UK Politics

Ed Miliband: I am focusing on issues not opinion polls

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Media captionMr Miliband said he had the "solidity" of belief and purpose to lead the country

Ed Miliband has said opinion polls go "up and down", after Labour fell behind the Conservatives in two polls.

The Labour leader said it was an "unpredictable" time ahead of the European and council elections and said he was focusing on issues that matter.

He said his party would not be distracted from talking about the "bread and butter" issues in the run-up to the 2015 general election

An ICM poll for the Guardian puts Labour on 31% and the Tories on 33%.

The poll, which saw 1,000 adults canvassed between 9 and 11 May, suggested Labour's support had dropped by six points from the previous month.

It put the Conservatives up one, UKIP up by four points at 15% and the Liberal Democrats up by one at 13% on the previous month.

A second poll, published by the Conservative peer and pollster Lord Ashcroft, suggested the Conservatives were now two points ahead of Labour, on 34% against the opposition on 32%.

The poll, the first of a weekly series of telephone surveys - in which 1,001 adults were canvassed - put UKIP on 15% and the Lib Dems on 9%.

'Making up minds'

Mr Miliband told BBC Breakfast that he was not worried by the polls' findings - the ICM one is the lowest one for Labour in that series of surveys for four years.

"I think what this reflects is that we are in an unpredictable period in terms of people making up their mind in these elections in nine days' time, never mind in a year's time in the general election," he said.

"Going out on the door step... what people are saying to me is that we have got deep discontent with the way this country is being run - it feels like it is run for a few people at the top - but who has got the answers?

"I believe passionately that Labour has the answers."

During the local election campaign, Mr Miliband has made a number of policy announcements, including pledges to provide more secure, affordable tenancies and guaranteeing that all NHS patients in England can get an appointment with a GP within 48 hours.

He said Labour would continue to focus on what it has claimed is the "cost of living crisis" facing millions of people in the country.

"Polls go up and down," he added. "I have seen this over three and half years in this job. What matters is talking about the bread and butter issues people face: energy prices, childcare, the NHS.

"We'll talk about the issues that matter to people, we will focus on those questions and then the people are the boss, they will make the decisions a week on Thursday and at the general election."