Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Spotlight
  2. Elections
12 September 2010

New poll shows Ed Miliband taking the lead

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

By Samira Shackle

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.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

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.