A week or so ago Stephen Bush at the New Statesman wrote a piece about how “private polling” from a couple of the Labour leadership campaigns was showing Jeremy Corbyn ahead. At the time I was all set to write a “private polling is nothing special, and there’s no reason to believe it above the published stuff” post, except there wasn’t actually any published stuff. Now there is, and it’s in line with the private polling Stephen was apparently shown.

AYouGov poll of Labour party members (including £3 supporters and trade unionists who have registered to vote) in tomorrow’s Times has first round preferences are CORBYN 43%, BURNHAM 26%, COOPER 20%, KENDALL 11%. As might be expected, Corbyn’s large lead on the first round is chipped away by reallocations of the second preferences of Kendall and Cooper voters in the second and third rounds, but it’s not enough – Corbyn still narrowly beats Burnham by 53% to 47% in the final round.

In the deputy race Tom Watson has a clear lead with 42% to Stella Creasy on 21%, Caroline Flint on 17%, Ben Bradshaw on 11% and Angela Eagle on 10%. Watson comfortably wins once second preferences are reallocated.

So Jeremy Corbyn, who only got onto the ballot by Labour MPs “lending” him votes to broaden the debate, looks like he has serious chance of winning. The Labour leadership race still has weeks to go so there is time for things to change. What I am pondering is how many Labour members were voting Corbyn in order to send a message about Labour staying true to its roots and principles rather than actually wanting him as leader, might they recoil at the thought of him actually winning? Or alternatively, might him being ahead add strength to his campaign now it looks like he could actually do it? We shall see…


255 Responses to “YouGov/Times polls show Jeremy Corbyn ahead in Labour leadership race”

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  1. I suspect @Catmanjeff on the last thread has this about right. Corbyn is speaking in human language, the other three are political machines.

    I have been particularly disappointed by Burnham and Cooper. They seem to have almost no original thoughts between them, and I rather think this demonstrates Labour’s problems.

  2. Second!

  3. If Jeremy Corbyn wins then he may win back some of the voters who swam off with the kippers however I can’t see him making inroads into middle England with his left polices but someone has to act as leader of the opposition or they might just lose that place to the SNP for the next 5 years.

    They looked mighty comfy sitting in the oppositions front bench today.

  4. Reading through the Labour party group and other Labour supporters groups, one thing is very clear. After abnstaining in last night’s vote (especially after saying he couldn’t possibly abstain, Burnham has lost leadership votes. Probobly quite a lot of votes.

  5. Actually I’m just looking at the deputy leadership contenders and noticed the charismatic Angela Eagle is in the running. If Jeremy Corbyn wins with Angela Eagle as his deputy then I reckon the party will lurch towards Trotskyism.

  6. A simple point from me.

    I dont see how any of these candidates can win in 2020. So why not go for the wild ride to liven things up. It might even encourage new faces to come through who could be future PM’s??? Blandness doesn’t inspire people, admittedly it doesn’t enrage people but I dont belive how having a Bland see through leader will help.

    I think Labour lost the election because it was bland, and untrusted. It was the equivalent of turning up to an opera to find that the male lead caught laryngitis and the female lead has ruined her voice with 15 years of chain smoking.

    Scotland went with something different, are Labour members thinking “Lets do the same”………???

  7. If the papers are to be believed Corybn broke up with his wife as she didn’t want to send their son to a failing school. He certainly has principles.

  8. Steve

    I was sent to a failing school.

    Best thing that ever happened to me.

  9. Heaven help the Labour party if they’re being swamped by online Trots on Twitter and actually elect Corbyn. They can say hi to another 15 years in opposition.

    Middle England will run a mile, they’ll hardly make an impression with northern UKIP voters who won’t like his position on immigration and it’s debatable if he could win back seats from the SNP given the extent of the sea change.

    I hope MPs are happy that they ‘lent’ their nominations to him. It could bite them hard.

  10. When was the polling conducted? The guardian comments suggest Burham has become a lot less popular in the last 36 hours.

  11. Shows how poorly the right in the party saw the temperature. They all jumped to claim the big issue was Labour were not to the right enough before any real analysis was done. They pored fuel on the anti Blair sentiment. Truth is Lefty Ed held the party together for 5 years and was actually quite an effective opposition for most of those.

