Polls show Labour lead up to 8 per cent - but voters don't believe Ed Miliband's reforms will make a difference to the party

 

Political Editor

Ed Miliband has failed to convince the public about the merits of his reforms to Labour's relationship with the trade unions, according to a poll for The Independent.

ComRes found that 41 per cent of people do not believe that the changes will make Labour more democratic, while only 34 per cent think that they will do so.

A special Labour conference at the weekend agreed to loosen Labour's ties with its union founders by ending the unions' 33 per cent vote share when the party chooses its leader and decided that union members should opt in to paying the political levy to the party rather than have to opt out if they do not wish to.

According to ComRes, some 46 per cent of the public believe that the unions have too much influence over the Labour Party, while 40 per cent disagree with this statement. One in three people who support Labour (32 per cent) agree that the unions enjoy too much power, but 59 per cent of them disagree. A majority of Labour supporters (59 per cent) think the reforms will make the party more democratic, but 23 per cent disagree.

Although Mr Miliband hailed the shake-up as the biggest changes to the party since 1918, they do not yet appear to have made much impact beyond the party's own supporters. Only a quarter of people who say they will vote Tory (27 per cent) think the changes will make Labour more democratic, while 57 per cent disagree. People who voted Liberal Democrat at the last general election are evenly split: 42 per cent of them believe the reforms will make Labour more democratic, but 41 per cent disagree.

However, there is some comfort in the ComRes findings for Mr Miliband: some 44 per cent of people agree that "the relationship between the Conservatives and big business is more of a problem than Labour's relationship with the trade unions," while 37 per cent disagree. One in five (20 per cent) of Tory supporters agrees with this statement.

Some 71 per cent of people who voted Labour at the last election agree that the Tories’ business links with business are more of a problem, as do 60 per cent of Lib Dem 2010 voters.

There is good news for Mr Miliband in the latest party ratings. The poll gives Labour an eight-point lead, up from just one point last month. Labour is now on 38 per cent (up five points), the Tories are on 30 per cent (down two points), the UK Independence Party is on 11 per cent (down three points), the Lib Dems on 10 per cent (up one point) and others  on 11 per cent (down one point). If these figures were repeated at a general election on a uniform swing, Labour would win an overall majority of 98 seats.

ComRes interviewed 1,004 adults by telephone between February 28 and  March 2, 2014. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Application Support Engineer - Software

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A small rapidly expanding IT So...

The Grange Retirement Home: Full Time Care Team Manager

£22,400: The Grange Retirement Home: This is a key role which requires a sound...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

£23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada