Ed Miliband 'not possible PM'

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
January 18, 2012, 5:29 PM GMT+0

70% Britons say Ed doesn't 'look or sound like a possible PM'; but 34% say he has 'right' policies

Almost two thirds of the British population believes that Labour leader Ed Miliband does not look or sound like a possible Prime Minister, our poll for The Sunday Times has found. However, less than half say that his policies are actually 'wrong'; in fact, almost a third feel that his policies are 'right', even if very few see him as PM.

Only around one in ten feels that Ed 'looks and sounds like a possible Prime Minister', with even fewer backing his policies as well as his ability to take the top job.

  • 43% of Britons say that Ed Milliband's policies are 'wrong, and he does not look or sound like a possible Prime Minister'
  • 27% say that although he doesn't look or sound like a PM, his policies are 'right'
  • 4% say that although Ed's policies are 'wrong' he still 'looks and sounds like a PM'
  • Only 7% say that Ed has both the 'right' policies AND 'looks and sounds like a Prime Minister'

But while support for Ed is low, there is no clear consensus on what he could do to improve his image when it comes to Labour's reputation. While 46% of the public say that they agree that they would 'think more highly' of Ed if he 'apologised for the mistakes Labour made when it was in Government', a statistically similar, but just smaller amount (39%) disagree that this would make them think more highly of the Opposition leader. There is no majority view either way.

No-one good on Labour leader list

And while just over one in five (21%) people say that they think that David Miliband would make the best Labour leader (compared to Ed's 7% support), many more (32%) say that none of those in our list would be any good – shunning Alistair Darling (9%), Ed Balls (6%) and Yvette Cooper (4%).

Ed Miliband, who only narrowly won the Labour leadership over his hotly-anticipated brother David, has had a difficult time in recent weeks, with Labour MP Diane Abbott's apparently 'out-of-context' tweet prompting calls from some that Ed should ask the former leadership candidate to resign, Ed's own unfortunate Twitter slip-up while remembering the late presenter Bob Holness, and much criticism over his speeches and House of Commons performances to boot.

Looking at our data, it seems that Ed may have some work to do before the nation sees him as the right man to take on Number 10.

See the survey details and full results here (pages 4-5)