Two polls out today show Ed Miliband is getting it right in targeting the top 1%, with increased support amongst Labour members, and the party going up in the latest poll.
Having endured a difficult start to the year, creating unnecessary conflict with Labour supporters in an acceptance of the public sector pay freeze earlier in January, Ed has reassured Labour members and seen the party surge ahead of the Tories again, by refocusing the political agenda on obscene bonuses at the top of the pile.
Mark Ferguson reported on the latest State of the Party survey of LabourList readers, which showed that while Labour members disagree with the decision to back public sector pay freezes the focus on bonuses has enormous support amongst Labour activists. The survey showed:
A significant factor behind the increased support for the Labour leader is his handling of Stephen Hester’s bonus. 77% of LabourList readers believe that Miliband was right to focus on the RBS man’s bonus, compared to just 20% who said he wasn’t.
However LabourList readers are much more divided on two other major issues around the economy – and neither will make happy reading for Ed Balls – LabourList readers believe that Labour’s approach to Tory cuts is wrong (by 51% to 43%) and disagree on Labour’s decision to back public sector pay freezes (by 51% to 44%).
The focus on bonuses has strengthened Ed’s standing amongst readers over the past month – 43% of LabourList readers think that Ed Miliband is doing an Excellent or Good job (up 23 points on a month ago) whilst 31% think that he has been Poor or Very Poor (down 20 points).
In addition a YouGov opinion poll conducted on the 6th and 7th of February showed Labour has retaken the lead, going five points ahead, 42% to 37%. In the preceding days, Labour has been seen taking on high bonus payments, with Chuka Umunna leading the charge in the media. The same poll put Labour 5 points behind, by 36% to 41%. It remains to be seen whether this shift is repeated in other polls, but it is an encouraging sign.
And as Ed Miliband attacked the Tories on their NHS bill at PMQs today, there was widespread agreement that he’d defeated Cameron once again. James Bradby from ITV said Ed Miliband was ‘outstanding’ and that PMQs was ‘a slaughter’, whilst even James Kirkup at The Telegraph said Cameron ‘struggled to defend the health reforms’.
By demonstrating his clear opposition to the Tory agenda, whether it is their defence of bankers bonuses, or their cuts to public services, Ed Miliband can not only re-energise Labour members but win back voters vital to a future election victory.
- To discuss these issues, come to our Austerity Isn’t Working public discussion on 21st February.