    Labour need someone like Michael Howard. Miliband should have held in; Harmen has been a complete and utter disaster for them. Things like the welfare bill again play to the anti Blairite sentiment; you can’t claim to be against a bill you voted against. If Labour care about welfare they need to fight the perception of it – they chose not to.

    Disaster. British Labour are in the Scottish Labour mess. It would be fine if Cobyrn were a left wing policy supporter but he’s a left wing internationalist. Be interesting though; Public support nationalisation but no ones had the guts to place it on the table.

  12. @Allan Christie – “If Jeremy Corbyn wins then he may win back some of the voters who swam off with the kippers”

    I doubt it. He’s in favour of immigration so the Kippers won’t move to him – it’s likely the opposite will happen and the Kippers will gain and become the #2 party.

    At the other end, the Guardianistas will recoil at his anti-science enthusiasm for homeopathy etc – so they may flee to the LibDems or become shy Tories.

    And Labour disappears as a party, just over 100 years after they formed?

    @Neil – “Heaven help the Labour party if they’re being swamped by online Trots on Twitter and actually elect Corbyn.”

    Not just them trying to hijack Lab. Fraser Nelson had an article where he says one Tory had signed up as a Labour supporter under five identities to vote for Corbyn. How many of the Trots have also worked out the multiple voting angle?

    And of course, the general public, who could save Lab by signing up too and voting for someone moderate, is completely bored and disinterested in the whole thing and won’t bother.

    Poor Labour – I think we’re witnessing the death of a party. To be replaced by the Conservatives opposed by UKIP? i.e. do we move to Irish style politics where the main parties are all right wing and there is no left wing to speak of?

  13. how many Labour members were voting Corbyn in order to send a message about Labour staying true to its roots and principles

    If Corbyn’s statements are actually true to Labour’s roots and principles and the other candidates’ aren’t, is that a distinction that makes a difference?

  14. Candy – you’re assuming that Kippers are solely or chiefly motivated by opposition to immigration, and that Guardianistas are solely or chiefly motivated by opposition to irrationalism and woo. Whereas an awful lot of the people in both groups might be winnable by a frank and coherent advocate of what used to be Labour policy (nationalise the railways, scrap tuition fees, scrap ATOS, build council houses…).

  15. I guess this is Labour’s IDS moment. Maybe it’s a phase defeated parties have to go through.

  16. Phil
    As a labour member, activist and councillor that thing about Labour policy just about sums up where I stand.
    I thought I was Andy or Yvette until the welfare vote, but now I’m struggling to see the point of them.
    Every kipper I’ve met – and all the ones I’ve talked to are ex-Labour – are kippers because they think Labour abandoned them. Mrs Duffys if you like. They might cite immigration but its more of a symptom than the underlying disease.
    I’m sick of tactics and triangulation and of this weird unwillingness to tell it like it is. I have to restrain myself here but it’s just possible the shortcomings of my council are connected to a £60M cut in grant.

  17. Jeremy Corbyn is not a Trot in any sense that I understand.. Isn’t calling him one a bit tabloid for the sophisticates of UKPR?

    @Guymonde

    I believe that LP is heading for Pasokification unless it changes direction radically. Dread to think where local government is going with £60M cut in grant – pretty impossible situation for Labour councillors.

  18. Labour are obsolete as a political party. Their raison d’etre was the trade union movement: now that is dead (except certain areas of the public sector). There is nothing for the party to organise around anymore.

    This is the fruit of the 70’s and the earthquake change in the global economic system (not simply Thatcher, the same thing happened in every country in the developed world). Blair bucked the trend by stealing Tory attitudes and taking advantage of their loss of economic credibility after the ERM debacle. Labour won’t ever form a majority government again unless something similar happens.

  19. If a Corbyn leadership reflects the man , it will be a chaotic shambles leading to schism:-

    He is one of the last handful of the declining membership of Socialist Campaign Group-Skinner, Abbott, Hopkins , Cryer etc

    According to Wiki, Corbyn is one of Labour’s most rebellious MPs, having defied the Labour Party whip 238 times (about 25% of votes in the Commons since 2005.

