The Independent today reports the results of a poll of Labour party members and supporters by suggesting even a majority of Labour party members would rather Gordon Brown went. Polling party members is hard – they are hard to get hold of, hard to know how to weight them and, unless there are election results to compare to, hard to know if they are any good or not.

Obviously polls like this do pose a risk of any old person pretending to be a party member to skew the results, or getting a very skewed group of activists, but the polls of Conservative party members done by Tim Montgomerie over on ConservativeHome did get their leadership election right, so we do at least have a precedent for a website running polls of party members in this way and getting good results. Besides, until a polling company with a track record of polling party members carries one out, it’s the best we’ve got. So with that caveat, what were the findings?

57% of respondents to LabourHome’s poll wanted a vote at the Labour party conference on whether or not there should be a leadership election. 45% of respondents thought that a change of leader would improve Labour’s prospects at the next election, with 28% fearing it would make things even worse. 46% said they would like Gordon Brown to lead Labour into the next general election, but a majority (54%) wanted to see someone else.

Were Gordon Brown to go, the front runners amongst party members and supporters (sadly not differentiated) were unsurprisingly David Miliband on 25%, but after that Alan Johnson on 18% and Jon Cruddas on 11%. Jack Straw was on 10%, James Purnell way down on just 3%.

Meanwhile on policy, 71% supported a windfall tax on energy companies, an overwhelming 86% supported higher taxes on people earning over £250k. On how money raised from tax rises should be spent though respondents were pretty evenly divided, with 48% saying it should go on tax cuts for people on lower incomes and 52% saying it should be spent on public services.

9 Responses to “LabourHome poll of party members”

  1. Adding in questions about windfall taxes and super taxes for the rich – things near to the heart of most true socialists – is a good way of gauging how many true party members participated in the poll. On the evidence then, this poll seems quite accurate.

  2. I wonder how many of the general electorate would approve of raising tax on earning over £250k? The windfall tax idea was supported by 68% in a recent poll (I think), not far short of this 71%. No doubt that question will be addressed in polls as the manifestos get drawn up.

  3. ‘super taxes for the rich – things near to the heart of most true socialists ‘–I suspect you’d find an awful lot of not ‘true socialists’ who also agree with this idea actually. Once you have accepted banded taxation then most people will happily accept the idea that anyone earning a lot more than them should pay more. It’s human nature (cynically)…

  4. Depends on what a lot more means. Given that an electrician who repairs signals on the Tube earns over £50 000 a year you might get a few surprises. Different matter taxing foreign utility companies though.Of course if you lower tax on low earners it helps if the money stays in England – perhaps non-English nationals could be taxed at a higher rate? Or a special supplement levied on South African dentists? That should be very popular with the average Labour Party voter.

  5. “I wonder how many of the general electorate would approve of raising tax on earning over £250k?”

    Quite a lot I would think john-but doesn’t of itself make it a sensible idea-or answer the question “how much more than 40%?”

    But it’s an interesting point in the context of Clegg’s new Robin Hood tax policy ( tax the “rich” more so you can tax the “poor” less )

    If the latest YouGov/Telegraph Poll quoted on the other thread is indicative, then Clegg has tapped into that feeling.

  6. Yet again Ed Balls, the School Secretary, comes out poorly with only 2%.

    Plans to spend (waste) 150 million pounds on COMPULSORY cookery lessons for young people until the age of 14 in the (totally unrealistic) hope that it will improve their eating habits has not served up a portion of popularity for him. I have a 15 year old daughter who was made to do cookery (home hec!) so I speak from experience.

    Excuse my ranting, but she was made to do homework in this subject which see has since dropped while she was preparing for a piano grading. It doesn’t make any difference to their eating and young people should be allowed a life outside of school.

    People are sick to death with this Nanny state promoted by like people appropriately named Balls. Balls has not surprisingly been one of Brown’s staunchest supporters.

    Even without the economic downturn Labour were unlikely to win the next election.

  7. Please excuse my bad English in the previous text. I thinks its meaning is still clear.

  8. Philip J W

    I agree with you totally about the cookery, this government has lost the idea of personal freedom in so many areas.

  9. Previous POLLS have all suggested that whether it be Brown or anyone else – the teflon went with Tony / they are wide open now to analysis on everything they have done over the past 11 years and it ain’t a pretty picture – all a leadership race will do is highlight their internal differences even more , alienate the public from them even more & at the same time leave Britain with no-one in control (i use the word control very loosely ).

    As I have said before – if you were interviewing candidates for a top position in your company to run a part of it – honestly , would you give any of the present cabinet members even a 2nd interview ?? lol.