Average at best from Miliband in 2011

3rd January, 2012 4:33 pm

Ed Miliband’s performance was Average to Poor in 2011 – that’s the verdict of LabourList readers in our end of 2011 survey. 29% of those who voted believed that Miliband’s performance had been Average in 2011, compared to 29% who thought he had been poor and nearly 22% who thought that his performance had been Very Poor. That contrasts with just 20% who thought Miliband had an Excellent or Good 2011 – similar to his performance in December’s “State of the Party” survey.

Stay tuned to LabourList throughout the week for the rest of the results from our 2011 survey including shadow cabinet rankings (tomorrow), the biggest event of the year for Labour (Thursday) and your Labour MP of the year (Friday).

743 people voted in our end of year survey between December 23rd and January 2nd – thanks to everyone who took part.

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  • As good a message as any that this is the year to turn things round. I was one of the 29% who rated Miliband “average” for 2011, I have given him “good” ratings in the past

    • Anonymous

      Or of course step down his choice, sadly not a really good start is it, explaining how the Tories and labour are working together on welfare. But not working on getting people to pay their taxes. ah well never mind.

      • Anonymous

        To be honest as someone who rejoined the party because he became leader I am both exceedingly disappointed and angry at his behaviour this past 12 months.  His recent rejection of the Tobin Tax was the last straw for me. I was only stopped from leaving by a fellow left winger. Miliband had better get his act together this year or I will resign. Either that or we should have a new election and elect a more competent leader not afraid to take on Cameron, Osborne and the Blairite bastards.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, Ed has to managed to alienate both Blairites like me (thanks for calling us bastards by the way) and lefties like you.

          It’s quite a feat that he’s acheived.

          • The Labour party is indeed a broad church, but nonetheless, Miliband must nail his colours to the mast. If he’s not New Labour, he needs to be a different sort of Labour. 

          • Carole

            I think there is something called blue labour he might be that

          • Anonymous

            They are indeed a broad church. Unfortunately like the actual church during the dark ages they are entirely preoccupied with breeding hatred in their followers towards the “unbelievers” whether they be Tories, Libdems or apparently Blairites…..

          • Anonymous

            stephen- any concrete evidence for that?

          • Anonymous


            Just cast your eyes up to the “bastard” blairites comment.

            Or all the comments from labour Mps accusing Tories of being scum, evil, unfeeling, intentionally hurting the poor and vulnerable. Basically all incitements to hatred.

            If you could do a universal word swap on this site I.e. every Instance of the word Tory is substituted for Jew, Asian, gay, black etc. it would resemble a BNP site more than a political forum.

          • Anonymous

            P.s. “I think there’s a lot of goodwill out there towards Ed”.

            Any concrete evidence for that!?

          • No, because it’s true. You and your Tory buddies DO incite hatred. You DO personally call for people to be hurt, starved and frozen. You ARE scum.

            And of course then you call everyone who disagrees with you BNP, typical far right tactics.

          • Anonymous

            Wow you can’t even see the irony in this little rant?

            Why not try the exercise I suggested above eh? So your little rant becomes “You and your jew buddies DO incite hatred. You DO personally call for people to be hurt, starved and frozen. You ARE scum.

            And of course then you call everyone who disagrees with you BNP”

            Racist incitement of hatred? Damn right it would be! Anyone posting this you would expect to be moderated or outright banned! But of course this is a labour site and labour teaches its followers to hate the Tory.

          • At least they’re not baby-eating satanists.

            You believe, alright, Tory boy.

          • Anonymous

            Isn’t it nice when you make a comment and someone immediately comes along to prove your point for you 🙂

          • Bill Lockhart

            “Life of Brian” really hit the nail on the head, didn’t it?

          • Anonymous

            Not to mention the rest of the country who don’t vote Labour. 

        • Davehatter

          To be honest, who will you join, the Judean Popular Front? You’re looking to be offended. You can’t keep leaving every time you can’t get your own way and throw the proverbial Big Strop. The only way to get re-elected is to appeal to the broad mass of people who aren’t overly political. I’ve voted Labour all my life. The obvious candidate for the leadership was David Milliband. We’re stuck with a man who has the charisma of a wet blanket and looks like an overly promoted Civil Servant  who is perceived as someone who stabbed his own brother in the back by people outside the party. I’m not New or Old Labour, just Labour. He’s not a leader.

