New poll puts Labour ahead for first time since 2007

A major psychological boost for Ed Miliband.

Ed Miliband's big day has got off to a good start, with a poll putting Labour ahead of the Tories for the first time since the election that never was in 2007. The latest daily YouGov poll has Labour up two to 40 per cent, the Tories unchanged on 39 per cent and the Lib Dems down from a post-conference high of 15 per cent to 12. If repeated at the election on a uniform swing, the latest figures would give Labour a majority of 10 seats.

New Statesman Poll of Polls

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Hung Parliament, Labour 16 seats short

All political parties usually receive a poll bounce from their conference and, indeed, when a new leader takes over. But this is still a major psychological boost for the party and Miliband. It highlights why the right are entirely wrong to dismiss Miliband as Labour's William Hague or even Iain Duncan Smith. It took three and a half years and the fuel strike for a poll to put Hague's Conservatives ahead. We'll get a better idea after today's speech of the Miliband dividend Labour can expect to receive.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.