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 would say that a lot of his policies such as having national investment bank are not exactly extremist but rather the sort of stuff that a heavyweight Labour moderate should be advocating.”

    ———-

    Letting the banks do as they please until they Crunch is the conventional, moderate position. Trying to shape banking to benefit the economy at bit more is the “out-there” position.

  2. How will Labour be taken seriously if the nominate an MP they don’t want to lead, an MP who has said himself (privately) he doesn’t want to be leader, and then vote for an candidate no-one thinks will be PM.

    It is la la land.

  3. Wow, Corbyn is definitely generating some heat. A lot of people are getting very hot and bothered.

  4. Labour are sleepwalking to a long wilderness period. Blair might not be popular now in Labour circles, but he is right in what he is saying today. That’s the long and short of it.

  5. @Graham

    I understand your views about Blair, and respect them, but I don’t share them. The Major Government was imploding before Blair became leader, and John Smith would probably have won comfortably in 1997, but Blair carried Labour into almost unprecedented landslide country, inflicting in both 1997 and 2001 the worst parliamentary drubbings ever experienced by the Tories. He invaded their heartlands and held them, even winning comfortably in 2005 when his public image was badly tarnished by Iraq. The Tories were reduced to a rump of 160 Commons seats in both 97 and 01. Yes, that’s worth repeating; 160 seats, some 80 odd less than the routed and humiliated Labour Party held on to in May this year.

    I tend to view politics, certainly electoral politics, in a fairly basic way. FPTP is maintaining a binary choice between the Tories and Labour in terms of who forms a government. Ipso facto, Labour has to beat the Tories to win, and vice versa. Labour can’t win elections unless they win over a number of people who are former Tory voters and/or have proclivities that tend towards that voting choice. I know there are other voter flows going on, maybe more now than there ever was, but the Tory/Labour dynamic is the key one in terms of who wins in an FPTP derived parliamentary system.

    Labour, therefore, has to have a leader who affords permission to the waverers and faint hearts to vote for them. Polls tell us that this a large group of voters who whilst potential Labour supporters, are easily dissuaded. Miliband and Brown were dissuaders, as was Kinnock. Corbyn will be too..

    Blair was the ultimate persuader and was utterly toxic for the Tories. Just ask Cameron and Osborne who admired his political gifts hugely. They even thought he might have beaten them in 2010.

    I’m partial to master politicians. Blair was one, probably still is.

  6. @ Crossbat 11,

    If Blair were still a master politician he would have kept schtum during this leadership contest.

  7. Reading the comments, I think the LP should elect a number of leaders to satisfy different contributors. Perhaps members and affiliates should be told that they have to vote to deliver this outcome.

    Then the LP could win the GE by having a number of nominees for PM depending on the social, economic and political composition of different constituencies. And after the victory all of them could be invited to the Queen.

    I think that LP members and affiliates know the consequences of their vote. I also think that a number of them won’t have a second preference, which can influence the outcome.

  8. “even winning comfortably in 2005 when his public image was badly tarnished by Iraq”

    ———–

    That’s the point though. So badly were the Tories tarnished they couldn’t prevail in those circumstances.

    It’s worse than that: even against BROWN, after the biggest banking crisis since the Great Depression taking out nearly seven percent of the economy, with peeps fleeing Labour in droves for the Lib Dems, Tories STILL couldn’t win outright.

    Hell, even against Miliband, with Greens, UKip AND SNP biting off chunks of Labour votes, and Lib Dems imploding in key Tory marginals, Tories still only just scraped a majority. With a growing economy etc.

  9. @LIZH

    “Wow, Corbyn is definitely generating some heat. A lot of people are getting very hot and bothered.”

    ———–

    Interesting, innit Liz? One thing one can’t help noticing, is the hyperbole, making the Daily Mail seem the voice of calm and impartiality in comparison. Under Corbyn, shall there be a descent into the Trotskyite abyss.

    But there’s the thing. At least they’re hyping policy, whereas Ed endured rather more ad hominems…

  10. @Carfrew

    They are worried because they don’t know how to attack Corbyn . He isn’t trying to please anyone. His take is ‘this is what I believe in, take it or leave’.

  11. meant to say take it or leave it.

