We started the week with a lot of speculation over the leadership of Ed Miliband, and whether the Labour party were about to stage a coup. The polls have recently shown a tightening between Labour and the Conservatives, and this on top of a New Statesman issue (known for being a left leaning publication) with no less than 3 articles dedicated to Miliband's leadership and the shortcomings of it. Monday's three polls ranged between a 1 point Tory lead (Ashcroft) and a 2 point Labour lead (Populus), but they basically backed up the general narrowing of the polls showing a tiny Labour lead.
Ipsos MORI's monthly poll for the Evening Standard on Wednesday had a surprise 3 point Conservative lead, and Labour's lowest rating from MORI in this entire parliament on 29%; but this was outweighed by Wednesday's night's YouGov/Sun poll which had a 3 point Labour lead and their best from YouGov since the beginning of October, equaling the 35% Labour got then.
Rounding off the week, there has been some rest-bite for Ed Miliband, as Labour had leads of 2 and 4 points in the YouGov and ComRes polls for the Sunday papers. It is worth noting that this is only a revision to the mean for ComRes after producing a tie in their poll for the independent two weeks ago.
So despite the talk of a coup, Ed Miliband's leadership seems safe for now. Interestingly though, the talk prompted a few questions about how people might vote with different Labour leaders. Taking the YouGov/Sunday Times poll (with the 2 point Labour lead), if Labour was lead by David Miliband then Labour would be ahead by 3 points, or if Alan Johnson then 2 points. Other possible leaders faired less well though; Andy Burnham would result in a 1 point Conservative lead, and Yvette Cooper boosted that to 4 points. YouGov didn't ask about Dianne Abbot or Ed Balls.
Most intriguingly though, the control question naming Ed Miliband (alongside Cameron and Clegg, as in the other questions) returned a 3 point Conservative advantage, which begs the question whether when answering the headline voting intention question, people are assuming that Ed won't be leader at the general election!
Finally, our poll of polls this week stands at CON 32, LAB 33, LD 8, UKIP 16, GRN 5 which confirms Labour's narrow advantage.
Back again next weekend!