I want to write something more lengthy about Ed Miliband’s polling, but I though this worth a short post in its own right. In the last few months there has been various rumbling on blogs and the media about Miliband’s leadership, and polling figures have naturally come into that.

The Labour party have tended to point to Ed Miliband’s approval ratings with MORI, which are negative but not toweringly so. In MORI’s last poll in December 34% of people were satisfied with the way Miliband is doing his job, 50% are dissatisfied. Labour’s case is that this is not out of line with past leaders of the opposition.

Meanwhile anyone looking to criticise Miliband would want to point to his approval ratings with YouGov which are dire – in today’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll only 20% thought he was doing a good job, while 66% thought he was doing badly. YouGov doesn’t have as much past trend data as MORI, but compared to what they do have these are very bad.

What’s the reason for the big difference though? Well, some of it is probably methodological (MORI don’t use political weighting, which means their samples sometimes have more Labour voters than other companies), but I think most of it is down to the question asked. While we tend to dump them all in together as job approval, MORI and YouGov are actually asking very different questions – MORI ask if people are satisfied or unsatisfied with how Miliband is doing his job, YouGov ask if people think he is doing well or badly.

If you break people’s answers down by party support (and here I’m using YouGov figures from December, so we are comparing apples with apples)

Miliband approval ratings in December MORI poll:
MORI Con supporters – 25% satisfied, 61% dissatisfied
MORI Lab supporters – 54% satisfied, 37% dissatisfied
MORI LD supporters – 33% satisfied, 51% dissatisfied

Miliband approval ratings in December YouGov poll:
YG Con supporters – 8% well, 87% badly
YG Lab supporters – 59% well, 31% badly
YG LD supporters – 24% well, 63% badly

You can see where most of the difference lies – amongst Labour voters the answers are not that different, Miliband’s approval rating is in the 50s, his disapproval in the 30s. The big difference is how the supporters of opposing parties answer the question. Basically, if Conservative supporters are asked if Miliband is doing well or badly, they overwhelmingly think he is doing badly. Asked if they are satisfied or disatisfed with his leadership, a significant minority of Tory supporters say they are satisfied – presumably because they are perfectly satisfied with Labour having a leader who they think is doing badly.


219 Responses to “On Ed Miliband’s approval ratings”

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  1. @AMBIVALANTSUPPORTER

    About a month ago, I was raving about a straight forward honest comment from Mr Kellner. This is clearly another. Of course it will be ignored by his own party supporters.
    Already it has been decided that because most disaffected LD’S like Ed, Cameron will be tossed on the garbage tip of Tory failure. Well, more like an Alp made of ordure, if you read the majority of posts on here. The Labour supporters who have the gonads for it, can see the light , the majority just make up silly excuse’s.

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  2. Neil A

    But all round the country some people are forced to wear certain clothes so they can be picked out as being different, then shops put up notices saying that only a few of them will be admitted at the same time, for fear of shoplifting.

    This is a very ageist society! :-)

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  3. @ Smukesh,

    If you haven’t moved onto the new thread, what I think we need is Alistair Campbell to return. There has been a change in him, for the good, IMO. He is still very much a Labour man & I believe he is the Party’s largest donor. I’d love to have him back in charge of communications strategy.
    8-)

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  4. Chou

    Just out of interest, do you ever read anyone else’s posts before you write your own?

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  5. KEN

    And a Happy New Year to you too.

    Nice to hear from you again.

    I hope you are well?

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  6. Well the first volleys in the Dave vs Alex contest have been fired.

    Lawyers at fifty paces seems to be next.

    It will be a great joust to watch. Dave the English Toff vs the Greatest Politician de notre temps.

    Second billing will be almost as good mind you -Amber vs OldNat :-)

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  7. David,I agree about Dan Jarvis,a handsome ex soldier,
    full of charisma,what more could we want.Lack of
    experience?But how much did Cameron have before he
    became leader of the opposition?I still think that EMs
    biggest problem is Ed Balls,so what if he was right all
    along,people just do not like him.

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  8. @LEFTYLAMPTON
    YES.

    What point are you trying to make ?

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  9. @ann mills
    Do you think people are very keen on Osborn ? He also may be right.

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  10. Roland,well he is not very photogenic that is for sure.But
    then what politician is,except for Dan Jarvis of course.As
    for being right,well I think we will probably disagree on that.

