Miliband least popular UK leader in a generation

November 14th, 2014 at 8:49 am by David Farrar


This polling graphic from the Daily Mail shows how unpopular Ed Miliband is compared to other leaders just before an election.

The Conservatives should lose the election, as they trail in the polls. But there is a widespread belief that Miliband is unelectable.

Of interest is that the UK Labour Party use much the same method to elect their leader as the NZ Labour Party. Miliband has little support from his caucus, but won the union vote.


A tale of two Labour leaders

July 11th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

John Hartevelt at Ninth&10 reports:

Ed Miliband today achieved what might previously have seemed impossible. His Labour Party/union reform speech had Tony Blair gushing before it was even delivered – and it had the approval of Unite Union leader Len McCluskey immediately afterwards. …

But whatever the long-term impact of Miliband’s ideas, he achieved a tidy political set-piece today. This mattered for Ed because he is often written up as a man not ready for the job. In the middle of last week, some of his front-bench was briefing that he needed to “get a grip” on the union influence stories spilling forth from the initial problem in Falkirk. In a few days of practiced political management, Miliband does seem to have tightened – if not quite sewn up – this troublesome narrative, for the time being, at least.

You can look back on the past week and see a plan that was quickly put together and decisively executed. There was a resignation, suspensions and police referrals last week. A grim-faced Angela Eagle was deployed to tell a “get tough” story on Falkirk. This week, the lobby was briefed in advance of Miliband’s speech on some meaty reform details. Blair obliged with his warm endorsement on Sky News right ahead of the speech and Miliband sprung a genuine surprise with a voter-friendly proposal to restrict the amount MPs can earn outside of their day jobs. The analysts were so impressed by this last point that they said Miliband had hurled the ball cleverly in to the Tory half of the court for a response.

And this is how competent political management should look.

The contrast with David Shearer’s Labour leadership in New Zealand is incredibly stark. MPs in NZ are again whispering to journalists about Shearer’s leadership and playing dumb with their bosses when asked for an explanation (this is what I took to have happened with the Duncan Garner tweet drama last night, NZ time, for those who were following it). Whatever his colleagues say, it’s clear that Shearer does not have enough of the confidence of his own caucus. …

He seems too far gone as leader now.

The diverging prospects of the two Labour leaders over the past week are instructive. Neither man is as politically gifted as his centre-right adversary, but at least one of them is making some of his own luck.

To be fair to Shearer, he is not solely responsible. The Deputy Leader is meant to play a key role in party management, as are the staff.

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Poor Ed Miliband

February 6th, 2012 at 10:14 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

One is a hapless inventor from Wigan whose hare-brained schemes and anthropomorphic dog, Gromit, have made him one of the most cherished figures in British film.

The other is the leader of the British Labour Party. And unkind talk about their similarity has prompted complaints that one is tarnishing the other’s public image.

Senior figures at Aardman Animations will voice concern, at a status meeting this week, over the frequency with which their Oscar-winning, cheese-loving, animated hero is compared to Ed Miliband.

Oh dear, it is bad enough to be compared to Wallace, but to then have the creators of Wallace concerned that the comparisons damages Wallace is very damning.

In the latest YouGov poll 68% of respondents say Miliband is doing badly as Opposition Leader, and only 20% say he is doing well. Even amongst Labour voters, 49% say he is doing poorly.