Labour's loss

Anthony WellsHead of European Political and Social Research
January 21, 2011, 8:34 PM GMT+0

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.

The best chancellor? See the results here
MPs: Asset or liability? See the results here