U.K. Labour Chief Attacked by Conservatives on Eve of Convention

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives mounted an attack on Labour leader Ed Miliband on the eve of the opposition party’s annual conference.

As Labour activists prepare to meet in Manchester, northern England, the Conservatives published private polling they said showed voters did not think Miliband was qualified to lead the nation.

Seventy-three percent of voters said Miliband “doesn’t have what it takes to be prime minister” and 67 percent said Labour should have chosen his brother, David, to lead the party, the Conservatives said in an e-mailed statement.

The party cited an online survey of 2,061 adults carried out between Sept. 26 and Sept. 28 by Populus Ltd., the polling company co-founded by Andrew Cooper, Cameron’s director of strategy. The party did not publish the full dataset for the poll.

The Labour conference, under the slogan “rebuilding Britain,” will seek to develop its claim that Cameron’s coalition government serves the needs of the richest at the expense of the poor.

“Labour will be addressing head-on the struggles facing millions of families and the challenge of rebuilding Britain’s economy so it works for working people -- not just a few at the top,” the party said in a briefing note. The conference will reflect Miliband’s “determination that the party should be open, inclusive and rooted in real lives,” the party said.

Caroline Flint, Labour’s climate-change spokeswoman, will launch a program sponsored by the party to help people get cheaper electricity by using their combined purchasing power.

Fairer Deal

“By harnessing the power of our grassroots network and Labour councils, we can be a vehicle for people coming together to negotiate a fairer deal with the energy companies,” Flint said in a statement.

The Conservatives are trailing in the polls, with 32 percent support compared with 41 percent for Labour, according to a YouGov Plc poll published in the Sun newspaper on Sept. 27. The online survey of 1,760 adults, which was carried out on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, gave 9 percent to the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives' coalition partners. No margin of error was provided.

To contact the reporters on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net; Kitty Donaldson in Brasilia at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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