        • Gasgasgas

          The Tobin Tax is a non-starter.  Firstly, any monies raised were earmarked for the EU not the British people.  Secondly, the tax would be paid by the account holders not the banks.  Some of the major account holders are pension funds.  So it would be another hit on the private sectors’ pensions.  I fail to see how either of those results would endear Ed to the voters.

        • BenH

          Nice commentary there calling fellow party members “bastards” from someone who has only been a member for a year. Real commitment – well done.

          The Tobin tax is economically a terrible idea unless implemented by all the major states with finance infrastructures collectively. The idea of a Europe-only Tobin tax would only harm our tax base.

    • Anonymous

      Good for you. Ed needs all the help he can get by the look of things. With the Ides of March a mere ten weeks or so away I would advise Miliband Junior to start watching his back.

      Et tu, Yvette?

      • Thanks Jeff.

        But do you really think Yvette wants it given she had the chance to stand in 2010?

        • Anonymous

          No probs. However, are you absolutely sure that Ms. Cooper isn’t really a previously unknown transvestite Miliband brother in drag?

  • Yvette? Would you like some help installing new phonelines?

    • Anonymous

      All premium rate numbers I suppose.

  • Anonymous

    With my hand on my heart I have to admit that I never expected for ONE SINGLE MOMENT that Ed Miliband would receive such a high score as this in any survey polling LabourList aficionados. Both Ed and his supporters will be over the moon after a stellar result like this. A significant majority of people polled thought the Miliband Junior’s performance as Labour leader was “average to poor”. I thought everybody would be inspired to vote “very poor” – the worst possible option – in the LabourList survey like me.   That’ll show me, eh?

    * I bet the 20% who rated Ed as “excellent or very good” were Conservative Party members. *

    • Mick the chippy

      Rubbish. We need 4,000,000 more votes than the last election.We need a Labour victory at the next election.Ed though an honest good man does not have what it takes to win. Wake up and smell the coffee,for our nations sake.What do you want Tory win next time?We need act  now. P.s.I am party member.

  • Anonymous

    Can the usual suspects please hurry up and rubbish this poll on the basis that:

    a) They once heard Ed speak at a policy forum and he seemed like a nice bloke
    b) He is the victim of the “right-wing media”
    c) Deep down, people want substance not style and they will realise this soon enough


  • Duncan

    Some interesting comments here, which I think underline Ed’s main problem (that I also comment on briefly here

    namely that Ed doesn’t seem to have a power base in the party. There is a potential problem that he ends up pleasing nobody because he’s trying too hard to pelase everybody.  His attitude to the public sector strikes probably reflects this best: lots of people will have marked him “average” or “poor” because of his anti-strike rhetoric (I might well have been one of those people had I participated) – and yet he didn’t gain any Blairite credibility for his anti-strike rhetoric because he refused to condemn the strikes and actually stuck up for the unions quite well on the day.

    Of course I’d like to see Ed embrace the inner Red Ed (if it’s there) and that would upset some and it might even increase the “very poor” ratings, but it would reduce the “averages” and get a bit of something going in the “good” and “excellent” areas too.  At the moment, would anybody self-define as a Milibandite (an Ed one I mean!) – what would that mean?

    • Odd that anyone would think there is a ‘Red Ed’ to embrace. Why should there be? And worse, to suggest there is a Red Ed is to hint at the possibility of a return to Old Labour – but that’s no longer viable, just as New Labour is no longer viable. Circumstances have moved on.

      Labour has previously presented itself as the party best able to manage capitalism – but now the challenge is to find the party best able to find a way of subsidisng capitalism, now that capitalism has gone into malfunction mode. Or, alternatively, if Ed is up to it: to rethink capitalism.

      There was some indication of Ed’s awareness of this task with the mention of ‘predatory capitalism’ in his conference speech but the Westminster brigade seem to have taken fright, possibly fearful of the closing of the door between political office and corporate reward.

      • Duncan

        I don’t think he will try and find an inner Red Ed, but it would give him a political identity!

        Of course, it would be marvellous if one day a Labour leader could communicate an alternative to capitalism…  But I suspect we don’t quite agree on that one!

        I agree that his “makers” and “takers” rhetoric might have moved us into some interesting territory in terms of ideas.  Similarly I agree that it hasn’t really been developed.

        I suppose my reasoning for thinking there might be a lurking inner Red Ed is his apprenticeship as a Teabag (helping out with Tony Benn’s archives as a summer job).

