Triple whammy of bad news for Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband is getting married tomorrow. It’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life, and well it might be, especially compared to the depressing string of bad news he’s facing today.
First up, Alex Salmond. The newly-reelected Scottish first minister was extremely scathing about Labour and its leader in a recent interview with James Macintyre of Prospect. And given that Salmond has just lead the SNP to a majority in Holyrood while Miliband himself told the Progress Annual Conference last week that his party’s results north of the border were “terrible”, it’s easy to understand why Salmond doesn’t have any good words for Labour’s leader. He said:
“I don’t think they’ve got any big figures left—if they did they’d be leader of the party. [Ed] Miliband is the weakest Labour leader I’ve seen in my political career. He’s not Neil Kinnock, who to be fair was actually a good motivator for the Labour party.”
Ouch. To be compared unfavourably with Neil Kinnock is to be damned indeed. Of course, Salmond leads a rival party, so his criticism isn’t wholly unexpected. But the fact that he so comprehensively dismisses the national leader of a party that has traditionally done very well in Scotland is testament both to how well Salmond has done, and how very low his opinion is of Ed Mililband.
Next, Vince Cable. In an interview in the New Statesman, He too is harsh in his criticism of the direction Ed has taken the Labour party:
“What they're doing at the moment is tactically very clever but strategically very stupid. Ed Miliband comes across as sort of very clever but tactically smart, rather than strategic, and all this endless point-scoring, I find, isn't helping him or anybody else. It's short-term.”
The two shared a platform campaigning for a yes vote in the AV referendum, but it seems that Vince doesn’t exactly have a high opinion of Ed’s political acumen. Vince might be easily tricked by Telegraph hacks and find it difficult to bite his tongue, but he is still a major force in the Liberal Democrat party, highly regarded by many lefty voters across the country. His poor opinion isn’t worth having.
Finally, the voters themselves have had something to say about Ed today. The latest Ipsos Mori political monitor has relatively encouraging figures for Labour, but bad news for Ed himself. One in three people think Labour is ready to form a government, but only 17% think Ed Miliband is ready to be the next prime minister.
With David Cameron basking in the reflected glory of the state visit and successfully flipping burgers with Barack, Ed needs to come up with some good news. Fast.