LDV readers say: Miliband would be most effective Labour leader

by Stephen Tall on October 4, 2008

A fortnight is a long time in politics, y’know. With the Tories’ huge poll lead slipping back to being simply large, the economy facing a serious recession, and Gordon Brown’s conference speech judged relatively successful, the likelihood of the Prime Minister being forced from office has – at least for the moment – receded. But before all that happened, Lib Dem Voice asked our readers to say who you thought would be the most effective next Labour leader (from the Labour party’s point of view).

Here’s what you told us:

David Miliband – 19% (67)
Alan Johnson – 17% (61)
Jack Straw – 14% (51)
Jon Cruddas – 12% (43)
Harriet Harman – 8% (30)
James Purnell – 7% (26)
John Reid – 7% (26)
Ed Balls – 7% (25)
Jacqui Smith – 5% (17)
John Denham – 3% (9)
Total Votes: 355 Poll ran: 22nd Sept – 2 Oct 2008

So David Miliband, the foreign secretary, topped the poll, just, edging out health secretary Alan Johnson (though all the indications are that a pact between the two has been agreed should Mr Brown be forced to resign).

I’ll confess a slight surprise that John Reid did not poll higher. I’m scarcely a fan, but I think there’s little doubt he’s the Labour choice the Tories fear most, capable of securing Labour’s traditional base while appealing to those Tory voters who fear Cameron´s a soft southerner. That Ed Balls – who would be manna from heaven to the opposition parties – was ranked only just behind Dr Reid suggests to me that some of you were perhaps indulging in some mischief-making.