Saturday 11 September 2010

Ed M could edge it, suggests new YouGov poll

A new YouGov Labour leadership poll in the Sunday Times shows that Ed Miliband has narrowed the gap with his brother and projects that he may just be on course for victory, in what remains a very much too close to call race.

The Press Association summary reports.

Although the YouGov poll gave him [David Miliband] a 36% to 32% lead on first preferences, YouGov suggested that could be converted to a 51% to 49% win for his brother by the final round. The poll put Andy Burnham in third place with 12%, Ed Balls fourth on 11% and backbencher Diane Abbott trailing on nine

So you may want to pay some more attention to Next Left's analysis of the second preference factor - we have suggested David Miliband needs a 6%+ lead on first preferences to be confident of remaining ahead.

The previous YouGov poll - at the end of July - showed David Miliband with an 8 point lead (37-29%) on the first round, and holding this to take the college 54-46%. (But relatively few people noticed that party members ended up 50-50 in that poll; with MiliD having a strong union lead in that poll, with much campaigning left in the race).

The margins look very close, though it adds credence to my argument that the current betting odds should be narrower, as they seem out of kilter with the public evidence about the race.


The Sunday Times shows that YouGov projection of Ed Miliband winning the electoral college 51-49% over David Miliband is based on final round shares of 52-48% among party members, 57-43% among trade unions and 56-44% among MPs.

With the contest so close, second preference votes will be crucial. Assuming MPs who support Burnham, Abbott and Balls divide equally between the two brothers, YouGov predicts that Ed will end up with 51% of votes overall.

The first round share among trade union affiliates is 36 to 29% to Ed Miliband. David Miliband's MP/MEP lead on the first round is 40-31%. Most of this is because of a 13% swing among trade unions,

It is not clear from the report whether the reference to David Miliband leading Ed Miliband 36-32% on first preferences is the party member share, or the combined college. If it is the latter, the change of overal first preferences, since the 30th July YouGov poll, is:

David Miliband -1%
Ed Miliband +3%
Andy Burnham no change
Ed Balls no change
Diane Abbott -3%

On the final round, David Miliband is down 5% (from 54 to 49%) and Ed Miliband up 5% (from 46% to 51%) since the end of July. Most of this reflects a 13% swing among affiliates, along with a 2% swing among party members to Ed, with the projection showing a 0.5% swing towards David among MPs.

The YouGov poll was of more than 1,000 Labour party members and 718 members of trade unions affiliated to the Labour party.

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