LABOUR leader Ed Miliband’s approval ratings have sunk to a record low, raising fresh questions over his ability to beat David Cameron in next year’s General Election.
Shadow ministers rallied to Mr Miliband’s support yesterday after a YouGov poll revealed he has fallen below embattled Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in the estimation of the public.
It found just 18 per cent of voters thought Mr Miliband was doing a good job, while 73 per cent said he was doing badly. The overall rating of -55 is one point worse than that of the Liberal Democrat leader.
In contrast, the poll showed the prime minister leading the race among the main party leaders on -14.
Despite the figures, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said she believed Mr Miliband was doing a “good job. I think the work he has done has been really important over the last few years, holding the party together after the last general election, but also building up the policies we have been calling for.”
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Labour still has a one-point lead in the polls, with the party on 32 per cent, the joint lowest support recorded since Mr Miliband became leader in 2010. YouGov surveyed 1,808 British adults on 30 and 31 October.
Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn denied suggestions Labour had been “lumbered with a loser” in Mr Miliband.
“People who are attacking Ed Miliband – newspapers and others who do not want Labour to win the next election – they are trying to attack his personality and they are trying to attack the party and to attack him and it is going to be a tough fight,” he said. “But what really matters is how people vote in real elections.”
Asked about the poll, Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “It doesn’t cheer me that politicians are disliked.
“It’s anti-Westminster. I think that’s the challenge to Westminster politicians. We have got to show we are on the side of the people.
“There are people who are angry out there. I don’t think Westminster politicians have realised that enough.”
He also admitted that the Liberal Democrats were no longer seen as the anti-establishment party, but insisted they would be an “insurgent force” moving forward.
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