  12. LIZ

    If he becomes leader, your first version will be nearer the truth.

    lol.

  13. I suppose if some policies proved popular, like renationalisation, that might also worry some just a little…

  14. @Liz

    Above post (re: renationalisation) was supposed to be addressed to you…

  15. What if they nationalised the polls? Can they do that? We could have a five year plan and everything…

  16. CARFREW

    “Interesting, innit Liz? One thing one can’t help noticing, is the hyperbole, making the Daily Mail seem the voice of calm and impartiality in comparison. Under Corbyn, shall there be a descent into the Trotskyite abyss”
    ______

    That was me who said that and it was only if Corbyn won with Angela Eagle as his deputy.

    For the sake of the opposition Corbyn would be the best bet for Labour because he would probably work closer with the SNP PC the LIb/Dems plus with the Tories having a wafer thin majority he would stand a better chance of uniting all the opposition parties against the Tories and voting down some of their legislation with the help of some loose cannons on the government benches.

    However when the 2020 election approaches Labour would be wise to dump him for a more center ground leader who would appeal to middle England voters.

    Whatever happens you can bet your boots Colin and The Other Howard will be rubbing their hands at all the kerfuffle within Labour and who can blame them? ;-)

  17. @ Carfrew

    And 99.8% approval.

  18. @Crossbatt11
    I would point out that by 2001 millions who had voted Labour in 1997 failed to do so , and that Blair’s second landslide owed much to the lack of an alternative rather than enthusiasm for him. Moreover, in 2005 Labour’s vote share at 36.1% was less than 1% higher than achieved by Kinnock in 1992 and lower than managed by Callaghan in 1979. Many were seduced by Blair’s acting skills and charisma in 1997 but he very quickly disappointed in terms of his intent to deliver.
    I have my own criticisms of Kinnock and have never really forgiven him for his loss of control at Sheffield which I still believe to have been decisive in delivering Major his overall majority.Nevertheless he still picked the party up from the floor and significantly enhanced its prospects.

  19. Conspiracy theory time: Blair would rather have a Corbyn leadership followed by a Blairite leader picking up the pieces after 2020 (or before) rather than a non-Blairite like Burnham or Cooper continue the Miliband project of moving the party to the centre left.

    The main alternative is that Blair is delusional regarding his popularity with the Labour membership. That’s not improbable…

  20. @Carfrew

    Yep, even many Tory voters want the railways nationalised.

  21. @ Allan Christie,

    If Corbyn does win I imagine he’d stand down halfway through, if the PLP doesn’t depose him within a few months. He doesn’t want to be Prime Minister. He didn’t even want to stand in this leadership contest.

    There’s a question of how much centrism a party that elected Corbyn would tolerate in his replacement, though.

    @ Bill Patrick,

    Could be both!

  22. Carfrew

    “Letting the banks do as they please until they Crunch is the conventional, moderate position. Trying to shape banking to benefit the economy at bit more is the “out-there” position.”

    —-

    That is the extraordinary thing. It is being denounced as being left wing simply because Corbyn is proposing it.

    Germany has such a bank, chaired by that well known Left-Wing Atheist Wolfgang Schäuble. If Blair is a Christian Democrat (plausible argument) then why not back such an idea for the UK?

    It should not need to be people on the left wing of Labour that is suggesting this sort of sensible stuff.

  23. In fact, I have just Googled a paper proposing such a bank by those well known Trotskyists at the IPPR.

  24. “Corbyn’s rivals have been asked whether he could serve in their shadow cabinet. The question now is whether they would serve in his. Shadow cabinet ministers told me that almost all current members would resign rather than join Corbyn’s team. MPs privately predict that he will be ousted “before Christmas” if he wins.”

    George Eaton.
    NS

  25. MPs privately predict that he will be ousted “before Christmas” if he wins.”

    ———

    Labour do seem to be fond of changing leaders thee days…

  26. @HAWTHORN

    “In fact, I have just Googled a paper proposing such a bank by those well known Trotskyists at the IPPR.”

    ————-

    I think it’s only Trotskyish if it’s State intervention to help other businesses starved of funding by the banks preferring to invest in assets instead. If it’s the State bailing out failing banks, then it’s OK.

  27. “MPs privately predict that he will be ousted “before Christmas” if he wins.”