    I can’t believe that Labour Party Members will make this man their leader.

  20. …….but this is just an Opinion Poll-it doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

  21. @Colin

    ‘One of the last handful of the declining membership of Socialist Campaign Group’ was true in the last Parliament but they have received significant reinforcements since May from new MPs like Richard Burgon, Rebecca Long Bailey and Clive Lewis with quite a large number of others who are also sympathetic, if not full on members of the SCG.

    As for rebellion Philip Cowley who records them has Corbyn as Labour’s leading rebel in 1997-01, 2001-05 and 2005-10. In 2010-15 he was second, one rebellion behind John McDonnell. In total he has rebelled 533 times since 1997.

    Were he to become leader his past record of rebellion is significant. How can he possibly tell dissenters to stay on message with a straight face? (IDS had this problem with the Tories and he was never in the equivalent category of rebel that Corbyn is).

  22. JACK

    your last para:- Exactly what I meant.

    Yes I was just reading about the new intake of MPs. But surely this VI -if the OP is correct-is more to do with some sort of entryism into the electorate. It seems wide open if you can vote for £3.

    Anyway, much as I am tempted to wish it to happen, I don’t think it would be a good thing
    . We need a credible opposition in Parliament.
    With SNP still acting around like the Bash Street Gang , the opposition benches are a sad sight at present.

  23. “Tony Blair is to make a rare speech to Labour activists as turmoil grows after a poll suggested left-winger Jeremy Corbyn was ahead in the leader contest.”

    BBC

    That should sort it :-)

  24. “Labour won’t ever form a majority government again unless something similar happens.”

    ————

    Labour could prolly have a majority government right now if the left didn’t keep splitting their vote.

    Last term, Labour were polling as high as 45% before votes went away to UKip, SNP, and Greens.

    Prior to that, peeps split off to vote LibDem. Hence why Blair had to row rightwards, though didn’t seem all that unpalatable to him.

    Who turned out not to be v. left at all. They gave a different superficial appearance, but underneath it all it was Orange Book all the way.

    Quite a few UKippers support renationalisations, vote UKip over immigration. And UKip, like LibDems, started being a bit lower key over the neolib stuff.

    Then there’s votes that went to SNP. Shan’t go into that, for purposes of board harmony, avoiding boredom and, well, sanity.

  25. “That should sort it :-)”

    ——–

    Maybe he’ll offer to do a comeback!!

  26. Corbyn seems to be manna from heaven for those wishing to pursue Trotskyish fantasies of Labour imploding ever further in on themselves into some kind of Black Hole of no escape…

  27. For people who don’t want Toryism or lite Toryism, Corbyn is providing a real alternative. This is what has lacked in our politics for a long time. If he is elected leader, we will see at the next general election whether the country as a whole has turned left or right.

  28. A narrow Corbyn victory would be the absolute worst thing for the party. The right wouldn’t accept its defeat and would spend five years undermining him, while the Twitter left-wingers would be out on patrol leaping on anyone who didn’t pile in behind him.

    I’m just glad I’ve just finished a first draft of a novel. Gives me something to do instead of being utterly depressed.

  29. @Colin
    ‘”Tony Blair is to make a rare speech to Labour activists as turmoil grows after a poll suggested left-winger Jeremy Corbyn was ahead in the leader contest.”
    BBC”
    That should sort it :-)’

    Another few percentage points to Corbyn.

    The law of unintended consequences rises again. The Blarirites constantly sought to undermine EM (until the final furlong of the GE campaign) in the hope he would eventually be replaced by one of their own. They must be stunned at Corbyn’s polling numbers.

    The Blaities are also struggling to come up with a response to GO’s current positioning as an heir to what he must believe a Blair Chancellorship would have been. How do they argue against themselves?

  30. @MrNameless – politics has got interesting again. Sorry to hear you are depressed about it. It has suddenly become exciting for a lot of people.

  31. @MrNameless

    At 43% for the left’s Corbyn vs 11% for the right’s Kendall, that poll does not suggest a narrow defeat for the Labour right: it suggests that the Labour right will be comprehensively crushed.

    The question then becomes whether they and their media elite supporters will accept internal party democracy.

