Left Watch

« Balls says his sums add up. Voters suspect they don't. He's not well placed to change their minds. | Main | How has Ed Miliband's sixth re-launch progressed so far? »

Although Ed Miliband is less popular with Labour supporters than David Miliband, he insists his leadership is "winning the battle of ideas"

By Joseph Willits 
Follow Joseph on Twitter

Screen shot 2012-01-15 at 09.40.10In today's Sunday Times (£) there were yet more unnerving polling results for Ed Miliband, receiving his lowest (negative) rating so far as Labour leader from the party's supporters. 49% of those who vote Labour felt that Miliband was doing badly, compared to 46% who believed he was doing well. The YouGov poll gave Miliband an overall rating of -3, compared to Cameron's positive net score of 91.

Polling those of all voting intentions, David Miliband topped the survey with 21% holding the view that he would be a better party leader, compared to Ed Miliband's 7%. Interestingly, Alistair Darling was second choice with 9%. However, there was a marked difference in favour of David Miliband amongst Labour support, with 34% compared to 12% for his brother.

Speaking on this morning's Andrew Marr Show, mainly to defend the Labour party's new stance on cuts, Miliband was full of defiant soundbites, stating that Labour was "winning the battle of ideas."

Although Miliband told Andrew Marr that "if Labour was in power now, we wouldn't be making those changes, we wouldn't be cutting as far and as fast as the government", he said it was right to support the Government's pay freeze for public sector workers:

"It's a hard choice, but when you are faced with the choice between protecting jobs or saying the money should go into pay rises I think it's right to protect jobs."

Whilst discussing the issue of 'irresponsible' capitalism, and the curbing of executive pay, Miliband chose to define the credibility of his leadership and party by the fact that the Government was encroaching on 'his' territory:

"You know what gives me confidence? Because we are winning the battle of ideas. It's not often you say that about an opposition. Why is David Cameron coming on to my ground? By the way, he can't deliver on my agenda ... but why is he coming on to my ground, because he knows that I'm talking about the right issues and the issues that matter ... That's a sign I'm on the right themes. And this is big. This is about reshaping our society."

Miliband shrugged off the negative poll results, and the ongoing criticism of his leadership, promising to "stay the course". He even managed a quip about Lord Glasman, who had said Miliband had "no strategy, no narrative and little energy":

"I'm rather hanging for an elected House of Lords after Lord Glasman. This is part of the gig of being leader of the Opposition: you get criticism, you get advice, it's what happens. I know not only who I am and where we are going, but some very important... You always listen to the criticism, but I know my own mind."

Today's appearance on the Andrew Marr show prompted a mixed response on Twitter. Patrick O'Flynn of the Express said that Miliband had received "an absolute pounding" over Labour's change in attitude over cuts, but that "just turning up and defending his corner shows a degree of character":

Screen shot 2012-01-15 at 10.19.34