Party support for Miliband after his popularity slumps

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A CABINET colleague of Labour leader Ed Miliband spoke out in his defence after his personal poll ratings slumped to an all-time low.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper insisted the Doncaster North MP is “doing a good job” in the wake of a YouGov survey which revealed he was less popular than Nick Clegg.

It found that 73 per cent of voters are of the opposite view to Ms Cooper, and that Mr Miliband is doing a bad job leading his party in the run-up to next May’s general election. The overall rating of -55 is one point worse than that of the Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister.

In contrast, the poll showed the prime minister leading the race among the main party leaders on -14. Despite the figures, Ms Cooper voiced her support for Mr Miliband.

The MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford said: “I think the work he has done has been really important over the last few years, holding the party together after the last general election, but also building up the policies we have been calling for.

“On dealing with the cost of living crisis, on what more we need to do to support the National Health Service, on immigration.

“There are a wide range of areas where I think people across the country are not getting a fair deal at the moment, working people not getting a fair deal, and that is exactly the things that Ed Miliband is championing.”

It comes in a week which put ‘Cleggmania’ top of the list of the fastest-disappearing of new words to emerge in the English language in recent years.

The term gained prominence in the General Election race of 2010, when the Sheffield Hallam MP proved popular with viewers tuning into TV leader debates and post-coalition honeymoon period.

Fellow Liberal Democrat and Energy Secretary Ed Davey claimed the latest YouGov poll showed party needed to ensure it received credit for its role in the economic recovery in its partnership with the Conservatives.

Asked about Mr Clegg’s unpopularity, he said: “I think we will see a change in this and we will have a much more positive view of Nick Clegg as we go in to the General Election.”

He accepted there would not be a return to “Cleggmania” but predicted the emergence of “Clegg respect” as the public recognised the tough decisions he had taken.

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