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. some Corbyn supporters are very sceptical about this poll & the previous ones. It is certainly a difficult electorate to poll accurately, but there is no doubt that his campaign is generating genuine enthusiasm, and that he has fought a very good campaign so far. Not all new members are voting for him by any means, but clearly many are. And some of us old lags too.

  2. If he does win I hope it’s by a wide margin, because otherwise the sore losers are going to a nightmare for the party.

  3. Eagerly awaiting Friday when I receive my ballot and get to vote for Jezza <3

    Am so glad that Liz Kendall who could actually win a majority for Labour nationally looks set to finish last behind the status quo and the radical left :)

  4. The link to Peter Kellner’s commentary is not going to the right place.

  5. Maninthemiddle
    Can I ask why you are not internationally sought after by politicians who would be desperate for your superb advice that can predict the outcome of an election 5 years out based on nothing more than the choice of candidate from just one of the parties?

  6. Quite dishonourable of MITM really. I’d probably quite easily be able to join up and vote in the Tory leadership election in 2020, but I’m not going to because it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

    I’m going to stay in the party whatever happens in September. But lately I feel like I’m trying to hold back a tide. For good or ill, this is happening, and I’m going to have to brace for it when it comes.

  7. My gut feeling is that this poll is likely to suffer particularly from the problems of the sampled population being too engaged and too tech savvy, with little accurate weighting to try to mitigate that.

  8. By the way, Anthony, I find your historical poll graphs (with event labels) extremely helpful, would you be able to complete ones for 1983-87 and 2010-15?

  9. @Spearmint
    If he does win I hope it’s by a wide margin, because otherwise the sore losers are going to a nightmare for the party.”

    In AV, it’s pretty rare for anyone to win by a wide margin, do I doubt it.

  10. Good evening all from Benington just a few miles from Stevenage. Quick family visit then off to Reigate tomorrow..work related. ):

    “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!)
    ______

    For 3 quid I might join just for a laugh.

    Anyway looking good for Corbyne and rail nationalization.

    Castro, Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping and Arthur Scargill will be jumping with joy at tonight’s poll.

  11. @AC
    For 3 quid I might join just for a laugh.

    I’m sure a number of people already have and for similar reasons. However, based on the sheer numbers of likely voters such sabareurs are unlikely to affect the result.

  12. SPEARMINT
    If he does win I hope it’s by a wide margin, because otherwise the sore losers are going to a nightmare for the party
    _______

    Even if JC wins by a wide margin the Labour party will still be spit from head to buttocks. He’s popular with the masses (Labour masses) and Tory backbenches but very unpopular within the hierarchy and as we have seen before Labour don’t hold back when it comes to infighting and back stabbing.

    Just ask the former SLAB leader when she called them “monsters”……..or was it Dinosaurs?

  13. think it was a huge mistake for Labour to have the leadership contests in Scotland and UK immediately after their defeat.

    I also think it is a big mistake not having the years membership qualification for voting, it means that people without a long term commitment to Labour can vote.

    The candidates are also lacking in charisma – if the contest was Chukka Umanna v Dan Jarvis v David Miliband v Corbyn I doubt Corbyn would be in the position he is in.

    The Labour members and supporters are still coming to terms with the shock of defeat, which was predicted by practically no-one (apart from TOH). In Scotland going from the high of referendum success to crushing defeat, will have left them in disbelief.

    If you take the stages of grief where are Labour? Denial? Anger?

    Jeremy Corbyn is an illogical choice:

    1. He has the true backing of low 20s of MPs in the PLP
    2. His cupboard is chock full of skeletons the Tory press can use at anytime
    3. The English will not vote for Corbyn policies – this has been true since Thatcher. They just will not and anyone thinking they will is fooling themselves. Policies such as: High public spending , unilateral disarmament, large nationalisation programs , opening coal mines (??), increasing corporation tax (!)
    4. Real risk of splitting the party & definitely years of civil war.

    Labour people are angry that the Tories are back in power, they are expressing that anger in a self-destructive way.

    Does a Corbyn victory help or hinder Scottish independence? Initially I was worried in case he wins left wing voters back to Labour from the SNP but….

    The SNP MP\MSPs are all very pro-Corbyn
    The Scottish Labour MP and MSPs are very anti-Corbyn

    So I assume they calculate that the left-wing are already Yes to independence and it is the centre/centre-right voter to be persuaded. So the perception that Labour have moved to the left will leave the centre to the SNP which they must see as a positive

  14. RAF
    @AC
    For 3 quid I might join just for a laugh.
    I’m sure a number of people already have and for similar reasons. However, based on the sheer numbers of likely voters such sabareurs are unlikely to affect the result
    _______

    Hmm…. don’t know if I share your optimism!! It’s in the second round of voting where we may see the saboteurs skew the results.