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  11. @ANN MILLS
    Apologies for misspelling your surname before. We seem to be on first name terms, are you Ann in Wales ? If so glad to see you back.

    BTW this Dan Jarvis character, is he the new Rotherham guy ? If so, my son knows him well, (same regiment).
    Nobody in the Para’s could understand him being Labour.

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  12. @AmbivalentSupporter – “… the cautionary tale of the one successful attempt to unseat a sitting party leader.”

    I’m not sure about the relevance of this “cautionary tale” that PK dredges up from Labour Party history.

    Chairman of the PLP was elected annually: Kier Hardie 1906-08, Arthur Henderson 1908-10, GN Barnes 1910-11. It was not a rule, but when MacDonald accepted the position in 1911he assumed it was “for two years only, mind”. He did buck the trend though, by continuing in the role until 1914.

    Clynes had been acting chairman in 1920 and then chairman 1921-22, senior party figures assumed his reelection in 1922 would be a formality – but he was not the “sitting party leader” by any means.

    The significance of the 1922 election was that MacDonald was seen as less inclined to compromise Labour principles because he had resigned in 1914 rather than serve in the coalition government. He went on to become “leader”, PM in 1924 and 1929-31, and then PM 1931-35 of an austerity national government dominated by the Conservatives.

    Snowden objected to the hypocritical appeal to the left in MacDonald’s articles for the socialist Glasgow paper Forward. Henderson said to those who ensured Clyne’s narrow defeat: “You Clyde men are determined to put MacDonald in. Well, if you do, it will only be a few years before you are trying to put him out.”

    As early as 1912 Mrs. Webb was comparing Ramsey MacDonald to John Burns, a trade unionist and Labour MP (1892) who had become a Liberal cabinet minister by 1905.

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  13. Roland,yes it is he.Wow ,so he is enigmatic as well as
    charismatic!

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  14. @John B Dick

    Just returned from a successful evening running the local duplicate bridge club, hence the delay in responding.

    Thanks for the ‘polite’ reply as always, intrigued by how RinN would have ‘impolitely’ responded, but not enough to bother asking.

    Yes, I concur, the SNP is strong in some parts of H & I, but not in all parts of course. However my question remains the same, will the referendum allow for individual regional decisions or is a case of one answer fits all? Will the SNP accept any overall ‘Non’ decision as ‘binding’ for the whole of Scotland or will it try for some form of ‘mini independence’? For how long will the decision be considered binding? Are we going to have to return to this question every year, every parliament, every decade, until the Scottish people vote the way the independence brigade want?

    “If they don’t want the parliament in Edinburgh, they would consider the nearest capital city a preferable choice to London.”

    Maybe a little presumptious to say the very least. If London is honestly thought to be such a poor capital that any nearest capital is more preferable, then you should have no trouble getting that huge majority for independence, although IMO you may be exaggerating the disquiet with London somewhat.

    Unless an independent Scotland is thinking of having its own currency, then it will still need to abide by what Westminster decides is the economic policy for the UK pound as a whole. Of course there is always the option of joining the Euro and then the German/French alliance can decide all that for you instead, authorise your budgets, decide your tax policies etc. etc..

    Thank you for the google advice. Yes, I did actually look it up. I also looked up how remote Cyprus is. Living in Cyprus means that I am fairly familiar with the geographically remoteness of places from those centres of power in the UK and the EU. Our nearest EU neighbour is probably at least 3 times more distant from us than is the case of Lerwick from either London, Edinburgh or Brussels, let alone its nearest EU neighbour. Cyprus is easily the farthest EU country away from Brussels.

    With regard to your comment on the cost and time to attend the London Olympics, it can take a long time to travel and cost a lot from here too. Far better viewed on a large TV screen, accompanied by a large cool Keo.

    With regards to your comment on schools etc, that has me slightly baffled. I suspected initially it might be a dig at the rUK education system, although since I thought Education was a devolved matter, it would then seem to be a trifle irrelevant. So if you think the point is worth making, you will need to explain it more fully.

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  15. @ Scotswaehae

    Thanks for your reply. i too hope that Scotland remains as a single entity, but in my case within the UK of course.

