Tomorrow’s Times has a new YouGov survey of the Labour party leadership election electorate (members, union affiliates and £3 supporters). The figures show Jeremy Corbyn’s lead increasing in the last three weeks – back then he had a seventeen point lead on the first round and just scraped over the line after the reallocation of second and third preferences. The new figures have him comfortably ahead – in the first round preferenes are Corbyn 53%, Burnham 21%, Cooper 18%, Kendall 8%. If the final round ends up Corbyn vs Burnham then Corbyn wins by 60% to 40%, if it ends up Corbyn vs Cooper then Corbyn wins by 62% to 38%. The full tabs are here and Peter Kellner’s commentary is here.

As far as the poll is concerned Jeremy Corbyn is currently solidly ahead (though of course, ballot papers haven’t yet gone out and there is a month to go – indeed, as I write it’s not too late to join Labour and have a vote in the election!). Polling party members is hard, there are not publically available targets to weight or sample too, and there has already been a huge influx of new members and new £3 sign-ups about whom we know little. YouGov’s data has the right sort of proportions of new and old members (thought the final proportions are obviously impossible to know yet), but it’s impossible to know if the sample is right in terms of things like social class. However, looking at the tables Jeremy Corbyn is ahead in every age group and amongst members from every region, amongst working class and middle class members, and amongst members, trade union affiliates and £3 sign-ups.

Corbyn’s least strong group is people who were party members back before 2010 among whom either Cooper or Burnham would beat Corbyn on second and third preferences. People who joined the Labour party between 2010 and 2015 are more pro-Corbyn, meaning amongst all pre-2015 party members the race would be very close. People who have signed up since 2015 are extremely pro-Corbyn, pushing him into the lead.

208 Responses to “Second YouGov poll has Corbyn ahead”

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  1. “Firstly crushing is an overly dramatic and not at all applicable word.”

    Labour got a lower share of the vote than the Tories in 1997, and that was perceived as a fairly crushing defeat for Labour. It would have been a landslide had the anti-Labour vote been more unified. (Or more accurately the anti-Miliband vote. And there’s not a symmetry for the Tories: Cameron was seen as the better PM even by most non-Tories.)

  2. In fact, apart from 1983 and 2010, the Labour vote share hasn’t been that low in the post-war period. Only the fact that the Tories aren’t that popular either saved Labour from the kind of humiliations they had against Thatcher in the 1980s.

  3. In an earlier post tonight I said Corbyn had presumably never wanted to be a front-bencher before. I stand corrected. He stood in the shadow cabinet elections of 1994 and 1996, coming 49th out of 52 and 26th out of 26.

  4. Rivers10,

    The main difference regarding partisanship, as far as I can tell, is that it used to be very easy to tell that most posters on here were Labour supporters and that a few posters were Tories/others, whereas now it’s very easy to tell that close to half are Labour supports, close to half are Tories, and most of the rest are others.

    Some remain inscrutable e.g. I’ve never been able to work out OldNat’s political opinions on anything, let alone what party (if any) he might support.

  5. @Bill patrick
    IMO, and I’m amazed if any others can’t see it, since the election the site has seen an enourmous number of partisan comments.

    I’ve seen over the past ~7 years the commenters become more subtly partisan, there’s a lot of ‘shaping the narrative’ and bad faith ‘discussions’, reckon as the site’s become more read & cited it’s warranted the attention of the main parties spinners, (and it did indeed get more laboury as we moved towards the election they expected to win, it always gets a little worse as election looms) but its’ mostly subtle and trying to appear genuine opiniony and persuasive…..but lately, the place has turned into a standard politics forum.

    I dunno if mebe AW is going easy on the moderation as a break after the long hard build up the election, or whether we’ve just happened across a few individual individuals, or perhaps Corbyn has sparked ‘genuine policy debate’ for the first time in yonks, but something’s certainly worse than normal.

  6. @Syzygy

    “Why do you think most peeps would wind up worse off…?”


    Dunno what’s gonna happen, I was just putting a worst case scenario from the left’s point of view.

    Well, I suppose it could be even worse…

    It’s one thing to look back at past data and see patterns in oil prices and inflation and stuff, and how countries more dependent on foreign oil were more affected, another to try and predict what’s going to happen, with all the unknowns and vagueness as to which factors will dominate. It can quite bake a Carfrew’s noodle. So sometimes I just look for things that might possibly have some salience which may have been given insufficient attention…

    My point really, is that the advocates of investment etc. do not seem to see preserving what they enact as a pressing issue. While the right have taken the “clawback” thing you mention really quite seriously and are actually implementing mechanisms to try and prevent their efforts being undone, e.g. putting obstacles to renationalisation in these trade arrangements and stuff.

    I wasn’t actually saying it absolutely has to be such a seesaw, if the Keynesians and MMT peeps actually find ways to keep things from being undone again. My point is that it barely seems to register on their radar.

    Which, seems pretty crazy from where I’m sitting. I mean, what is the point in investing in summat like NHS Direct for a few years only to see it canned again? Tell me that isn’t at least just a little bit nuts. Or if not that, numerous other things…

    I mean, one thing they might consider for a start is investing in stuff more at arms length from government, setting up independent trusts and stuff…


    “The Tories would need to lose at least 15 by elections which is unlikely nowadays in the extreme. There is some possibility that Cameron could eventually lose his majority but he will have sufficient support from the Unionists to carry on as a minority Government.”

    I agree it is a bit of a stretch, but if a dozen Tory MPs and the Ulster Unionists were al in a plane together and …

    There is plenty of scope for by-electioneering and defections over Europe. And some leftwing Tories might be looking at the much reduced Lib Dem talent pool and be speculating about hether they might like to be a big fish in a small party, rather than small fry in the stagnant Tory lake, Especially as their defection would boost the potential importance of the Lib Dems in about 2018 or 19, as attrition takes its toll.

    Still, I’m not sure I’d wish a re-run of the Major years on the country. I wish all Tory MPS good health and long life. Though maybe a career change in June 2020?

  8. Quote ” If the final round ends up…”

    If the lead candidate has over 50% of the vote then he wins on the first count under AV. There is absolutely no point in counting further he has already crossed the finish line.

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