  15. @Rivers10

    In regard to your comment I know you meant it as a mockery but actually you are quite right, I am excellent at predicting election results.

    I have predicted the broad outcome of every election I’ve been aware of. Just to clarify in terms of a General election I can’t predict every seat or exact numbers, but even so called surprising results like the Con 2015 win and Netanyahu’s win.

    I said on here in 2010 when Ed Milliband won, the Conservatives would be happy as its not often they win the election 5 years in advance, and we suffered 5 years of pollsters thinking Labour would win, or get a hung parliament, but no the result was as expected.

    As for voting in another party’s leadership such as the Tories or the lib dems, neither party would be stupid enough to put up a candidate they don’t want to win and who would destroy their party.

  16. @Couper2802

    Funny how those with “a long-term commitment to the party” are mutinous at the first sign a leftist will be their leader (much like the last time it happened) and warning of desertions and splits.

    I suppose we should also ignore the polls showing Corbyn’s very popular within Labour’s pre-2015 voters?

    …and of course, a leftist being elected risks splitting the party, because how very dare they, don’t they know it’s the Progress, and their milquetoast allies, God-given fiefdom?

  17. couper2802

    you are forgetting me, i was predicting the result for years in advance, you all called me right wing for it, but there it was.

    I am just stunned how Labour could let this happen. First they nominate someone they don’t want to lead them, then they change the rules so everyone can vote for him.

    They try their usual bluster and bluff such as “we have robust technologies in place to root out these people” but then it turns out actually they are in panic and shipping lists off to MPs asking do you recognise any of these names, so much for robust system/technology!

    As for your comment about where they are in the grief process, it’s still very much in denial. The far left has been in denial since 1979.

    People used to love posting on this site “Conservatives havent won a majority in 23 years” you don’t hear much from them anymore.

    Here’s another for you, Old Labour hasn’t won a majority for 41 years and counting!!!

  18. @Craig

    That’s not exactly true according to the poll, pre-2010 voters would not vote for Corbyn as leader and it’s much tighter amongst pre-2015. It is the post-election sign-ups giving him his large lead.

  19. Copuer2802 and by some estimates there is 140,000 of us, compared to 250,000 members Pre May 2015, yes not all of that 140k are for Corbyn, but a vast majority are.

    The 2020 General election is effectively taking place now. With a booming economy and increasing standards of living as well as being 100 seats behind it was always going to be an uphill struggle for Labour but now they have effectively handed out axes for the electorate to cut them off at the knees.

  20. Yes that’s right MiM you did predict the Tories would win.

    Why did MPs that did not want Corbyn to win sign his nomination papers? It was so obvious that if Corbyn got on the ballot he could win with the OMOV actually its not OMOV its ACV (Anyone can vote), social media and trade unions.

    Do you know if you text Labour to a shortcode that’s you signed up to vote??? Madness.

    But these decisions were made in the midst of shock at losing the election. The senior leadership must be in despair as things are going from bad to worse for them.

  21. ‘People used to love posting on this site “Conservatives havent won a majority in 23 years” you don’t hear much from them anymore.’
    ‘Here’s another for you, Old Labour hasn’t won a majority for 41 years and counting!!!’

    And here’s one on behalf of ‘small’ parties: neither the Conservatives nor Labour have won a simple majority of votes cast in a General Election since 1931.

  22. @Wes but as you know thats not the rules of the game!

  23. Hannah

    My gut feeling is that this poll is likely to suffer particularly from the problems of the sampled population being too engaged and too tech savvy, with little accurate weighting to try to mitigate that.

    In a normal poll I’d say you had a point (and it’s one that might have some relevance to recent polling failures). But the whole point is that these are Labour Party members so by definition they’re politically engaged. And as for being tech-savvy most of the new members have joined online and many will vote that was as well.

    Peter Kellner’s commentary is here:

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/08/10/comment-corbyn-extends-lead/

    (rather than the duplicate link to the tables in Anthony’s piece)

    and as with that on the previous poll, explains the various weightings they have used to try to match their results to how the ‘selectorate’ will be made up. It’s not an exact task because no one knows yet and the rolls aren’t closed till Wednesday lunchtime but where there are discrepancies they are more likely to help Corbyn than not. For example there are not enough C2DEs to match the general population and Corbyn does better with that group.

