New poll sees Miliband overtake Cameron in popularity stakes
Ed Miliband's personal popularity has overtaken David Cameron for the first time, in a sign the local elections have cemented the Labour leader's position.
A You Gov poll for the Sunday Times put Mr Miliband's personal approval ratings at -23% next to Mr Cameron's -29%.
The result has convince pollsters to gamble their own money, with political odds experts Gov Mike Smithso tweeting: "I've just put £100 bet at 6/4 with Ladbrokes that Ed Miliband will be prime minister before 2020."
The local election results and Mr Miliband's strong response to the Queen's Speech have consolidated Mr Miliband's support among supporters of his party. Sixty-seven per cent of Labour voters say he is doing well compared to 57% last week.
Meanwhile, Mr Cameron's personal ratings continue to freefall. Just 26% think he is a 'strong leader', while 40% say he is 'weak'. Those figures are a major shift on March surveys, when 37% said he was 'strong' and 30% said he was 'weak'.
Confidence appears to be building among Labour supporters, 67% of whom believe Labour will win a majority, compared to just 39% of Conservative voters.
A separate YouGov poll for the Fabian Society also contained good news for Labour. The survey found that disenchanted Liberal Democrat voters who flocked to Labour since the general election are highly unlikely to return due to the extent of their disillusionment with the coalition.
Roughly 75% of the converts to Labour are former Liberal Democrats, while 18% are former Tory voters.
Labour currently stands on 43%, the Conservatives on 31% and the Liberal Democrats on 10%.
While Labour has maintained a strong lead over the Conservatives for well over a year, their leaders have enjoyed very different fates, with the prime minister's popularity scoring far higher than his party.
But consistent bad headlines since Budget 2012 have hammered the government's reputation for competence and prompted loss of seats for the coalition parties at the local elections.