Labour leave Manchester today with a 14-point poll lead over the Conservatives, according to YouGov. That’s their biggest lead in a YouGov poll since June, although one last week showed them 13 points ahead, so we shouldn’t rush into declaring a big conference bounce for them.
It does seem, though, that Ed Miliband himself did get a decent boost out of his hour-long speech on Tuesday. 10 per cent of people say they watched or listened to the whole thing, and a further 49 per cent say they’ve seen or heard reports about it. And it seems Ed did manage to change at least a few of their minds about him. 31 per cent now say he ‘would be up to the job of Prime Minister’ — still not a great number, but an improvement on the 25 per cent who said so last week. Similarly, the percentage saying he ‘has made it clear what he stands for’ is up from 24 to 36.
On the question of who would make the best Prime Minister, he still trails David Cameron, 31-27. The gap appears to have narrowed — from 33-25 a fortnight ago — but the changes are within the margin of error so we can’t say whether his speech has made a difference there.
And if the main aim of Miliband’s speech was to seize the ‘One Nation’ label for Labour, he seems to have been reasonably successful. 28 per cent say Labour best fits the description of being the ‘One Nation’ party, against just 14 per cent for the Tories. But 39 per cent say none of the three main parties fit the label.
So, Miliband does seem to have improved his image at least a little with his speech, but he still has a way to go. It’ll be worth watching other measures, such as his approval ratings, to see what bounce he gets (if any) and how long it lasts. And, of course, we’ll have to see what impact Cameron can create with his own speech next week.