Shadow Cabinet rankings – who is the runaway winner?


In the past we used to do a monthly “shadow cabinet rankings” to give LabourList readers an opportunity to have their say on who they were happy with and who they weren’t. The last time we did such a survey back in 2013, Andy Burnham was the runaway winner.

Today we’ve got the latest shadow cabinet rankings, and Burnham is – if anything – further ahead of his colleagues than he was before.

First though – a quick explanation of how the rankings work. We asked LabourList readers to say whether they have a positive, negative or neutral view of each member of the Shadow Cabinet. We then subtracted the negative score from the positive score to achieve a final score. Here’s how it looks:

1 Andy Burnham 78.30%
2 Yvette Cooper 45.40%
3 Hilary Benn 43.35%
4 Angela Eagle 43.11%
5 Sadiq Khan 41.80%
6 Jon Cruddas 41.57%
7 Chuka Umunna 39.55%
8 Gloria De Piero 35.74%
9 Rachel Reeves 34.08%
10 Maria Eagle 33.28%
11 Caroline Flint 28.66%
12 Harriet Harman 26.31%
13 Liz Kendall 26.16%
14 Mary Creagh 24.79%
15 Emily Thornberry 20.08%
16 Owen Smith 17.60%
17 Chris Leslie 15.31%
18 Vernon Coaker 15.22%
19 Emma Reynolds 13.20%
20 Jim Murphy 12.71%
21 Margaret Curran 12.36%
22 Michael Dugher 8.79%
23 Douglas Alexander 5.94%
24 Rosie Winterton 5.29%
25 Jon Trickett 2.31%
26 Ed Balls -3.82%
27 Tristram Hunt -7.32%
28 Ivan Lewis -8.72%

Andy Burnham’s final score was a frankly remarkable +78.3%. An overwhelming majority of LabourList readers have a positive view of the Shadow Health Secretary, who finds himself leading his nearest challenger – Yvette Cooper – by over 30 points. Cooper sits at the head of what we might call the peloton (it’s Tour de France season after all) with Hilary Benn, Angela Eagle, Sadiq Khan, Jon Cruddas and Chuka Umunna all within a few points of the Shadow Home Secretary. Interestingly the recent (taped) comments made by Cruddas don’t appear to have done him any harm with LabourList readers, and with the National Policy Forum this weekend, it’s interesting to see both him and Angela Eagle who have piloted the policy process make the top six.

Meanwhile, Gloria de Piero, Rachel Reeves and Maria Eagle complete the top ten. (Click on chart below to enlarge)


Shadow Cabinet rankings 2014

At the other end of the table, three members of the Shadow Cabinet have received negative overall scores – Ivan Lewis (-8.7%), Tristram Hunt (-7.3%) and Ed Balls (-3.8%) – meaning that more LabourList readers gave them negative votes than positive ones. Most of the attention when it comes to the bottom of the rankings is likely to be focused on Balls (who once sat near the top of the table – as high as second in one survey), but in many ways his negative rating is part of the cost of getting the job done for Balls in Labour’s current position. He’s sometimes the face of unpopular spending decisions (on cuts and public sector pay restraint) and is often cited (not always fairly) as a brake on ideas for a future Labour government. In such a climate, having only a slightly negative total isn’t as bad as it might be.

But whilst it’s interesting to look at who LabourList readers feel passionate about (whether positively or negatively) it’s also important to see how many of you gave each Shadow Cabinet member receive a “neutral” score. That can either denote someone who has a low public profile – or (worse?) someone who readers just don’t have an opinion on. Here’s the Shadow Cabinet ranked by those who got the most “neutral” votes.

1 Jon Trickett
2 Rosie Winterton
3 Emma Reynolds
4 Ivan Lewis
5 Owen Smith
6 Margaret Curran
7 Vernon Coaker
8 Michael Dugher
9 Chris Leslie
10 Liz Kendall
11 Mary Creagh
12 Emily Thornberry
13 Gloria De Piero
14 Maria Eagle
15 Jim Murphy
16 Angela Eagle
17 Hilary Benn
18 Douglas Alexander
19 Caroline Flint
20 Jon Cruddas
21 Rachel Reeves
22 Sadiq Khan
23 Harriet Harman
24 Tristram Hunt
25 Ed Balls
26 Yvette Cooper
27 Chuka Umunna
28 Andy Burnham

Most of those who LabourList readers feel least about are those in more behind the scenes roles (Trickett, Winterton, Dugher), “Nation” roles (Lewis, Smith and Curran) and those who are still relatively new to important roles (Reynolds and Coaker). It’s those last two in particular who I’d expect to appear on the radar of more LabourList readers more often in the months ahead. Defence and Housing will be important for Labour – and they’re both potentially big, talented figures in the party.

Meanwhile, it’s equally inreresting that Burnham – so popular as we’ve seen already – is also a known quantity as LabourList readers are concerned. He has the lowest “neutral” rating of all Shadow Cabinet members to add to his high positive and low negative ratings. There’s less good news for Balls and Hunt though – LabourList readers are unlikely to have neutral views about them, but as we’ve seen, the views they have are more negative than positive.

784 people voted in our weekly survey this week – thanks to everyone who took part. The Shadow Cabinet rankings will be appearing again in the weeks and months ahead.

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