The next election is going to be close. Very close, according to new polling from YouGov. When asked which government they would prefer after the next election, 41 per cent said a Conservative government led by David Cameron compared to 40 per cent for a Labour government led Ed Miliband.
This does not mean Miliband is gaining momentum. In July, Labour had a 13 point lead in YouGov polls. Today, it has more than halved to just six points. The Times puts this down (£) to the Labour leader himself. The polling suggests he’s seen as weak, out of his depth and weird. When asked for three words to describe the Labour leader, the top choices are:
Not that Cameron comes off much better. He’s seen as out of touch but also smug and arrogant:
When asked about Miliband’s leadership, just under half think he’s been too willing to give way to the trade unions and Labour’s left wing. Although a significant proportion like the idea of a Miliband-led government, 68 per cent can’t still him as Prime Minister. The picture isn’t any better inside the Labour party. Over half of Labour supporters are dissatisfied with his job, according to yesterday’s Evening Standard.
With no single party leading the way, the Liberal Democrats look set to have a kingmaker role once again, not something the public are keen on. Just before the last general election — at the height of Cleggmania — 37 per cent stated a hung parliament with the Liberal Democrats holding the balance of power would be a good thing. This is now just 16 per cent, with a significant majority against. Any hopes Nick Clegg had of reviving his popularity before 2015 look set to be dashed.