    The members will be leaving with him.

  28. @Spearmint

    “He doesn’t want to be Prime Minister.”

    ————

    Neither does the Prime Minister, to be fair…

  29. @LizH

    ‘Yep, even many Tory voters want the railways nationalised.”

    ————-

    Not on this board though. Retired Boomers don’t have to commute from up North to London because property prices so high down south…

  30. As I think I mentioned before, this is what happens when you abandon sensible Macroeconomics to the fringes by adopting pre-Keynesian voodoo.

    The Labour centre-left (of which I consider myself one) only have themselves to blame.

    If I am right about the economy heading south, then UKIP will be rubbing their hands.

  31. @Hawthorn

    I think what we’re seeing is very much a reaction from those who just about went along with being told that for electoral success they needed to put aside much of what they held dear, only now to be told that they now need to put aside everything else as well. The attempt by the Blairite right to argue that Labour now needs to adopt many of the key policies that its members fought actively against just two months ago has got the reaction it deserved. And I see that Owen Jones is now echoing my earlier point that it is the left that is now reduced to defending the legacy of the first term of New Labour.

    It’s interesting that many of the policies that the Blairites claim are unpopular turn out to be anything but. Although on this website I think most of us were already familiar enough with the polling to know that:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-jeremy-corbyn-policies-that-most-people-actually-agree-with-10407148.html

    I don’t think Corbyn will win, nor to be honest do I want him to, but he has at least achieved in spades his aim of changing the terms of debate.

  32. Given all the excitement about Jeremy Corbyn and having no idea about either him or his policies I thought I ought to look him up on Wikipedia. To my amazement I found that I agreed with many of what seemed to be his major aims, but I do agree that he doesn’t look very electable. Somebody, however, should be saying what he says, leastways they should if we want to inject a bit of enthusiasm into politics and not leave all the excitement north of the border,

  33. In response to
    Yep, even many Tory voters want the railways nationalised.

    As a tory voter I can tell you no tory voter likes nationalized business, it is just a way to perpetuate inefficiency

  34. @Charles
    “What makes one look electable?”

  35. Labour are in a mess. No one stands out. The Liberals will benefit as the parliament goes on….and it’s the Tories to lose in 2020.

  36. Crossbat11

    The Major Government was imploding before Blair became leader, and John Smith would probably have won comfortably in 1997, but Blair carried Labour into almost unprecedented landslide country, inflicting in both 1997 and 2001 the worst parliamentary drubbings ever experienced by the Tories. He invaded their heartlands and held them, even winning comfortably in 2005 when his public image was badly tarnished by Iraq.

    This is the usual narrative, but I’m not actually sure it’s true. If you look at the 1992-7 polls in Anthony’s sidebar:

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/historical-polls/voting-intention-1992-1997

    the Conservative rating flatlined in the period after Blair took over and then slowly rose – admittedly only from abysmal to dire, but they did go up.

    What increases Blair did achieve were at the expense of the Lib Dems whose vote actually went down a point in 1997, despite gaining 28 seats. But the poll gains from them were lost by polling day with Labour back to the 50% they were on when Blair took over. The ‘gains’ from the Lib Dems may have had more to do with the vote anti-Tory vote going to the more obvious opponent which would mean votes heading that way simply because Labour was the obvious challenger in most places.

    Then in the election Labour actually only got 43% not 50% and what doomed the Tories was the efficiency of how the anti-Con vote split – hence the Lib Dem gains on a falling vote. There wasn’t much of a fuss about the polls being wrong because there was still a landslide but they were even further out than in 2015. But it could be that the ‘permission’ Blair gave to vote Labour only went as far as what you told the pollsters.

    I suppose you could claim that Blair might have prevented votes leaking back to the Tories, but it could be that they were so discredited that that was never going to happen. Similarly the Conservatives did little to win voters back in 2001 and not much more in 2005. There were disillusioned voters but they went to the Lib Dems or didn’t vote, so it wasn’t Blair keeping them from drifting back to their ‘home’ on the right.

    It’s probably fair to say though that the effect of Iraq may also have been over-estimated.

