If David Miliband led Labour the party would do better, suggests poll

Big Ben, Westminster

The latest YouGov poll for the Sunday Times indicates that if David Miliband was Labour leader then people would be more likely to vote for his party.

The Labour leadership contest is on. The candidates standing are Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper, and Jeremy Corbyn, although Corbyn is yet to secure enough nominations to get him on to the ballot.

Betting markets suggest that Burnham is the front runner, but if Ed Miliband’s brother was leader he would likely persuade voters to choose Labour - if the latest YouGov poll is to be believed.

David Miliband is no longer an MP having stepped down a few years after his brother won the Labour leadership. However, many have speculated that the other Miliband could return to politics in the near future.

Firstly, the YouGov poll asked respondents which of the candidates running would make them more likely to vote Labour. Without David Miliband, Andy Burnham came out on top with 10% picking him.

The results for the others were as follows:

  • Yvette Cooper 7%.
  • Liz Kendall 4%.
  • Jeremy Corbyn 4%.
  • Mary Creagh 1%.
  • A further 35% said they were not sure, whilst 39% said they would never vote Labour anyway.

The next question was the same except David Miliband was included.

Ed’s older brother came out on top with an impressive 18% saying they would be more likely to vote Labour. 6% said Andy Burnham, whilst 4% said Yvette Cooper, 3% said Jeremy Corbyn and 3% said Liz Kendall. 28% said they were not sure and 37% said it did not matter as they would never vote for Labour anyway.

The poll shows that David Miliband - whilst out of politics for now - has appeal across different parts of the electorate. He’s not even in the running for leader but is more popular than Andy Burnham in this regard.

Furthermore, the fact that the percentage of people who say it would not matter as they would never vote Labour anyway falls from 39% to 37% in the second question arguably shows David Miliband’s appeal as he can appeal to some non-Labour voters.

The poll also suggests that if he were leader 14% of those who voted Conservative in 2015 would be more likely to vote for the other Miliband, suggesting further appeal across the electorate. 25% of 2015 Lib Dem voters would be more likely to vote for the party if Miliband stood whilst 14% of UKIP voters would feel the same.

Contrast this with Andy Burnham: just 5% of Conservative voters would be more likely to vote Labour under a new Burnham leadership.

The battle between Dave and Ed ended almost five years ago but sometimes it feels as if it is still going on. Polls like show that the other Miliband has broad appeal, but whether or not he will come back is another question.

Boris Johnson returned and clearly has his eyes on the top prize. David Miliband could just do the same.

See the full results of the Sunday Times YouGov poll here. Polling was conducted between the 11th and 12th June this year with 1,532 GB adults.

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