        • I’ve watched the Sex and the City TV series so I’ll put the ‘tea bag’ reference to one side but do hope the Ed is up to the re-thinking task because there’s b**ger all else on the horizon.

          Just like feudalism, capitalism won’t last forever. Whether or not we’re at an ‘end of days’ scenario re capitalism, I’m not sure. But it seems as soon as the growth problem is fixed (if it actually does get fixed before multiple nationalisms emerge in the Euro/Austerity Zone) an ecology/global warming crisis will soon follow.

          If we get out of the frying pan I fear we’ll immediately find ourselves in the fire.

          • This IS the Fire, dave. The crisis we’re seeing every day at the moment.

    • Anonymous

      I think you’ve articulated very well Duncan.

      Re your 2nd paragraph- yes- if true, that is a real “bind.”

      Something would have to be done to break out of this;
      perhaps less compromise and sitting on the fence?

      I think if we heard more of Ed’s real opinions and vision,
      this would be valued and respected; at least- something to work with.

      It may be the “not knowing” that is causing confusion.


  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    Even discounting the 29% “Average”, which everyone will try to claim, there’s still 51% of LL commenters who incline to the “Poor” or “Very Poor” judgement.  I have no idea how many of those who voted were signed up bona fide supporters – perhaps it is not a fair poll – but if those figures reflect even slightly Labour partisan thinking, then it does not look good for taking the country by storm over the next 3 years into the next GE.  I’m not a bona fide supporter, but I do try to be fair when invited to partake in the vote (even rating Cabinet Ministers whom I would hardly entrust with swabbing the floor).  In the last 6 months or so, my vote has slipped from “Good” to “Poor”.

    I suspect that the country as a whole would be rather more emphatic than 51% “Poor” or “Very Poor” if asked today.  Perhaps the saving grace for Ed is that public opinion may sometimes be more easily turned around by some favourable press than committed and politically engaged people may be.  On the other hand, maybe the public as a whole are less pro-Ed Miliband than the readers of LL, and won’t give him the chance despite anything he may do.

    On balance, I believe it more likely than not that short of a serious upset to the Coalition, and despite continuing economic setbacks, the British people will firmly reject Ed Miliband in 2015.  He’s just too much of a twonk to be the PM.

  • Anonymous

    I think there’s a lot of goodwill out there towards Ed, and rightly so.

    But I do think he needs to articulate more clearly his ideas for the party
    and policy direction; perhaps in a more concrete fashion following on
    from the conference speech?

    I think too there has been some some sort of delay or hiatus
    that has gone on for too long now; and not sure why that is?

    I sometimes wonder whether it’s partially due to different factions
    pulling in opposite directions, creating an impasse?

    If so, this might suggest more discipline is needed; but also
    broadening out the party’s base beyond the traditional/tribal boundaries;
    building more of a movement than just a narrow party.

    This has more chance of appealing to people who might have voted
    Labour/LD/Greens at the last election?

    I say this because I think we have reached a point now
    where more is needed to address the complexity and depth of issues at stake;
    also a need for broader consensus, whilst also holding on to
    shared values and principles.

    For me, this is not just about rating politicians’ performances
    at a specific moment,(although it might reflect something;)
    but more importantly- the whole team approach, and particularly,
    developing a more democratic structure that values its members
    and is actively involved and engaged with the public in whichever way possible.

    I think still a long way to go- but some very good people in there
    that have every potential to forge a new path independently of the current agenda.
    Also, it’s how it’s done that matters; eg embracing ideas from the grassroots and beyond.


    • derek

      @Jo, a lot of positive stuff there @Jo and some good food for thought, @Jo, I’ve really no wish to be negative so early into a new year but this welfare nonsense is very bleak stuff from labour. I’m sure you remember the 1980’s when the tories created massive unemployment and tried to justify it as a necessary move, many never got over that period and there will be some that haven’t worked [email protected], all this bleak talk from labour really makes things up here in Scotland harder for us to try and reconnect with a depleted electorate, we have a new leader and a chance to drive home some important points and low and behold we shoot ourselves in the foot again, I’m growing really tried and weary @Jo 9 out of 10 times I come on this site and have to defend the indefensible because the labour party can’t put forward any thing that resembles labour, the only ray of sunshine is @Peter yourself and a few others. @Jo, there are 2.8 million JSA seekers and 2.5 million other capacity claimers and only 500,000 jobs out there, how does the maths equate there? @Jo when you read stuff from @Jeff, it’s so correct,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, christ I’m really struggling with labour.    

