David Miliband would beat Cameron - unlike Ed

Ed Miliband's leadership suffers another blow today with an exclusive Independent on Sunday poll showing only his brother can secure Labour a lead over the Conservatives.

With Ed in charge, voters are split, putting Labour neck and neck with the Tories on 38 per cent. But when respondents were asked by ComRes how they would vote with alternative Labour leaders, David Miliband was three points ahead of David Cameron, on 38 points to 35. It threatens to reopen the deep wounds from when Ed beat his older brother to become Labour leader in September 2010.

Ed Miliband's personal ratings have also slumped below those of Nick Clegg – down to -35 per cent, compared with -32 for the Lib Dem leader. Mr Cameron's personal rating has leapt from -25 in December to -9 points.

Mr Miliband is now the least popular party leader; just 36 per cent of Labour voters think he is turning out to be good. Of the Lib Dems, 47 per cent back Nick Clegg, and 74 per cent of Tories approve of Mr Cameron as PM.

Ed's main potential challengers have failed to make an impact on voters. Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, as leader, would give the Tories a 20-point lead, Alistair Darling would give them a 13-point lead, and Chuka Umunna, the high-flying shadow Business Secretary, a 26-point lead.

Asked how they would vote if there was an election tomorrow, 38 per cent of the 2,050 polled said Labour, down two points since our last poll in December. The Conservatives are also on 38 per cent (+2), Lib Dems 11 per cent (+1), and others 13 per cent (-1).

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