  24. @Couper2802

    The poll says he’d still win amongst the pre-2015 Labour members, hence the very popular comment. The large lead from the new joiners is just topping up the existing popularity.

    Those MPs probably believed to deny half of the party a candidate would be a poor excuse for a democratic leadership election, but I’ve no doubt if Corbyn wasn’t on the ballot no-one currently whining about the £3 offer would care in the least, some of whom having promoted primaries in the past.

  25. One other thing that means that Corbyn’s support might be underestimated, which is the balance between the various sections of the selectorate. looking at the YouGov tables these have been weighted to:

    Full members 69% (Corbyn 56% final round[1])

    TU affiliates 18% (Corbyn 72%)

    £3 voters 13% (Corbyn 64%)

    If full membership is now about 270k as this article suggests:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/labour-party-membership-soaring-fastest-6207338

    then that would imply TU affiliates of 70K[2] and £3 members of 50k. The same article gave only 35k for each, but it seems that there was a big backlog of applications to be processed. In particular there were 50k TU applications from UNITE alone.

    It’s worth saying though that, although it has been the £3 registrations that have been attracting all the publicity, the affiliated members are probably more important. Unlike last time this will be entirely union members (nearly all the society members will be CLP members as well and there aren’t that many to start with). In 2010, 238,618 votes were cast by union members (though 35,239 of those were spoilt, mainly voters who forgot to sign and include the declaration); compared with 126,874 CLP voters. Even though a lot of the latter will have also used an affiliate vote, that suggests at least 100,000 union only voters.

    Now this time union levy payers will actually have to apply for a vote through their unions rather than automatically being sent one, but even so interest will be high. Given that union affiliate turnout was only 8.7% in 2010, the sort of voter interested enough then probably will be now, especially with unions pushing for participation. So the 35,000 in the article indicates that there’s a lot still be added to the list.

    So it’s very possible that both groups are underestimated, especially the TU one. As both are more Corbyn inclined, this in turn means that this poll may be underestimating him.

    [1] If against Burnham. Against Cooper he would get a few percentage points more in all sections.

    [2] This is the figure the Mirror says are “aside from paid-up members”, but of course the TU members will have been paying via their political levy, maybe for decades.

  26. @Couper

    I’m not sure it would have helped if Miliband had gone on. He didn’t come out of the election as an honourable loser who had at least made up seats and so would have faced lots of backstabbing. He had nothing more to offer. In Scotland I do think Jim Murphy’s exit was premature but I guess he felt he’d seen enough to believe that Holyrood 2016 was a lost cause.

    I think that Dan Jarvis would probably have won had he gone forward. He could have mobilised support from beyond Labour and doesn’t carry the baggage that Burnham and Cooper do. It would certainly have been much closer. I don’t rate Umunna or David Miliband particularly, though either would probably have done a bit better than Kendall (who probably wouldn’t have made the ballot if one of the above ran).

    Corbyn’s coalition is a formidable one. The ageing long-time members who were once young supporters of Foot and Benn and younger people who probably don’t even know who Foot and Benn are. I think this latter fact is important. You now have, if we generously suggest people are interested in politics from 15, to be 47 to properly remember 1983. So for many without knowledge of political history a left-wing leader is an untried experiment.

    I think we are also seeing, on the left for the moment but perhaps on the right too in time, value politics and political game of election-winning coming into conflict. That the number of people voting Green is increasing is a sign of the growth of the former (UKIP may be too though it is a more complex phenomenon as many of their voters were deluded enough to think they could win). For many young people finding a voice for views that they hold (with few costs) is much more important than the elite game that is the next general election. How more sensible aspects of the Labour Party respond to this is an interesting challenge, whatever the result.

  27. And lo , there was great renting of garments , and wailing of women, and fear stalked the land .

  28. What I find funny is the new Labour rules if I recall correctly were to create a sort of American Primary – those complaining now should have complained then – the election is going as designed, can’t say its being hijacked.

    Anyway the other candidates need to offer something to the left of the party – their failure to do this is why their failing. Labour don’t need to change the rules, just study how American poloticians win primaries – by pitching the wide tent the right of the party are supposedly calling for.

    Vilifying Cobyrn will not only make this harder on the party and seems to be giving him more support not less. The right and centrist Labour poloticians look amateurish;

  29. He is keen on RT.

    UK -Russia relations have a bright future ahead. The People’s Vodka stocked in every branch of the UK State Supermarket?

  30. Wes

    Intrigued by your simple majority comment – does anyone know who has come closest to getting one? Since 1931?

