BBC Radio Four's Today programme reported from Barnsley, where Labour has a three seat majority on the council.
Mr Miliband acknowledged this was a problem. 'We're testing to destruction the idea that people vote on what goes on in the real world rather than what goes on in the Westminster world,' he told Today.
'I'd much prefer the people voting in Barnsley next Thursday to look around them, see the changes that are going on in Barnsley, the economic, social and public service improvements, and vote on those real world changes. Because obviously the Westminster world had not been the best place to be for the government over the past week.'
Mr Miliband said Labour has to translate local improvements into political support. 'People do see change in their own communities, they see a growing economy, they do see public services improving, they do see more police on the beat. What they don't believe at the moment is it's happening around the country.'