While the summer has made only a small difference to Labour’s lead, it has been undoubtedly bad for Ed Miliband’s leadership ratings as well as his personal ratings
This summer has seen a tirade of panic and criticism over the future of Ed Miliband and the Labour party. Almost daily, past Labour heavyweights, current MPs and commentators have given interviews and written articles on where Ed is going wrong, what Ed must do and how Labour is doomed. But has there really been any truth to the claims that public opinion is failing Mr Miliband and Labour – or has it all been speculation?
YouGov has searched through its daily, weekly and monthly tracking questions to bring you the full guide to Ed Miliband’s summer of discontent.
Claims that support for the Labour party is plummeting appear overstated. While the numbers intending to vote Labour at the next election are certainly down - from the 40-43% level which spanned from July 2012 to April this year – the drop is only small. It now stands at around 38-39%.
Support for the Conservatives has risen, however, to around 32-33%; this coincides with a small drop in support for UKIP, from its high of 14-15% during the May local elections to between 11-12% now.
So while the Labour lead has indeed shrunk, from 11% in May to 6% in August, it has done so by no means as badly as Ed Miliband’s leadership scores. There has been a clear downward trajectory since October 2012 (when Mr Miliband made his ‘One Nation’ speech), and on 16 August it stood at minus 42% - 23% say he is doing well and 65% badly.
The three characteristics the public give Ed Miliband the highest scores for – ‘In touch with ordinary people,’ ‘honest’ and ‘sticks to what he believes in’ – are also down. Especially since April, they are down by between 3%-7%.
In an attempt to re-invigorate the party, there is expected to be a reshuffle of the Labour shadow cabinet in September. Also in September, Ed Miliband will speak at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, where among other proposals an interim report on re-defining Labour’s relationship with the Unions will be presented.