The poll also repeated some questions on whether Ed Miliband was ready to be PM, and the Labour party ready to return to government. 66% of people thought Miliband was NOT ready to be PM compared to 24% who thought he was (an improvement from 2011 when MORI last asked the question and only 17% thought he was ready). In comparison 29% think Labour are ready to form a government, 58% think they are not.
There is a temptation to look at questions like this and think “Oh Labour have 38% support but only 24% think Miliband is ready to be PM, so more than a third of Labour voters don’t think he is ready”. It doesn’t necessarily work like that, though in this case it isn’t far off. Voting intention figures exclude don’t knows and won’t vote, so are not comparable in this way. You need to look at the detailed tables here. For what it’s worth, and obviously there is a long time to go and these figures have tended to improve over time, 50% of Labour voters think Miliband is ready, 37% disagree.
In the meantime, how good or bad are those figures? Here is MORI’s historical results for the question for leaders and parties. Looking at mid-term figures (rather than when the question has been asked in election campaigns) in 2008 43% thought David Cameron was ready to be PM, in 2003 30% of people thought Michael Howard was ready, in 2003 just 16% thought IDS was, in 2000 18% thought Hague was. The figures for Tony Blair were much higher – in 1994 59% of people thought he was ready to be PM.
Yesterday there was also a new Angus Reid poll, which had topline figures of CON 27%(-3), LAB 39%(nc), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 16%(+4). Changes are from the Angus Reid poll in the Sunday Express at the end of January (note that the Angus Reid website instead gives changes from their poll in early January, hence the mismatch).
Finally this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 30%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%… so back to normal after that seven point figure yesterday. I hate to say I told you so, but…