      • Anonymous

        Hi Derek, thankyou for kind thoughts.

        I do feel that some are articulating also very strongly the kind of things you
        are saying, and that needs to be taken very seriously by the party;
        in some ways, a bit like a moral compass, or a reminder to pay attention
        to the core values/priorities/what we are meant to be about?

        There also seems to be a problem about how to reframe all this
        that fits in with how the narrative has “moved on;”
        eg post 13 years of New Lab….what kind of an identity can be forged;
        what language can be used; also being hampered by pressure from
        factions within the party and right wing influences from allies in the

        I wish it were possible to sweep all of that aside and genuinely start afresh,
        bearing in mind our traditional values and purpose of “being.”

        I totally agree with you about one major priority being employment;
        there is never an excuse to leave people and families at the wayside,
        or leaving everything to the vagaries of the money markets.

        I agree with you and Duncan here- it’s time to get radical, and steer a clearer course of action that is relevant to the current economic and societal context.

        If Labour does ever heed “advice” to abandon its core voters and supporters,
        I believe that would indeed be the end of the party being a major force in politics.

        Don’t be put off by the balance of commentators on politcal sites Derek;
        the trouble can be those more antagonistic and hostile can be more persistent
        online; but i do not believe that reflects the wider balance of views out there.

        Would it be worth joining your local party or getting more involved with local projects/causes to feel a bit more grounded?

        In the meantime- please add your insights whenever you feel inclined Derek;
        I think we need  more of a continuation of balanced views and voices of substantive experience on LL rather than endless trolling which can disrupt any chance of meaningful discussion, and deter any possible newcomers who might have something useful to add.

        Thanks so much again, and hope maybe a few new horizons in 2012 Derek.


    • Duncan

      Some interesting thoughts there.  I guess as I come from a faction, I would be one of those pulling in a particular direction (and therefore should be disciplined!) – but I don’t think anybody’s listening to me anyway!!

      I’ve fleshed out my thoughts in a bit more detail here:

      Ultimately I think those arguing that Labour needs to give ground to the coalition on cuts and the deficit are barking up a very wrong tree!  I agree that Ed could potentially give some leadership to people who might otherwise have voted Liberal Democrat or Green in the past (so long as he doesn’t abandon us Labour people, of course…) – but to do that he has to be radical, he has to be direct and he has to absolutely skewer this awful coalition government.  There’s too much advice out there at the moment for him to triangulate and give ground.  He’s got to blot that out.

      Once upon a time I’d have said, “let Ed be Ed”.  But I’m not 100% sure I know who Ed is now.  Let Ed be Red Ed?

      • Anonymous

        I agree that Ed Miliband ought to be himself, rather than go round trying to appease the Blairite malcontents, because he is scared of them,  but there are times I wonder if even he knows who the real Ed Miliband is.

        For example. does he really believe the rubbish he is allowing serial expenses culprit Liam Byrne to come out with?. If so he should sack Byrne and appoint somebody who was not themselves a “scrounger”.

        Probably the easiest route to becoming a party leader is if your predecessor is dead: Harold Wilson back in 1963 was able to be his own man because Hugh Gaitskill had recently died. Harold could afford to have all stripes of opinion in his cabinets and shadow cabinet, which made his teams more democratic, but he had a very clear idea himself of what he wanted to do. In short, he was his own man.

        The “third way” of course, apart from Ed and Harold’s way is the Blair way – surround yourself with a heap of lightweight, untalented, inexperienced simpering yes men (and women) and stifle debate, and hire yourself an ex-porn writer to be your mouthpiece in the media. Denigrate all those who dare tol disagree with you, and suck up to the Establishment.

        Ed Miliband hasn’t got the luxury of the Wilson or Blair ways, but it is vitally important thaty he offers a clear alternative to the coalition – the current slightly less blue Conservatism, with the likes of Byrne and Grayling more or less interchanageable (they even look similar both being grievously folically challanged) just will not wash.

        If you have Labour offering more or less what the Tories are offering, people tend to stick with the devil they know.

      • Anonymous

        Hi Duncan, good to hear from you, and thankyou for giving all this some thought.

        Re your middle paragraph- yes, definitely agree.

