‘Marriage makes no difference’

April 01, 2011, 9:03 PM GMT+0

The British public is largely indifferent to the news that Ed Miliband will wed his long-term partner, Justine Thornton, our poll has found, in keeping with opinion we recorded last year about the couple’s cohabitation before marriage.

  • 88% say getting married makes no difference to how they see Ed Miliband as Labour party leader
  • Just 6% think having a ring on his finger will make him a better leader
  • A tiny 3% feel it will make them view the Labour leader in a less favourable light

It seems that the news that the couple has set a date has done little to change public opinion about the Labour leader’s marital status, which we last asked about in September, immediately after Ed won the leadership.

  • 82% said Ed Miliband remaining unmarried didn’t affect their support for him
  • 8% disagreed and thought they would be less inclined to support him
  • Compared to 4% who preferred that he was not married to his partner

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party, announced yesterday that he and his partner, Justine Thornton, with whom he has two sons, will wed on 27th May in a small civil ceremony.

The first ever leader of a major political party to live with his significant other and children out of wedlock, Ed’s marital status caused a slight stir in the press after he became leader last year. However, Ed himself played down the story, saying ‘I think people are pretty relaxed about this. I don't think [they] care one way or the other about what other people do in their lives as long as they show responsibility to each other’. Speaking about his decision to get married now, Ed explained that it was simply ‘the right time’ and something that the family had been looking forward to.

See the survey details and full results here