Labour divided over AV: State of the party – November 2010

November 15, 2010 12:13 pm

By Mark Ferguson / @markfergusonuk

Labour supporters are divided over AV – and are more likely to vote against the proposed reforms than support them. That’s one of the key findings of the latest LabourList survey. 42% of readers plan on voting against AV, with only 33% voting for it. Labour supporters’ votes are still up for grabs though, as 23% are undecided.

There’s good news for Ed Miliband from our survey: 41% of those voting believe he’s doing a good job, with 14% rating his performance so far as excellent. 33% believe that he’s done a fair job so far, whilst 12% think his performance has been poor.

Of the shadow cabinet, Ed Balls is proving to be the most popular member so far, with 76% of LabourList readers viewing him in a positive light. Andy Burnham, Alan Johnson, Harriet Harman and Yvette Cooper all scored highly, being viewed positively by over 70% of readers.

The shadow cabinet member viewed most negatively is Caroline Flint, who receives negative ratings from 25% of respondents, closely followed by Liam Byrne and Tessa Jowell. There’s also some work to do for some of the less well known shadow cabinet members – over 50% of LabourList readers have no view on nine members of the shadow cabinet, with 84% of readers having no view on shadow Scottish secretary Ann McKechin.

On the economy, a huge 65% of readers believe that Labour should be proposing an alternative economic plan, with only 27% in support of opposing specific cuts whilst backing deficit reduction. Complete support or opposition of the plans isn’t an option as far as Labour supporters are concerned, with support from only 2% and 5% of readers respectively.

LabourList has also been leading the way on policy formulation with our “Ideas for electability” series. By far the most popular policy advocated was adopting a hard line on tax avoidance and evasion, which was supported by 79% of respondents. A National Care Service, Robin Hood tax, and rebuilding Labour’s reputation on the economy also scored highly.

Ideas for electability

Choosing Labour candidates through a primary system remains popular, with 46% of Labour supporters now in favour of such a measure. Meanwhile the economy/employment is by far the most pressing issue for LabourList readers, with 78% of respondents listing it as a main area of interest.

620 LabourList readers voted in the survey, which ran from Tuesday 9th – Sunday 14th November. Thanks to all who took part.

Survey Results

Which of these “Ideas for electability” do you think Labour should adopt?

A voice for the voiceless (Labour Diversity Fund) – 29.8%
Flexible, paid parental leave – 37.1%
Simply getting our message across – 44.4%
A hard line on tax avoidance and evasion – 78.7%
Power to the People – online referenda – 18.5%
Affordable water for all – 38.2%
High speed internet for all – 39.8%
A Mutual British Railways – 48.6%
Full citizenship – an alternative to the Big Society – 28.1%
Cap how much profit can be made on essentials – 36.9%
A National Care Service – 62.6%
A complete restructure of secondary education – teaching by ability, not age – 21.1%
The right to own (employee ownership) – 31.4%
Making a Robin Hood Tax a reality – 61.1%
Rebuilding Labour’s reputation on the economy – 64.4%
Linking state pensions to the National Minimum Wage – 42.9%

How do you think Ed Miliband is performing as leader so far?

Excellent – 13.6%
Good – 40.9%
Fair – 33.4%
Poor – 12.1%

Labour’s response to the coalition’s economic plans should be:

To support them – 2.2%
To oppose specific cuts, but back deficit reduction – 27.3%
To propose an alternative economic plan – 65.3%
To oppose them in their entirety – 5.2%

What are your overall impressions of each shadow cabinet member?

Answer Options Positive Negative Don’t know
Harriet Harman 72.9 21.2 7.1
Alan Johnson 74.7 17.9 7.6
Yvette Cooper 75.5 8.7 16.1
Ed Balls 76.1 12.5 12.3
Sadiq Khan 49.5 15.3 35.2
Jim Murphy 38.5 10.2 51.9
John Denham 52.7 8.8 39.1
Douglas Alexander 68.8 15.3 17.0
John Healey 37.9 6.0 56.6
Andy Burnham 75.5 11.5 13.2
Caroline Flint 37.3 25.0 38.7
Maria Eagle 23.0 7.2 70.0
Meg Hillier 15.2 8.2 77.3
Mary Creagh 16.5 7.3 76.6
Liam Byrne 31.8 24.3 44.6
Shaun Woodward 19.9 21.8 58.6
Ann McKechin 10.6 5.8 83.7
Peter Hain 34.6 19.0 47.2
Ivan Lewis 14.0 7.8 78.2
Tessa Jowell 39.0 23.4 38.5
Angela Eagle 32.5 11.2 57.5
Rosie Winterton 25.0 9.5 66.5
Hilary Benn 51.6 8.9


Labour’s response to the coalition’s economic plans should be:

To support them – 2.2%
To oppose specific cuts, but back deficit reduction – 27.3%
To propose an alternative economic plan – 65.3%
To oppose them in their entirety – 5.2%

How will you vote in next year’s AV referendum?

Yes (In favour of AV) – 33.3%
No (Against AV / In favour of current system) – 42.2%
Don’t know – 22.9%
Won’t vote – 1.7%

Do you support some form of primary for selecting Labour Party candidates?

Yes – 46.9%
No – 34.8%
Don’t Know – 18.3%

What are your main areas of interest?

Crime / Justice – 31.4%
Culture – 25.6%
Economy / Employment – 78.4%
Education – 63.6%
Electoral Reform – 22.4%
Environment / Climate Change – 35.4%
Equality – 51.3%
Families – 26.1%
Health – 49.7%
Housing – 52.3%
International Development – 23.1%
International Relations – 26.0%
Immigration – 16.5%
Parliamentary / Constitutional Reform – 29.7%
Party Democracy – 34.4%
Taxation – 44.2%
Transport – 29.8%
Unions – 34.4%
Workers’ Rights – 50.1%

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