Poll shows Miliband up but Labour stagnating

By politics.co.uk staff

A new poll has shown that while phone-hacking has boosted Ed Miliband's popularity, it has failed to significantly lift Labour's election prospects.

The surprising Guardian/ICM poll found that while Mr Miliband's personal approval has risen three points to 31%, Labour has dropped three points to 36%.

With the Conservatives unchanged on 37%, the poll actually suggests the Conservatives are slightly ahead of the opposition.

The results have not been replicated across other polls and could easily be an aberration but they will still be a disappointment to Labour strategists, who were euphoric at the consensus among political correspondents that Mr Miliband is performing above expectations.

The Labour leader's support within his own party had markedly improved, however. Fifty-eight per cent of Labour supporters now say he is doing a good job compared to 45% last month.

Mr Miliband still trails the prime minister's popularity, however, with a net approval rating of -16 compared to David Cameron's -5.

The surprise winners of the phone-hacking scandal, under the ICM methodology, are the Liberal Democrats, who have risen four points to 16% – the first sign that the party's decline in popularity may have reached a nadir.

The improvement has not had much effect on Nick Clegg, however, who has a net popularity rating of -21. Again, his performance among Lib Dems is significantly improved, though, rising from -18 to +3.