Let’s say the scenario is that Ed Miliband will become the new British PM. In your opinion, how ready or not ready is he for this job? Read few comments.
Christian Schweiger, Senior Lecturer in Government, Department of Politics, Durham University
I think that he is more than ready for the job of prime minister. The media has for a long time portrayed him as an inexperienced policy geek without any vision for the country. Miliband has shown in the TV debates and interviews that have already taken place that he is very well able to articulate his vision for the country. The public seems to have been rather surprised by how Miliband performed in these debates/interviews which is reflected by a steep rise in his personal approval ratings. The fact that Labour is now polling even or (as in some polls) even ahead of the Conservatives shows that an increasing number of people in the UK seriously consider Miliband to be an alternative to Cameron as PM.
Miliband has a lot of experience of working in government. First as an minister to the cabinet office under PM Gordon Brown and later as energy and climate change minister in Gordon Brown’s cabinet. As you will know his father is the prominent left-wing academic Ralph Miliband. Like his brother David, Ed essentially grew up in a very politicised environment and from an early age engaged with politics. I had the pleasure to meet him in person five years ago when he came to the Durham Labour Party leadership campaign meeting. In contrast to the media portrayal of him as an awkward and socially inept policy technocrat he came across as a very down to earth and extremely intelligent person who made a clear effort to listen to everyone’s point of view.
Sophie Loussouarn, Senior Lecturer, University of Amiens and Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle
Ed Miliband failed to convince Labour voters that he was Prime ministerial and only 1/3 of the Labour voters trust him which accounts for the lead of Conservatives in the poll. Only 25% of the British people think that Ed Miliband would be a good Prime Minister in times of crisis. Ed Miliband was Energy Minister in Gordon Borwn’s Cabinet from 2007 to 2010 and was elected leader of the Labour party on 25 September 2010 in the third round of the election and defeated his brother David by 0.3%. Yesterday in the last TV debate on BBC the audience accused Ed Miliband of lying to the people about public spending. Ed Miliband has taken the Labour party back to the days of Old Labour and Michael Foot and he would bring chaos to Britain. He is a dogmatic leader who broke apart with New Labour and believes in raising taxes to increase public spending.
Victoria Honeyman, Lecturer in Politics, POLIS, University of Leeds
There is no telling, with any leader, how ready they are for the top job. Even those with the most experience can have real difficulties. Miliband doesn’t have a lot of experience in the governmental top jobs, but Blair had less in 1997 and he learnt how to work the system.
Mark Bennister, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Canterbury Christ Church University
My view is that he may end up as PM in a minority government and therefore not only will he need to hit the ground as Pm but be involved in a tricky management exercise to keep support parties on board. For a new PM not familiar with such negotiations this is tough call. The Labour party has been a very tribal party not comfortable working with other parties. However Miliband has shown that he can reach out to other groups and is growing in confidence and many are starting to believe that he can develop into prime ministerial material. John Major had a similar image and confidence problem plus had a small majority to work with but survived as PM for 5 years from 92 til 97.
Ed Miliband has grown in stature in this election campaign. I recommend an article I wrote on his campaigning.