  32. “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it”. Obviously when Neil Kinnock said “never again” after 1983 he forgot to add “at least for the next 30 years”.

    Admitedly the leadership candidates (other than Corbyn) are a pretty unimpressive bunch but does anyone seriously believe that Labour would be an alternative party of government under Corbyn?

  33. Yes a man who would go to Derry to commemorate the B

  34. LizH,

    I know. And I appreciate it. It’s just a difficult quandary that the party finds themselves in, because the people this enthuses are those who already vote Labour, often reluctantly, who would then vote Labour enthusiastically. Unfortunately their votes all count the same.

    I’m not a Blairite, or even on the right of the party. Frankly, I think the 2015 manifesto was a fine document and largely not the source of the defeat – the individual policies contained therein were often popular when polled. I’d be happy to stay where we were.

    But the Milibandite stall is now abandoned but for me, Sadiq Khan and a drooping “Hell Yes” banner, and all the people who pledged loyalty before the election, left or right, are now showing their true colours. Frankly, I don’t like either direction being proposed.

    It has become exciting for some, but it has gutted others, like me, because it’s my view that my family and friends, and plenty of people I care about, need a change of government. I honestly don’t believe that either Corbyn or Kendall can deliver that.

    I’ll be happy to be proved wrong.

  35. “I’m just glad I’ve just finished a first draft of a novel. Gives me something to do instead of being utterly depressed.”

    ————

    Good to see others joining Norbold in the writing thing.

    Is it a political intrigue? Based on the clandestine goings on in the polling industry, where nothing is quite what it seems, especially the polls. Perhaps seen through the eyes of a board about polling, populated by mysterious figures: activists, bankers, stats geeks, bobbies, engineers, accountants, retired teachers, eco warriors, peeps who shop at Lidl, and coffee drinkers shamefully robbed by the cruel and nonsensical imposition of a tax on storage?

  36. Never considered writing a political novel, but I think there’s a good sitcom to be written about a local branch of a political party in a hopeless seat.

    But no, it’s a post-apocalyptic black comedy. Good fun to write, needs a ton of editing yet.

  37. @MrNameless
    “because the people this enthuses are those who already vote Labour,”

    I disagree. I think Corbyn will bring back a lot of people who left Labour and don’t vote anymore. After Clegg a lot of young people distrusted politicians but Corbyn is showing that some politicians still have principles. I believe Corbyn will bring in a lot of new people into the Labour party. Frankly if we lose the Blairites, that wont be a bad thing. Maybe they were in the wrong party anyway.

    “the Milibandite stall is now abandoned but for me”

    I liked EdM a lot because I believed he was turning the party leftwards gradually. Corbyn is just aiming to do it faster.

  38. @The Monk
    “Admitedly the leadership candidates (other than Corbyn) are a pretty unimpressive bunch but does anyone seriously believe that Labour would be an alternative party of government under Corbyn?”

    GE’s are every 5 years. I suspect those backing Corbyn believe that at least he can cause Labour to join forces with the SNP and maybe Tim Farron’s LDs to form a viable substantive opposition to the direction of travel of the government.

  39. @Mr N
    “…it’s my view that my family and friends, and plenty of people I care about, need a change of government…”

    We’ve just had one.

  40. LizH,

    “Frankly if we lose the Blairites, that wont be a bad thing. Maybe they were in the wrong party anyway.”

    There’s a Lyndon Johnson quote about tents that’s probably applicable here. The Blairite ultras can be as annoying and inflexible as the far left – but the broadest church needs walls by which it’s defined.

    “I liked EdM a lot because I believed he was turning the party leftwards gradually. Corbyn is just aiming to do it faster.”

    That’s sort of my objection. If you try and run a marathon without training first, you won’t finish the run and you’ll probably hurt yourself in the process.

    We did have higher turnout in the old days, but I’m not sure how much of that was about principles and how much was the relative novelty of universal suffrage, followed by the then-recent fight against fascism and the ongoing fight against anti-democratic Communist regimes.

    Labour had a massive lead among the people least likely to vote. While that would be powerful indeed if it could be harnessed, fact is that people who habitually don’t vote are very hard to turn out, and I’m skeptical about Corbyn’s ability to do that.

