Lib Dems ‘warming to Ed Miliband’

By Ian Dunt

Liberal Democrats are warming to Ed Miliband following his comments on the Iraq war, a new poll suggests.

Research conducted by PoliticsHome showed 47% of Lib Dems had a better impression of him after he told the Labour conference the decision to invade Iraq was “wrong”.

Lib Dems were also the only group to favour Ed Miliband over his brother David, with 34% of members thinking him the better leadership candidate.

The survey will confirm fears in Lib Dem HQ that Ed Miliband represented the most serious threat to the party.

By being sympathetic to Liberal views on civil liberties and foreign policy but against the spending cuts being implemented by the Conservatives, the younger Miliband brother can attract Lib Dem supporters alienated by the deficit reduction plan.

As he told politics.co.uk during a recent interview: “What I’m saying is: Nick Clegg has offered inequality and liberty as part of this government. With me you don’t have to say ‘thank you for the end of ID cards but we’re going to have to have a reactionary assault on the welfare state’.

“With me, I’m saying, actually – we’ve got to be the people who are for liberty, but we’ve also got to be the people who are genuinely concerned with tackling inequality in our society.”

A recent Guardian/ICM survey found Labour ahead of the Tories by two points for the first time in three years, although the lead was due to a drop in Tory support rather than an improvement in Labour backing.