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Insider Research

Insider Research


Understanding the heart of Westminster

Demolition Balls

The political community sees Ed Balls as the Labour politican most able to do damage the coalition government. The shadow home secretary is particularly feared by Conservative insiders.

Ed Balls is the Labour frontbencher most able to damage the coalition government, according to a survey of MPs and other Westminster insiders.

Tories have greatest fear

A PoliticsHome survey of those working at the heart of Westminster found that Balls is overwhelmingly seen to present a greater threat than any of his colleagues.  Forty seven per cent of believe that Balls is the Labour politician who can do most damage to the government. Shadow chancellor Alan Johnson was ranked second, but trailed 22 points behind.

Conservative-leaning political insiders rated Balls the most highly, suggesting a deep-seated fear of the pugnacious shadow home secretary.

Among political observers, Balls and Johnson are thought to present a comparable danger to the coalition, on twenty six and twenty four per cent respectively. 

Both sections of the panel put Yvette Cooper in third place, giving the Balls/Cooper household two of the three top spots. 

No other politician gained a significant level of support. 

PoliticsHome's unique survey of insider and informed political opinion maps the views of the extended Westminster Village: we canvass over 350 insiders professionally involved in politics - including MPs, senior civil servants, political journalists, public affairs and communications experts, and researchers in think tanks and parliamentary offices. In order to get a complete picture of the informed opinion, we simultaneously poll approximately 1,000 engaged political observers across the country: people who follow politics closely but do not work in Westminster.

Our survey is completely anonymous, which allows participants to answer frankly without fear of having to toe the ‘party line’. 

PoliticsHome interviewed 357 people professionally involved in politics and 952 politically informed members of the public from 14-19 October 2010. Final results are weighted to ensure a politically balanced result.