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Monday 4th July 2011 | 13:51
Ed Miliband’s much highlighted TV interview highlighted the political problem he faced in last week’s strikes. He found himself in a Catch 22 situation, where he was forced either to further paint himself as a friend of the unions by supporting the strike action – or risk disenchanting his own supporters by opposing it. He chose the latter, and the weekend’s YouGov polling amongst Labour supporters shows how strongly they objected to his stance.
Indeed, the same poll showed that the Labour leader’s approval ratings fell to a historic low among his own supporters: just 53% of Labour voters see him as doing a ‘good job’ against 37% who see him as being a ‘bad job’. By way of comparison, Conservative voters give David Cameron a huge 93% to 5% split. Even Lib Dems give Nick Clegg 60% to 34% approval, though it must be said that Clegg-hating Lib Dems have switched to other parties (he gets 24% to 62% disapproval among those who voted for the party in 2010), though Ed-sceptic Labour voters may feel they have nowhere else to turn.
This post-strike is not however a flash in the pan, and continues a trend seen over the past two months in which Ed Miliband’s approval ratings among Labour voters has collapsed, down from +50 to +16 in just two months.
Could he become the first of the party leaders to have a negative approval rating among his own supporters? It seems far from impossible.