Labour Party leadership

May 25, 2010, 2:04 AM GMT+0

In recent days, the race for the Labour leadership has gathered pace, with more Labour candidates coming to the fore.

Former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the now Shadow Foreign Secretary David Miliband has emerged as the most popular candidate at this stage, with 23% of the British public feeling that he would make the best leader of the Labour party. Diana Abbott, the first black woman to be elected into the House of Commons and the current Member of Parliament to Hackney North and Stoke Newington - a position she has held since 1987 - comes in second, with nine percent of the vote; while Edward (Ed) Miliband, David Miliband’s brother, comes in third, with eight per cent. Other candidates Andy Burnham and John McDonnell trail on four and two percent respectively.

Unfortunately for former Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls - the current MP for Morley and Outwood - the public’s views of his suitability for the Labour leadership appear to be less than encouraging, with 21% claiming that of all the candidates to put themselves forward for the party leadership, he would make the worst leader.

However, while Balls may head the list of potential candidates that the general public do not want to see leading the Labour party, he is not the least favoured among those that count: Labour party supporters. Among this group, when asked about who would make Labour’s worst leader, Diana Abbott came out top (bottom?) among Labour supporters, with 22% stating that she was their least favourite candidate for the top job, compared to only 13% for Ed Balls. However, David Miliband’s popularity remains high among Labour supporters; only two percent didn’t want to see him as leader compared to a slightly poorer three percent for his brother Ed.

With the leadership race only just beginning, and set to continue until the September Labour Party Conference, watch this space to see if David Miliband retains his lead over his competitors.

Survey details and full results