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  16. Given the massive support there appears to be in Scotland as a whole for independence “If it would leave you £600 per year better off”, I wonder if the Scottish Islands might be tempted to agitate not for their own independence, but for a reunion with similarly oil-rich Norway. Their membership of Scotland is after all fairly recent (well, 150 years older than the Union of the Crowns between England and Scotland).

    I wonder what the Northern Isles might make of a question that asked “Would you support rejoining the Kingdom of Norway if it would leave you £20,000 a year better off”?

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  17. FrankG @ John B Dick

    SNP is strong in some parts of H & I, but not in all parts of course.

    Yes, except O&S. In both Nothern regions SNP MSP’s got electd who didn’t expect to. One heard on the radio was on his way home from the count and had to drive off the road to recover. The otter turned up in casual wear not expecting to make a speech. A constituency MSP got a 17% swing.

    However my question remains the same, will the referendum allow for individual regional decisions ..?

    No.

    Will the SNP accept any overall ‘Non’ decision as ‘binding’ for the whole of Scotland or will it try for some form of ‘mini independence’?

    Dvo max is what the people want.

    For how long will the decision be considered binding? ”

    Nverendum. In practice if the SNP would have to wait till the polls showed a majority or two parliamentary terms, whichever as the sooner. I don’t think they would try before then unless the UK government had done what they now threaten to do. Then it could be 2013 and 2014.

    “Are we going to have to return to this question every year, every parliament, every decade, until the Scottish people vote the way the independence brigade want?”

    If the SNP + Greens + SSP are a majority in the Scottish parliament, then neverendum.

    “If they don’t want the parliament in Edinburgh, they would consider the nearest capital city a preferable choice to London.”

    Maybe a little presumptious to say the very least. If London is honestly thought to be such a poor capital that any nearest capital is more preferable, then you should have no trouble getting that huge majority for independence, although IMO you may be exaggerating the disquiet with London somewhat.

    O&S are less independence minded thn the rest but that doesn’t mean that they would choose to go with r-UK in a forced choice. They havn’t always been part of Scotland.

    “Unless an independent Scotland is thinking of having its own currency, then it will still need to abide by what Westminster decides is the economic policy for the UK pound as a whole”

    Initially that would be likely and join the Euro as GB said “When the time is right” Not many want to join when the time is wrong.

    “Of course there is always the option of joining the Euro and then the German/French alliance can decide all that for you instead, authorise your budgets, decide your tax policies etc. etc.”

    Why not? At least we would get a voice in these decisions. This is a red herring invented by English Nationalists. Scottish people are more international, and outward looking, especially the Nationalists.

    There is no problem with being part of a union, just the union we are in.

    “With regards to your comment on schools etc, that has me slightly baffled. I suspected initially it might be a dig at the rUK education system, although since I thought Education was a devolved matter, it would then seem to be a trifle irrelevant. So if you think the point is worth making, you will need to explain it more fully.”

    Education is devolved. The press and the major parties have their magic solutions which they hold to be inherently better but would be surreally irrelevant in Scotland.

    Scottish problems are different. Shetland recently re- opened a school for one pupil. It is all different.

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  18. CHOU, AMBIVALENT SUPPORTER, LEFTY LAMPTON, BILLY BOB. AMBER STAR

    Good early morning, I woke up!

    CHOU: You are right, of course about Labour supporters who think things are good.

    The Webbs saw the USSR and thought it was good, and the future. London School of Economics founders

    AMBER: I agree with you about the genius of Mr Campbell. I would recommend that you take on his two friends also, the first of them who is the grandson of Mr Morrison. The second of them won Elections, and appointed Mr Campbell. LOL! I would also accept the third man, who was a brilliant shadow chancellor. ED could be shadow under secretary at the scottish office or at the fisheries department.

    My Dad’s Dad helped on R. Macdonald’s Aberavon campaign, and sang the campaign song quoted in Marquand’s biography, the tune being ;;Men of Harlech”. Macdonald was a great man, led astray by duchesses, but lived a full life before being an MP, leaving school at ten, then pupil-teacher as a young man.

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  19. I would like to see Cameron out alas I do not think this will be the case come the next election, labour hasn’t learnt from past mistakes… neil kinnock, michael foot…

    ed is not charismatic enough to be prime minister plain and simple, and we will not win the election purely, simply and sadly because of this…

    labour wake up! the last election was not a landslide and the next can be won but not with Ed at the helm.

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