One of the more astonishing results from the recent batch of Scottish opinion polls is the revelation that Ed Miliband is actually less popular in Scotland than David Cameron. Survation's poll for the Daily Record suggested that 23% of Scots think David Cameron would make the best Prime Minister as opposed to 19% who favour the UK Labour leader.

This confirmed similar findings in the Lord Ashcroft constituency polls a fortnight ago. But looking at Scotland's political make up, where the Tories have been moribund for the last three decades, this is surely quite extraordinary. I'm at a loss to explain it myself. Can Scots really favour a privileged, Eton-educated Tory over Labour's state-educated son of a Marxist academic?

But this apparent antipathy towards Ed Miliband in Scotland is perhaps an extreme example perhaps of what is called the "Ant and Dec" phenomenon - the fact that many long term Labour voters, like the diminutive TV duo, just don't seem to be able to see Ed Miliband as a credible prime minister.

This is partly down to the media projection of Ed Miliband as a gormless, Wallace and Gromit character who forgets names, speeches and can't eat a bacon roll in public. But it extends beyond the "Tory Press"

Even the left-wing commentator Mehdi Hasan, quoting Labour insiders, argued in the New Statesman last week that Ed's very personality is Labour's main electoral handicap right now. This speculation is of course highly damaging because there is no possibility of Labour changing leader only weeks before he election campaign begins.

Actually, Labour's overall opinion poll ratings are not bad and most surveys show the party with a narrow but consistent lead over David Cameron's Tories. Out-dated constituency boundaries mean that the Tories actually need a lead of 4-5% to secure victory over Labour.

So this is no time for Labour to be trashing their own leader. But prominent Labour figures like the former cabinet minister Alan Milburn have been maintaining a drumbeat of criticism of Ed.. Labour's been here before.

Roll back the years to the early 1992 and it was very much the same with Neil Kinnock. Labour looked like it was on course to overwhelm the Conservatives who were divided over Europe and emerging from a deep economic recession. Plus ca change. But many voters just couldn't bring themselves to back Neil Kinnock - 'the Welsh windbag' as he was called.

Like Miliband, Kinnock was a rather effectively leader, at least on paper. He showed courage in taking on Militant Tendency, saw off the breakaway Social Democrats and was a formidable public speaker. Labour's policies were expansionist and radical. But he just seemed to irritate a lot of people.

And Ed Miliband is not a bad leader either. Indeed, Peter Oborne, the Telegraph journalist who resigned over his paper's collusion with commercial interests, says he is the best Labour leader since Clement Atlee. That may be going a bit far, but Miliband is certainly is not afraid to be radical.

If anyone cares to look at what Ed Miliband actually stands for, they are likely to be surprised. He is not "Red Tory Scum". In fact, he is arguably the most radical Labour leader since Michael Foot in the early eighties (though few in the party will relish the comparison because of memories of the "longest suicide note in history" that lost Labour the '83 general election).

Ed Miliband has promised to repeal the Tory NHS privatisation Act, freeze energy prices, renationalise rail, tax mansions (£2m) and millionaires (50p); build a million homes by 2020, introduce £8 minimum wage; and bring in 25 hours free childcare for 3-4 years olds.

He is also pushing a raft of rather complex measures for ending tax avoidance and evasion including blacklisting British tax havens abroad. It's not surprising that the Conservative Daily Mail has been banging on about the menace of "Red Ed".

But Miliband is tough as he showed when he took on the Daily Mail over its claim that his Marxist father was a traitor. In 2011 he took on the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch over cross media ownership. He has called for a break up of the banks.

More recently, Miliband refused to back down over Lord Fink's claim that he had defamed him over tax avoidance. And the Labour leader has pursued the HSBC scandal despite the attempts to portray him - wrongly - as a tax-avoiding hypocrite. He stood his ground over Syria too, refusing to endorse military action against the Assad regime.

All the more surprising then that Ed Miliband's image is that of an ineffectual bumbler. The media can be a playground bully of course, and likes to pick up on personal idiosyncrasies and exaggerate them. The panda eyes and the teeth are a gift to cartoonists.

I must say, when I hear Ed Miliband on the radio at Prime Minister's Questions I sometimes think that it's Rory Bremner impersonating him. But surely we are not so shallow as to allow these personal characteristics to shape our attitudes to political leaders.

Okay - we probably are.

In Scotland I think the resistance to Miliband is partly personal. Voters in post-referendum mood have come to dismiss all Westminster party leaders as peas in the same elitist pod. Interchangeable upper middle class policy wonks speaking their own language and using spin and advertising to get their messages across. They all dress the same, talk the same, speak the same.

That's also what Ukip has been trading on, as well as its hostility to immigration. Clearly, many working class people think Milliband just a bit too Oxbridge and rarified.

Is there any way he can change in time? I doubt it. Mehdi Hasan criticised him for not working hard enough on coaching his media image - but that can end in disaster. Remember when the former Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith, said: "the quiet man is turning up the volume" back in 2005?. Better to let Miliband be Miliband.

It may be that he'll do better in the general election campaign once people have a chance to hear him directly in debates and interviews. But my suspicion is that time has run out for the Labour leader. Most voters have already made up their minds about him and believe he is well-meaning but not cut out to be prime minister.

However, there's a twist. He may still make it to Number Ten.

Miliband's programme, Trident aside, is actually very similar to that of one Nicola Sturgeon. Which means that there is a very sound basis for there to be post election co-operation between Labour and the SNP (and indeed with the Liberal Democrats though no one wants to talk about them right now).

David Cameron and Nick Clegg had to go through long and difficult negotiations to find common ground in 2010. Miliband and Sturgeon have a detailed agenda of common policies staring them in the face; crying out for an agreement, if not a coalition. Wisely Ed has not listened to those in his Scottish party who want him to rule out any cooperation with the nationalists

Perhaps David Cameron was more right than he realised on Friday when he told the Scottish Tory Conference that the SNP and Labour were "already half way up the aisle and choosing the honeymoon". Though I doubt if poor Ed Balls will relish holding the ring.