LDV members’ survey (2): Labour leadership – Ed Miliband wins your vote (but Ed Balls would be best for Lib Dems)

Lib Dem Voice has been conducting a survey this week of party members registered on our members’ forum asking them for their views of the coalition, Labour leadership and the party’s general election result. Over 400 have responded, and here’s part two of what you’ve told us …

LDV asked: Putting aside your Lib Dem allegiance who do you think would make the best Labour leader?

Here’s what you said:

37% – Ed Miliband
25% – Diane Abbott
17% – David Miliband
9% – Andy Burnham
8% – John McDonnell
3% – Ed Balls
(Excluding Don’t know / No opinion = 24%)

Though David leads many of the polls still, it’s brother Ed who has attracted most of the early smart money, being just as smart but a little less ‘wonkish’.

More surprising, perhaps, is the strong showing of Diane Abbott. Lib Dem party members are not out-of-step in naming her among their top choices as Labour leader: the public, too, (including Lib Dem voters) are also intrigued by the thought of the only female candidate in the race emerging as leader, according to one recent poll.

Interestingly, there was a small-but-noticeable write-in campaign for three candidates who have ruled themselves out: Alan Johnson, Jon Cruddas and John Denham. And a larger write-in campaign for the option, ‘None of the above’.

LDV then asked: And which of the following declared Labour leaders would be to the best political advantage of the Lib Dems?

47% – Ed Balls
22% – Diane Abbott
16% – John McDonnell
6% – David Miliband
5% – Ed Miliband
5% – Andy Burnham
(Excluding Don’t know / No opinion = 20%)

Ed Balls was an overwhelming winner, pointing to the fundamental flaw in his candidacy: the petty partisan tribalism which has earned him admirers within the Labour party repels him from most people beyond the Labour party.

Diane Abbott’s second place in this category, too, points to her ‘Marmite’ candidacy: for every person who likes her there is an equal and opposite reaction against her. Andy Burnham is narrowly judged the least advantageous leader for the Lib Dems – perhaps because his candidacy is, so far, pretty anonymous, and likely to end soon, unless he can scrape together the necessary MP nominations.

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This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


  • Lee Roberts 30th May '10 - 3:49pm

    No. Diane Abbott would be best us, as it would see Labour unelectable.

  • Be very surprised if Abbott or McDonnell get the nomination. Indeed Andy Burnham may just scrpae in – he’s the dark horse.

    Labour do need to work out who they are. Can’t see Ed Balls getting the job especially with the expenses stuff still about….

  • Labour unelectable would still get elected elsewhere. Given we don’t want a perpetual coalition there’s a good chance the arithmetic after the next election will require us to prop up whoever wins the contest. Ed Balls, in that respect, would not be a good thing for us but would be the worst outcome.

  • The question to ask is ‘Why do we need a Labour Party at all’? It split away from the Liberal Party as a vehicle for Socialism which regettably has failed wherever it has been tried as it goes against the grain of human nature. With the present Labour Party being totally in thrall to the market as well being horribly authoritaritarian I contend that if they were not already here now there would be no need to create a Labour Party.

  • Paul McKeown 1st Jun '10 - 1:30pm

    This whole farce is yet another establishment stitch up. The parliamentary Labour party is not interested for the most part in establishing what was good about its record in government and what was bad, nor is it interested in developing an appealing new policy platform for its next period in government. What it is trying to do is choose the most photogenic New Labour sound bite peddler from within its ranks to fight the good partisan fight. Bad for the Labour party, as it won’t fool the floating voter, and bad for the country, which needs diverse open politics, with principled governments and principled opposition.

    John McDonnell, simply for his honesty. Unelectable, of course, but I could at least shake his hand and chat with him over a beer.

    As for the rest, Dianne Abbott, hypocrite, tribalist and self-indulgent. David Miliband, emetic Blair clone. Ed Miliband, the anti-Dave, Deputy Dawg candidate. Ed Balls, tribalist, up to armpit in Brownism. Andy Burnham, harmless.

    Cruddas should screw up his courage and stand; he would have wide support in the Labour party and wider support in the country. Principled and intelligent, heart in the right place.

  • Cruddas or Alan Johnson. The rest are either soft-headed or too devoid of ideas or the political bravery to express any.

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