Reputation survey: Labour leadership candidates

David Miliband is the Labour leadership candidate considered most trustworthy and competent by the public, but the majority believes none of the candidates is up to the job.

On the eve of the announcement of the Labour Party's new leader, the public believes David Miliband is the most competent and trustworthy candidate, according to PRWeek/One Poll's latest survey of 3,000 members of the public.

Twenty per cent of respondents named David Miliband as the most competent candidate, followed by ten per cent for brother Ed and seven per cent for Ed Balls. But 51 per cent thought that 'none of them' were competent. Fourteen per cent said David Miliband was the most trustworthy followed by ten per cent for Diane Abbott and nine per cent for Ed Miliband. But again, over half (56 per cent) said 'none of them' were trustworthy.

Recognition was extremely low for some of the candidates. Only 19 per cent said they would recognise Andy Burnham if they passed him in the street. David Miliband was the only candidate whom more than half of respondents (56 per cent) would recognise.

Only a quarter of respondents said they thought the Labour Party could win the next election, while 43 per cent said they would need to make major changes first.

Having a good vision and ideas for the country was named as by far the most important quality in a political party leader (46 per cent). But the second most important was named as being someone to whom the public could relate (19 per cent). This came above political experience (five per cent) and being able to unite party members (seven per cent).

As for the ideal age, it was a close call between 35-45 years old (36 per cent) and 45-55 years old (37 per cent).

Survey of 3,000 members of the public conducted by global research agency OnePoll

How I see it

Mike Craven, Partner, Lexington Communications

It is a scary notion that nearly four per cent of voters said Diane Abbott reminded them of Gordon Brown.

In answers to other questions about the leadership candidates, 'none of them' scores highest. The poll reflects the distance Labour needs to travel to get back to the front of the voters' minds. David Miliband might be the most Blair-like - which is helpful, as three-quarters rated Blair as a better Labour leader than Gordon Brown - but he has said it is time to move on. Nearly half of voters say that Labour can win the next election only if they make major changes.

David Miliband has the edge over his brother. He scores highest as the most competent and trustworthy. And more than half would recognise him.

The key leadership quality - according to this poll - is 'having a good vision and ideas for the country'. Labour will quickly need to become an effective opposition and an alternative government.

- Do you think the Labour Party can win the next election?

Only if they make major changes - 43%

Yes - 25%

No - 32%

- What is the ideal age for the leader of a political party?

Age is not important - 17.5%

25-35 - 5%

35-45 - 36%

45-55 - 37%

Over 55 - 4.5%

Andy Burnham

81% of respondents said they would not recognise Andy Burnham if he walked past them in the street

Trustworthiness

56% said none of the Labour leadership candidates were trustworthy

Tony Blair

22% said David Miliband was the candidate that most reminded them of Tony Blair.

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