  37. @ Crossbatt11 – you are talking sense as always. Pretty much no-one wants Corbyn to be leader amongs the PLP, not even Corbyn, but the Lab members seem to think you can have a free “leftie” hit and have someone singing the tunes you love, even if it means no-one votes for you. This is exactly the view Benn had – 1983 was a great victory because 29% of people voted for a true Socialist manifesto, leaving aside the fact that we were governed by Thatcher for the next 7 years.

    On Lab forums you see people saying they would actually prefer to be in opposition to having Liz Kendall as leader. Yes, would prefer Obsorne to be running the economy, Gove to be in charge of law and order, Hunt to be in charge of the NHS, over having someone on the right of the Labour party (with no doubt many more left-ward leaning cabinet members) as Prime Minister. DE Lusional! And basically sticking two fingers up at the people who are looking to them for strong opposition (which means opposition the Tories fear not laugh at).

  38. @Nigel (8.43)

    Suggest you look at the link in Phil Haynes post at 7.08. You will see that as many Tory voters are in favour of rail renationalisation as are against it.

  39. This is how many angels dancing on a pinhead.

    The question is not how many voters a Corbyn Labour Party could win back.

    The real point is how many current Labour voters would be lost.

    I suggest the latter is far higher – I’m one of them.

  40. @Jonathan

    Perhaps. But many of the Corbyn supporters are not left wing in the early 80s sense of the word. Nor I suspect is Corbyn.

    I remember much of the same doomsday comments directed at a Corbyn win being directed at a Ken Livingstone win in the London mayoral election in 2000. In office Ken did have one or two pet projects but much of his legacy has been maintained by Boris.

    Corbyn represents a change of direction. Everything else is up for discussion.

  41. London is a different kettle of Fish plus the mayoral election is all about personality.

  42. @LizH, looking electable

    Lego hair. Needs to look like it all could come off in one solid piece, but doesn’t. Also, quite possibly the most psephologically on topic post I’ve ever made:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-look-of-a-winner/

  43. @Nigel

    Check out the Banking Crunch of 2008 for an exemplar of private sector efficiency and how the state rescued banking and the economy.

  44. Nigel

    As a tory voter I can tell you no tory voter likes nationalized business, it is just a way to perpetuate inefficiency

    This is a polling site; your claim that ‘no tory voter likes nationalized business’ is contradicted by the polls when it comes to the railways.

  45. @jonathon

    “The question is not how many voters a Corbyn Labour Party could win back.
    The real point is how many current Labour voters would be lost.”

    ————–

    Taken that way, the real point is the net gain or loss. You don’t mind losing some if you gain rather more. But then, what often matters is the net gain or loss in marginals. And then, you may lose as many as you gain, but still be better off if the ones you lose go to fringe parties or don’t vote, while the ones you gain are at the expense of your main rivals.

    You may not gain any, but cause your rivals to lose some ‘cos putting them in a bad light, or parking tanks on their lawn, putting them in a bind. You might lose votes overall but that may be ok if your rivals lose more.

    It’s complicated. SNP “lost” the referendum but look what happened in the GE. Even more complicated if it gets strategic. Taking a shorter term hit for longer term gain, changing the landscape for the future…

  46. I dunno, a lot of peeps, Tories and others bought shares in nationalised stuff so they must have liked it a little bit. If you didn’t have nationalised things to privatise, you wouldn’t be able to get the cheap shares…

  47. @Allan

    “Whatever happens you can bet your boots Colin and The Other Howard will be rubbing their hands at all the kerfuffle within Labour and who can blame them? ;-)”

    ———–

    I’m not one drawn overmuch to kerfuffle-induced hand-rubbing and can’t really relate to it. (Unless maybe there’s something counter-intuitive or ironic involved perhaps?…)

  48. @Nigel
    ‘As a tory voter I can tell you no tory voter likes nationalized business, it is just a way to perpetuate inefficiency’

    I suggest that you are able to speak for yourself rather than all Tory voters.

  49. As a Corbyn supporter, I admit Corybyn can’t win, but frankly I doubt anyone can win against an incumbent government in non-disastrous economic circumstances. Nothing but the truly disastrous seems to find its way into the public psyche.

  50. So there is pressure on Liz Kendall to stand down, so JC can’t win.

    Do those wanting to block him realise how desperate they appear to be?

    You can’t have an open election, then frig it if you don’t like how it’s going.

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