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Understanding the Ed Miliband polling paradox

September 22nd, 2014

How are Labour’s maintaining its poll leads, despite Ed’s poor ratings?

One of the things that has been consistent in the last few years, the voters don’t rate Ed Miliband and he often trails David Cameron on most polling questions. In the past, I’ve shown that Ed Miliband’s ratings as Leader of the Opposition are very poor compared to his predecessors, only Michael Foot had worse ratings one year before a General Election, yet Labour still continue to generally lead in the polls. 

For example this weekend’s YouGov for the Sunday Times, had some polling that would made Ed and his supporters wince, such as only 20% agreeing that Ed Miliband is up to the job of Prime Minister, or only 9% agreeing that Ed Miliband has been a strong leader of the Labour Party, but that same poll had Labour leading by 5%, there are countless other examples of this kind of polling.

I know people across the political spectrum say Miliband’s poor personal ratings will eventually catch up with the party.

But perhaps, Labour supporters need not to worry about Ed’s ratings, if we look at the Ipsos-Mori like/dislike ratings published last week.

On a net basis Ed is the most disliked leader of the four main British wide party leaders, so yes, Ed is more disliked than Nick Clegg and even the Tory party, but if we look closer, there’s only one party or politician with a net positive like rating, that is the Labour party.

So perhaps it is the Labour brand (and the net dislike of the other parties) that is ensuring the Labour lead is being maintained, and despite Ed’s poor ratings, that is what will ensure Ed Miliband is Prime Minister next May. Perhaps rather than focussing upon Ed, Tory strategists should focus on weakening the Labour brand if they have any chance of David Cameron remaining in Downing Street after the election.

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Note, Nick Palmer and I holding a meet up in Manchester, Tuesday night at 7 pm. The plan is to meet up at the Atrium by Bridge Street which is located on 74 Princess Street. If you are planning to attend, please drop an email to pbmeet@yahoo.co.uk, if you have any questions about the meet, please drop an email to the same email address.