The majority of Daily Mail readers think the paper's coverage of Ralph Miliband was wrong and that the paper should apologise.
This was the finding of a YouGov survey for the Sunday Times which found that a majority of Daily Mail readers – 57 per cent – feel the paper should apologise.
However, the Mail has continued to defend its use of the headline "the man who hated Britain" to describe the late Ralph Miliband and his Marxist views.
And on Saturday, the Mail leaked a job application letter written by Huffington Post columnist Mehdi Hasan to the paper in 2010. The Mail contrasted Hasan's then praise for the paper with his outspoken attack on it as "Britain hating" on BBC Question Time last week.
YouGov asked a weighted sample of 1,985 UK adults for their views on the Miliband versus the Mail row as part of its regular weekly survey of public opinion. The sample included 273 who said they were readers of the Daily Mail.
Some 65 per cent said they thought it was unacceptable for the Mail to write about and criticise Ralph Miliband's views, versus 26 per cent who thought it was acceptable. Even just taking Daily Mail readers a majority thought it was unacceptable (50 per cent ) versus 42 per cent who thought it was acceptable.
Asked about use of the headline "the man who hated Britain" and the term "evil legacy" in a later story, 72 per cent said this was unacceptable (versus just 17 per cent who said this was acceptable). Among Daily Mail readers, 60 per cent said the use of these terms was unacceptable – versus 29 per cent who said they were acceptable.
Some 78 per cent of respondents said Ed Miliband was right to complain to the Mail and 69 per cent said the Mail should apologise. Among Daily Mail readers, 57 per cent said the paper should apologise – versus 31 per cent who said it shouldn't.
Despite the strong public disapproval of the Mail stance, only 31 per cent said it was an example of why the press needs stricter controls and regulation. Most respondents, 50 per cent, agreed with the statement: "The Daily Mail's attack on Ed Miliband's father may have been unacceptable, but it shouldn't be used as an excuse to restrict freedom of the press."
The Privy Council meets on Wednesday when it is expected to finally indicate which system of press regulation the Government favours: one enshrined in a Parliament-backed Royal Charter, or the one put forward by publishers under the Pressbof charter.