In losing Alan Johnson, Ed Miliband has lost one of Labour's biggest assets. Johnson had attracted criticism in the political media for a series of gaffes in recent weeks, but amongst the wider public he was the most positively perceived of the Labour leadership.
Even following his well-publicised mistake over what the employers NI rate was, he was only slightly behind George Osborne when the public were asked who would make the best Chancellor, with 25% preferring Osborne to 21% for Johnson.
Asked in December if senior members of the Labour front bench were assets or liabilities for the party 34% of people saw Alan Johnson as an asset to the Labour party, compared to 20% who saw him as a liability - a net rating of +14. In comparison Andy Burnham scored +9 and Ed Miliband himself scored zero (equal numbers of people saw him as an asset or liability). Johnson's successor Ed Balls is viewed more negatively, with only 28% seeing him as an asset for Labour by 32% seeing him as a liability.