The reaction in the press room at Sky HQ as last night’s leaders’ interviews came to a close was unanimous. Ed Miliband had, almost unbelievably, won. Of the two men vying to be Prime Minister, against all odds, it was the Labour leader who had come across better. Nigel Farage even joked to journalists that “I might vote Labour!”
Yet, minutes later, as William Hague for the Tories was explaining why David Cameron didn’t do as well as expected, and Douglas Alexander for Labour was gloating about a Miliband win, the Guardian‘s gold standard ICM poll came in. Cameron had won by 54 percent to 46 percent. Despite the consensus of the pundits that Ed was the victor, the public preferred Dave.
Labour spinners are pointing to Miliband’s superior polling performance among undecided voters, but the fact remains: he exceeded all expectations, performed better than anyone thought he would, and he still lost with the British public. Considering he was genuinely (almost) impressive, Labour aides must be asking themselves is there anything their leader can do to change voters’ minds ahead of May 7th?