        I personally think Ed is keeping an open mind and wants to incorporate as many views as possible- which is good. BUT, also- he needs to go much further in piecing together some sort of coherent vision and strategy, and being clear too about his own values and ideas.There have been some great flourishes of this on singular occasions, but it needs to be consistent and followed through.

        The problem too is that everytime he speaks he appears so jumped all over
        by some sort of “anti” bandwagon, who I think will never be satisfied and are not prepared to work in good faith or constructively.

        The other context of course is that there is a real sense of urgency within the economic climate, and politcally; also media “forces” hardly condusive to a fair hearing or balanced discussion?

        Anyway, these are my perceptions looking from the outside,
        which I guess all most of any of us can do.
        I would like to see far more of a vibrant exchange of ideas and input
        from members and supporters over time- it’s vital.

        I will also read your article/link when I’m able to return;
        (I did read that one earlier you posted up thread?)

        Hope you plan to continue adding input on LL too Duncan;
        it’s always great to hear from sensible and pragmatic people
        who have a genuine interest in process.

        Thankyou, and happy 2012 also.


      • Anonymous

        “But I’m not 100% sure I know who Ed is now.

        I could tell you WHAT he is but after one of my recent comments about Miliband Junior which included the word p*ss – spelt in full without an asterisk – got deleted I really don’t reckon there’s much point.

  • I cant help but feel theres a lot of what  Psychologists call “Projection” going on here. When you talk about Milliband your taliking about yourselves.
    In any case unless Ed resigns theres nothing you can do about it so why not talk about things you can affect, for example –
    Labours dodgy Finances, falling Membership etc.

  • Kevin H0llingsworth

    Turncoat Ed, never a truer Tory that one.   Just keep pandering to the press mate and we’ll see where it leads us…the way things are sliding?  Why have a spirit level society when giving the poor a good kicking earns such great poll dividends? 

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  • Anonymous

    I did not vote. I never vote in these polls.

    And if I had voted, I have no idea what Ed believes in. Clearly not what he says as his demeanour suggests he is at odds with his inner self  when he speaks.

    I suspect his Marxist background is at odds with his need to appeal to his own right wing. (He of course has little chance of appealing to any Tories or Orange Book LDs).

    I suspect he is effectively a prisoner of his colleagues – especially his former Minister colleagues who have all more experience, nous and ability than he has. Not in that they tell him what to say but, because he does not believe in what he says his policies are, he has no sense of judgement  saying “this is right or wrong”.. but has to ask for advice.

    To me he looks like a fish out of water…

  • Steelyeyes

    The 20% that think he is doing a good job are probably Union leaders…

  • Mike Murray

    We should not succumb to Tory led coalition attempts to destroy us by rubishing our own leader. The Tories are terrified of Ed Miliband. Labour has won every by-election on the mainland since the  coalition was established, in some cases handsomely. For the past year we have been consistently ahead in the opinion polls. At the Council and devolved parliament elections we won back 800 seats and were in a position to form a Labour government in Wales. By contrast the Tories were booted out of Scotland along with the Lib Dems. and we did all of this within a few months of losing the General Election. That’s why we are witnessing this concerted attempt by the Tories and their Lib Dem stoodges to rubbish Ed. We should not give way to defeatism but should do our duty on behalf of the voiceless of this country and take the battle to the heart of this squalid coalition. We should also remember that the Tories and the Lib Dems have locked themselves into power with their fixed term parliamentary legislation. They are going to be in power for the next three and a half years. This is going to be a long haul and it would be folly to chuck the captain overboard at this early stage of the voyage.

    • dessie

      Mike, what planet are you living on! If you actually care about the needs of the working people of Britain and those who are most vulnerable to this extreme govt you would be making the case like so many in this movement that Ed has to go for all our sakes. He will consign us to defeat regardless of anything else and for you to say the tories are scared of him on what do you base that comment. I actually know and speak with  number o fsenior tories and they all think he is great for them and long may he reign. 

  • DavidJ

    Why is the Party SO reuluctant to face the simplest of facts…i.e. that it voted as Leader someone who has absolutely NO leadership skills;  the charisma of the dampest of damp rags and oratory skills of a second-rate sixth-form debater.

    The Unions know now that they made the wrong choice; the Parliamentary party knows it made the wrong choice; and, as pole after pole clearly shows, the whole country sees him as someone TOTALLY out of his depth. He is now like some wounded creature with the vultures, i.e. the Lasagne Mob, circling overhead, waiting to pounce on his carcass as soon as the fatal blow is delivered..and may that be soon…

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