Conservative members believe that of the Labour leadership hopefuls, David Miliband poses the greatest threat to the Coalition and the Conservative Party
By Jonathan Isaby
Towards the end of August, The Guardian claimed that David Cameron had said that of all the putative Labour leaders, David Miliband was the one he most feared:
David Miliband poses the greatest threat to the Conservative party of all the candidates in the Labour leadership contest, David Cameron has said in private remarks that could change the dynamic of the campaign just days before millions of ballot papers are posted.
To the likely delight of the older Miliband, who enters the final stages as the frontrunner, the prime minister has made it clear he believes the shadow foreign secretary stands the best chance of reaching out to middle Britain.
A well-placed source told the Guardian: "David Cameron said the candidate he hoped for was Ed Miliband, and the candidate he most feared was David Miliband."
Regardless of the veracity of that claim, it is one with which Conservative members agree, according to the latest ConHome survey of nearly 2,000 members.
As the pie chart and graph below show, the overwhelming majority believe the former Foreign Secretary poses the greatest threat to the Coalition, with nearly two thirds - 63.8% - agreeing that he poses a "considerable" or "massive" threat to the Conservative Party.
The equivalent figures for the other candidates were: Ed Miliband - 38.3%; Ed Balls - 21.5%; Andy Burnham - 13.7%; and Diane Abbott - 3.4%.