    Are the positions he’ll take up – I’d guess likely to be unusual in British political discourse and under constant fire from the off – likely to enthuse sufficient non-voters to overturn the heavy turnout among those who’d be scared by the prospect of him in government?

  41. CARFREW

    @” Perhaps seen through the eyes of a board about polling, populated by mysterious figures: ”

    The most sensible comment this morning.

    You’re right-out in the Big Rest of the Country, the spectacle of Labour’s Left & Right tearing chunks off each other-again-is not relevant to their daily lives.

    Those who think that it is are deluded.

  42. @RAF

    Actually, as is usually the case, Blair is well worth listening to, whatever your thoughts may be about his past premiership and leadership of the Labour Party. He had some typically astute things to say about the future of the Labour Party in his speech this morning and people need to see beyond the lazy labelling and instead listen objectively to one of the most electorally successful centre left political leaders in post war European history.

    His many detractors on the left need to ponder this. He is the only Labour leader to win in an election in the last 40 years. What was it about him personally, and the party he led to those three consecutive victories, that made this so? The answer to that question may trouble some on the left but it also holds the key to what Labour has to do to return to power.

    As for Jeremy Corbyn, a hugely likeable and personable man, and I can see the trivial attraction, his success says more about the awfulness of his three rival candidates than it does about any intrinsic leadership and political ability that he may possess.

  43. At the Inst of Chartered Accountants today:

    “Blair says he has’ great admiration’ for how Miliband stuck to his guns. He came to have a lot of admiration for him.”

    Funny how he never stopped the Blairites from sniping at the sidelines at the time. Corbyn must have him and his supporters really scared for Blair to get involved in the leadership campaign.

  44. @LizH

    I would like to think your analysis was correct but I doubt it. There is no evidence that moving leftward under Ed brought back many people at all.

    In fact it looks like the most plausible explanation for the polls being wrong is that a lot of Labour voters couldn’t be bothered to vote.

    The vote share barely moved even with the Lib Dem vote collapsing and Labour having the left field pretty much to themselves for the first time in decades.

    Now that the Lib Dems have come out of coalition with the Tories and are powerless they will come over all macho and revert to posing as much more left-wing again.

    The sad fact is that I fear that Labour has 2 options, move towards the centre or lose. If Corbyn does win (and I am still very sceptical) then we will have a rerun of the Thatcher years – Labour and the Lib Dems will be around level in the polls and the Tories will sail through the middle.

    At the end of that Labour will elect somene like Dan Jarvis and comfortably win again.

  45. @Mr Nameless

    I broadly share your perspective.

    Writing from the only marginal seat in the Midlands which Labour won off the Tories, I can assure you that Labour did not win here by emphasising a commitment to five more years of austerity and no more borrowing than under the Conservatives, something that the national campaign seemed to want to emphasise increasingly as things drew to a close.

    There are still a few reasons to be cheerful. At least Kendall’s pathetically low support (11%!) has exposed the Blairites for the unrepresentative clique that they are, and if there’s a silver lining in the welfare bill fiasco it’s that the weakness of their position has also been exposed within the Parliamentary Labour Party.

    I’ll be voting for Burnham on the first round as following his efforts on the welfare bill I’m much clearer as to where he stands now.

  46. @MrNameless

    ” – but the broadest church needs walls by which it’s defined.”

    Maybe that has been the problem why numbers who vote have declined. All the political parties need to regroup and not be a broad church so that we know who we are voting for specially if we bring PR or an alternative to FPTP.

  47. “Never considered writing a political novel, but I think there’s a good sitcom to be written about a local branch of a political party in a hopeless seat.”

    ——

    Yes, it could be all very Evelyn Waugh. Maybe the most unlikely candidate through strange twists of fate winds up elected with a healthy majority.

    You might call it “Margin of Error”. Though that might have been used already…

    Might have to race Norbs for it though…

  48. If it’s a sitcom, it could be “On the Doorstep”. You know, like On the Buses. But with doorsteps.

    Unless you use the bus…

  49. @Colin

    “The most sensible comment this morning.”

    ——-

    You can go too far you know….

  50. There was a sitcom before the election (by the people who did Drop the Dead Donkey) set on the four main parties’ battle buses. It was dreadful.

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