New poll shows Ed Miliband taking the lead

A poll of party members and trade unionists shows the younger Miliband benefiting from second prefer

A new poll of Labour Party members and trade union activists has shown Ed Miliband in the lead.

The YouGov/Sunday Times poll (£) puts Ed Miliband on 51 per cent, with David on 49 per cent, once second preference votes are taken into account. On the basis of first-round votes only, David was four points ahead of Ed with 36 to his brother's 32.

Supporters of the former foreign secretary have been fairly confident of his victory for several weeks. An endorsement last week by the influential left-winger Dennis Skinner was a boost to his campaign, as it negated Ed's claim to support among the left of the party.

However, this poll suggests that the contest is still incredibly close. It seems that Ed may well emerge as the "compromise candidate", benefitting from second and third preferences in Labour's complex electoral college system. As long ago as June, a poll for LabourList showed that this could be the case.

The poll also shows a split in areas of support, with David being strongly favoured by MPs and MEPs -- gaining 41 per cent of their support to Ed's 29. However, the former climate change secretary leads among trade union members, gaining 36 points to his older brother's 29.

Interestingly, a separate YouGov poll for the Sunday Times of ordinary voters suggests greater public support for David, with 30 per cent saying that he would make the best leader, compared with 16 per cent for Ed. This is in keeping with the view expressed by many MPs that David is best equipped to take the fight to the Tories.

For the Miliband brothers, there is still everything to play for.

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Have voters turned against globalisation? It depends how you describe it

Brits are more positive about diversity than Sweden. 

New research shows that citizens across Europe are pessimistic about the future, distrustful of government and other political institutions, ambivalent at best about multiculturalism, and increasingly sceptical about the role of the European Union.

We wanted to understand the extent to which Europe’s citizens favour a "closed" rather than an "open" outlook and perspective on politics, economics and society. Making globalisation work for ordinary people in the developed world is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. Globalisation’s popularity and political viability is both a pre-condition and a consequence of making it work, but mainstream politicians seem to be failing to persuade us to embrace it, to the detriment of democratic institutions and norms, as well as their own careers.

The decision of the British people to leave the European Union has been perceived as yet another step back from globalisation and a rejection of an "open" outlook that favours international co-operation in favour of a more closed, inward-looking national debate.

There’s certainly a strong element of truth in this explanation. The referendum campaign was deeply divisive, with the Leave campaign playing heavily on concerns over immigration, refugees and EU enlargement. As a consequence, the "liberal" Leavers – those who wanted to leave but favoured a continuing a close economic relationship with the EU along with free movement of labour – appear to have been side-lined within the Conservative party.

Our results are by no means uplifting, but it’s not all doom and gloom. While there’s no doubt that opposition to certain features and consequences of globalisation played an important role in driving the Leave vote, Brits as a whole are just as open, outward-looking and liberal-minded, if not more so, than many of our European neighbours.

First, we asked respondents in all six countries the following:

“Over recent decades the world has become more interconnected. There is greater free trade between countries and easier communication across the globe. Money, people, cultures, jobs and industries all move more easily between countries

“Generally speaking, do you think this has had a positive or negative effect?”

Respondents were asked to consider the effects at four levels: Europe as a whole, their country, their local area, and their own life.

Overall, British voters are overwhelmingly positive about globalisation when described in this way - 58 per cent think it has benefited Europe and 59 per cent think it has benefited Britain. More than half (52 per cent) think it has benefited their local area, and 55 per cent think it has benefited their own life.

One might respond that this question skates over questions of immigration and multiculturalism somewhat, which are the most controversial features of globalisation in the UK. Therefore, we asked whether respondents thought that society becoming more ethnically and religiously diverse had changed it for the better or for the worse.

Overall, 41 per cent said that ethnic and religious diversity had changed British society for the better, while 32 per cent said it had changed for the worse. That’s a net response of +9, compared to -25 in France, -13 in Germany, and -17 in Poland. Brits are even more positive about ethnic and religious diversity than Sweden (+7) – only Spanish respondents were more positive (+27).

There’s a long way to go before ordinary people across the developed world embrace globalisation and international cooperation. Despite the apparent setback of Brexit, the UK is well-placed politically to take full advantage of the opportunities our increasingly inter-connected world will present us with. It would be a mistake to assume, in the wake of the referendum, that the British public want to turn inwards, to close themselves off from the rest of the world. We’re an open, tolerant and outward-looking society, and we should make the most of it.

Charlie Cadywould is a Researcher in the Citizenship Programme at the cross-party think tank Demos. His writing has been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as the national media.