A Miliband bounce?

William JordanUS Elections Editor
March 29, 2015, 11:46 AM UTC

In the first poll conducted after Thursday night, Labour lead by 4 and the Ed Miliband's ratings have ticked up – but then so have David Cameron's and Nick Clegg's

Snap polls found Thursday’s televised interviews with the party leaders and Jeremy Paxman to be more or less a draw, giving possibly a slight edge for the prime minister over Ed Miliband.

However, in the first YouGov poll for the Sunday Times since the interviews took place, Labour have pulled into a 4-point lead over the Conservatives, who had led by 2 on the previous poll. While it’s not clear yet if this is a bump for Miliband –  both parties are within the range of regular variation in YouGov’s daily voting intention polls over recent months – the Labour leader appears to have improved his standing. 

The latest poll is the first to be conducted completely after the interview.

30% of voters say Ed Miliband is doing well as leader of the Labour party, up from 26% last week, while 59% say he is doing badly, down from 65%. This means Miliband’s net rating – the percentage who say he’s doing well minus badly – has risen from -39 to -29 since the last poll (conducted March 19-20). 

The improvement appears to come from from Labour voters, 72% of whom say their party’s leader is doing well, up from 63% last week, and Lib Dems, a quarter of whom now rate him positively, up from 13%.

On the other hand, both David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg also see increases in their approval ratings as the campaign season officially kicks off.  In fact, while Miliband’s -29 rating is his best since March of last year, David Cameron’s -2 and Nick Clegg’s -40 are both leaders’ best since January 2012.  

Cameron continues to lead Miliband on who would be the best Prime Minister, 38% to 23%. Cameron has an even wider lead (35 to 16) among voters who haven't definitely decided who they will vote for. 

Of those who say they watched some or all of the Paxman programme, Miliband has a clear edge, with 49% saying he did best to only 34% for Cameron. Importantly, many more Labour voters than Tories watched, so this number needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Even so, the Labour leader also appears to have impressed his own party’s supporters more than Cameron has done. 85% of Labour voters who watched say Ed Miliband won, compared to 78% of Tories who give it to the prime minister. 

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See the full poll results