple way to figure the Lib Dems. The Lib Dems broke their pact with the electorate. It is not a matter of policies but perceived integrity. Once your customers feel you have made a fool of them then you cannot get back their affection
    Hughes?
    Only has his personal escape route. He can’t stand as a Lib Dem in Bermondsey and he knows it. Labour? (unlikely), Green? Independent?

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  35. Current polls may suggest David is better liked but everyone loves a maligned loser in Britain. I strongly suspect DM’s stronger personality, his New Labour defence, his support of Iraq and his lack of appeal in uniting the Brown/Blair/Left factions would have actually made his poll ratings lower had he become leader.

    DM probably wouldn’t have been so appealing to the SDP end of the LDs either. I would expect a DM party to be a lot more divisive.

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  36. Ompapa – erm… there wasn’t a poll yesterday. We don’t do one on Sundays.

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  37. SOCALLIBERAL

    “Btw, I think Gordon Brown was brilliant and did an amazing job economically (not just for the UK but world wide, much is owed to him). He was a disaster as a politician but that shouldn’t take away from his economic acheivements (as Chancellor of the Exchequer or Prime Minister). Being a great politician and being a great leader aren’t always the same thing. David Paterson is a great governor of New York but politically, he’s been a disaster, hated by everyone. Yet we’ve all seen some highly talented politicians who can’t get anything done.”

    December 13th, 2010 at 3:40 am

    A noble view of our ex-PM indeed.

    The problem is, that many of us don’t see the good man in that light.

    He was the C of E who inherited a healthy treasury/economy and presided over it through booming economic times globally. He didn’t ‘bust it’ – I do give him credit for knowing how to manage figures, he’s an exceptionally intelligent man – but he overspent and over spent and overspent. To use a hackneyed expression over here, he “failed to fix the roof whilst the Sun was shining” – when the bad times came back we were heavily and debt, the indignation compounded ny the fact that the money thrown at our Public Services had not been ‘value-for-money’ whatever the improvements (and there were some, though nothing like enough).

    It still grates as a terrible frustrating mis-use of money under Labour, especially Gordon Brown’s responsibility. Alastair Darling was far more sensible, but never had time/room to shine.

    I don’t put this down to Brown’s incompetence – it’s his ideology. I doubt the well-intentioned man thinks even now that he ever made a wrong deciision at the Treasury, and wallows with pride at the money he oversaw into the coffers of Public Services etc, and would give us the same national debt (with huge interest payments) again if he had the chance.

    Strange chap really – too clever really for his own good – pity how the rest of us got on!

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  38. If Miliband is as unpopular and incompetent as most people think in this poll, how is it that Labour are now leading in the polls?
    Obviously something is wrong here

    Most of these polls are inaccurate and do not reflect real public opinion including this one which always seem biased in favour of Labour

    This lot called the figures wrongly for the last election and they continue to be inaccurate now

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  39. ROG

    “This lot called the figures wrongly for the last election and they continue to be inaccurate now”

    HMMM… they were no worse than most other pollsters – see 7th of May thread on this site, entitled “An early Postmortem”

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  40. @ROG
    “This lot called the figures wrongly for the last election and they continue to be inaccurate now.”

    YG may be wrong now, but all the pollsters currently show Lab ahead of the Cons…

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  41. Anthony

    I think Ompapa was picking up the latest poll shown on the YouGov front page or using the widget. This is/was showing the poll in Friday’s Sun. Sometimes it’s ahead of the Archive and sometimes behind – is there a reason for this?

    [Normally human error! Though this week it has largely been due to the dreaded lurgi stalking the office- AW]

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  42. SoCal Liberal (Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin….these two must make Americans look like the dumbest and most bloodthirsty people on the planet).

    Unlike the UK, the perspective from mainland Europeans is this:

    1. Someone is doing something strange, irrational or ignorant.

    2. That person is American.

    3. Everything is normal.

    4. The information is of no interest.

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  43. @SoCalLiberal

    You said “…BTW, I think Gordon Brown…did an amazing job…”

    That’s one way of putting it… :-)

    @Anthony

    Congrats on predicting the X-Factor finalist positions in the right order. Press release gone out?

    Regards, Martyn

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  44. @ Martyn

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions. I know, I’m certainly full of them. I can’t help but wonder what the global economy would have been like without Brown’s intervention as head of the G20. Maybe he did it roughly and with as much political grace as a bull in a china shop or a walrus in heat. But I’m not sure how relevant that is.

    @ BT

    I’m not sure I disagree with Brown’s ideology. Had it not been for the neccessary bank bailouts in late 2008, I don’t think deficit spending would have gone through the roof in the way that it did. The deficit spending during good economic times in 2002 may have been a bad choice. But if it helped keep UK economic growth going while the EU went into recession, helped keep UK unmployment low (at least relative to the rest of the EU), and helped rebuild public services that those in the UK value, the debt was probably productive. And I don’t blame Brown for the economic crisis that hit in late 2008.

    But your point about his ideology being a problem was slightly echoed by Peter Mandelson (I bought the book) where he says that Brown ignored all talk of deficit reduction while in office and would only talk about growth and public spending.

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