The graphs that should worry Ed Miliband

With the House rising next week for Christmas, and following his underwhelming performance at PMQs yesterday, Ed Miliband has much to think about as heads home.


With the House rising next week for Christmas, and following his underwhelming performance at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Ed Miliband has much to think about as he heads home for recess.

In the midst of the economic crisis, and with the coalition tearing itself apart over Europe, Labour’s poll lead has vanished, with Miliband’s personal poll ratings, amongst all voters and Labour ones, whether it be a snapshot, over the medium term, or the long term picture since his election last year, particularly concerning.

The latest headline figures from YouGov’s daily tracker poll for The Sun give the Conservatives a two-point lead, 40%-38%; bad enough, but when delved into the full data (pdf) looks even grimmer for the Labour leader. As Chart 1 shows, the proportion of voters that find him decisive (8%), strong (7%), a natural leader (4%) or good in a crisis (5%) are not pretty, with the perceptions of Labour voters scarcely better.

Chart 1:

And on the point about Labour supporters’ views of Miliband, the latest LabourList readers’ survey (see Chart 2) merely deepens the gloom, as Mark Ferguson notes:

The percentage of respondents rating Miliband as Good or Excellent has fallen to just 26% down from 40% last month and a high of 59% in the wake of the phone hacking scandal in July. 41% think that Miliband’s performance has been Poor or Very Poor, with 33% considering his performance to be average.

Chart 2:

Onto the longer term trends, and, as Graph 1 (from last night’s Newsnight) shows, though his satisfaction rating may be down only slightly, the percentage of voters dissatisfied with him has shot up – those who were initially don’t knows, now they do know, are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the Labour leader’s performance.

Graph 1:

The historical comparison isn’t great either; as Graph 2 shows, only Michael Howard, William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith (none of whom made it to Number 10) have lower net satisfaction ratings after the first 14 months as Leader of the Opposition, with David Cameron’s net figure much lower and Tony Blair, unsurprisingly, enjoying a healthy net satisfaction rating throughout.

Graph 2:

Much to think about in the New Year, then, with the condemnation and ridicule of this morning’s blogs and papers, from across the political spectrum, ringing in his ears; as Ferguson said, it’s time to ditch the jokes, show he’s serious, show he gets it – the big positive from the polls is that voters do believe him to be in touch with the concerns of ordinary people – lead from the front and reverse the slump.

See also:

Miliband fails to nail Cameron on bankers, greed and regulationShamik Das, November 2nd 2011

Labour and the Conservatives need to reach out to the ordinary voterDavid Skelton, October 19th 2011

As energy company buckles, Miliband needs to pick more battlesAlex Hern, October 12th 2011

Look Left – Miliband shuffles the shadows as Clarke/May feud drags onShamik Das, October 7th 2011

Cameron the global statesman contrasts with Miliband’s wholly domestic speechShamik Das, October 5th 2011

35 Responses to “The graphs that should worry Ed Miliband”

  1. Anonymous

    Labour were in power for 13 years during which many Ministers were incompetent or corrupt – or both. Many of those former Ministers are now Shadow Ministers. So a new Leader has a major problem which is inherited – and due to internal politics he can do little about.

    Many of Labour Policies failed spectacularly (for whatever reason) and yet on of the worst offenders is in the key post of Shadow Chancellor. And politically – fairly safe in that post.

    A leader much better and more experienced than Ed Miliband would struggle with that inheritance.. Indeed an experienced leader would let someone else make a mess of it so they can pick up the pieces.

    It took the Tories 13 years – and four changes – to get it right after loosing power. It took the Labour Party 17 years and four changes to get it right after losing to Thatcher.

    And you expect Ed to get it right in two years. Even if he was competent and experienced the internal politics means he has no chance of doing anything within five years.. as that is the time required (plus a lost Election ) to discredit many of the losers in his Shadow Cabinet whom he has not the power to fire. (I refer primarily to Ed Balls – a liability and worth a lot to the Tories in his position).

    Ed is unlikely to have a chance of power. He’s certainly doing a bad job. . BUT “events ” and a “week is a long time etc”.. so who knows what will happen?

  2. kevin leonard

    Let’s face it they chose the wrong brother.
    The main thing putting me off voting for Labour or any of the other two is their denial of democracy for the people. I believe it is an arrogant stance to believe that the voters of this country can not be swayed one way or another when it comes to Europe. As for the claim ED is in touch with voters don’t make me laugh as more than 50% of Labour voters when asked said they wanted a referendum on Europe.
    The conservatives may very well be about to tear themselves apart of Europe but their voters will not be turning to Labour or any other parasite party whose deference towards Europe is sickening in the least and borders on Treason to the British people.
    ALL three main parties campaigned on the mantra of “CHANGE” before the last election and the only thing that has “changed” is which side of the house they are sitting on.
    We are still being ruled by the corrupt administration of dictators in Brussels.
    If ED is determined to fight for a Labour government then he must be ready to fight to return democracy as the electorate are sick and tired of the same old crap year after year.

  3. David Thompson

    Being seen as spouting tractor stats AND being a humourless apparatchik. Great idea.

  4. Man in a Shed

    People just need time to appreciate him – like till Friday 8th of May 2015.

  5. Ms Mint

    Asked what qualities Ed Milband has, most voters say "none":

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