The Ipsos-Mori research turns conventional wisdom on its head and shows that Clegg is actually more liked than Miliband, scoring 40 per cent against the Labour leader’s 36.
And — amazing as it seems given all the riots of late — Miliband is neck and neck with Clegg in the unpopularity stakes. Around 51 per cent of people do not like both leaders.
Miliband, like Gordon Brown, is less liked than his party, which 45 per cent of respondents expressed a positive view of. By contrast David Cameron is the most liked party leader, even though his party is the most disliked.
Ben Page of Ipsos Mori explained that Miliband’s predicament is one that was shared by many other opposition leaders, including Iain Duncan Smith, William Hague and David Cameron, at least in his early period as opposition leader. Tony Blair was the big exception, winning consistently positive ratings after being elected Labour leader.
If history is any guide, Miliband’s standing with the public is only likely to get worse (unless he ends up facing someone as unpopular as Brown across the dispatch box).
The one silver lining is that his satisfaction numbers are better, which is probably a better measure of how people vote. Many people liked Charles Kennedy, but far fewer people thought he’d be a good prime minister.