    Thanks

  31. @ Anthony,

    Are the Deputy Leadership tabs up anywhere? I know the poll included that question because the Times is reporting the result, but it’s not recorded in the table you linked.

  32. The likelihood of Corbyn being leader in 2020 is minimal. He won’t intend on sticking around. His likely plan is to make the way easier for a successor, who will provide a real challenge to the Conservatives.

    WITM should should not brag about signing false declarations (” I support the aims and values of the Labour Party, and I am not a supporter of any organisation opposed to it.”)

    Doesn’t make you sound very honourable, nor likeable.

  33. Woohoo. At last a real alternative to Tory policies.

  34. RM

    “I don’t rate Umunna or David Miliband particularly, though either would probably have done a bit better than Kendall (who probably wouldn’t have made the ballot if one of the above ran).”
    ____________________________________________________________

    I suspect Kendall has been thrown under the bus by those not willing to take up the poisoned chalice at this stage in the game, if I may mix my metaphors atrociously.

  35. @ Man in the Middle,

    Liz Kendall who could actually win a majority for Labour nationally

    I take it you’ve not seen her campaign video.

    @ Couper,

    But these decisions were made in the midst of shock at losing the election

    No they weren’t. They were made in 2014 after the Blairites pitched a fit about the Falkirk selection and demanded reforms (and after four years of them whinging that Ed Miliband “stole” the previous leadership election because it wasn’t OMOV).

    The right wing of the party wanted a system that would allow people who weren’t committed Labour activists to have input into the leadership election. They got one. They have only themselves to blame if they don’t like the result.

  36. Brave – and right – of YouGov to publish this poll, and make a stand to restore the credibility of opinion polls.

    Do I understand the AV system correctly (as described by the Electoral Reform Society) that if Corbyn gets over 50% on the first ballot this would be a win, and subsequent ballots and reallocation of second etc preferences would not take place?

  37. @ Lurgee,

    Ironically, by wimping out of this leadership election because he didn’t want to contest 2020, Chuka Umunna has created a party membership that will never elect him to contest 2025.

    Who dares, wins. Who doesn’t dare gets to spend the next decade whining from the backbenches.

  38. LIZH

    @”Woohoo. At last a real alternative to Tory policies.”

    Yep-the future is Caracas* Liz:-

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-09/venezuela-s-largest-bill-buys-17-u-s-cents-after-30-plunge

    * With thanks to The Economist :-)

  39. @ Alister 1948,

    Yep.

  40. @Spearmint

    I am pretty sure the ‘sign up today for 3 quid and vote tomorrow’ wasn’t decided in 2014 but just in May. When I joined after John Smith’s death I wasn’t able to vote in the Blair contest because I hadn’t been a member for a year.

    It took Kinnock, Smith then Blair probably 10 years to undo the damage of the early 80s and the Foot leadership. So electing Corbyn is not a step into the unknown it is entirely predictable and it’s a long long way back for Labour.

  41. @Colin
    “Yep-the future is Caracas* Liz:”

    According to you and others with Corbyn as leader, Labour will never get into power. So the future will be as you want it forever. So why the fear?

  42. Thanks to Roger M for the helpful analysis, and to Jack S for his usual astute comments.

    My take on this is that Corbyn may have peaked early, but not so early as to lose. I can see a lot of people filling in their forms as soon as they become available, and encouraging others to do so. He could be all but home and dry in a week or two.

    It is going to get very interesting indeed. As for 2020, I don’t see him leading the party at that point.

  43. @ Couper 2802,

    It’s part of the Collins Review, which was approved at a special conference in March 2014. Hilariously, Dennis Skinner was the only NEC member to vote against it.

    Here’s Tony Blair being delighted by the reforms: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-backs-ed-milibands-internal-labour-reforms-9161291.html

    (In retrospect, we probably should have taken that as a warning sign.)

    I agree electing Corbyn Labour leader is a terrible idea, but democracy means giving people the right to make terrible political decisions. If you don’t believe in that, you’re not a democrat, and if the labour movement is not a democratic movement then it is nothing.

  44. @ Liz H,

    Honestly, I don’t think the Tories are afraid at this point. This is not the laughter of suppressed fear, this is the laughter of… laughter.

    If it starts looking like Corbyn might win a general election we will be seeing raw terror, but right now they’re about as frightened of him as Labour were of William Hague in the late 90s.

  45. @Spearmint

    OMOV I agree with, it is allowing anyone to vote I find dubious reinstate the ‘member for a year rule’. Plus Corbyn wouldn’t be on ballot if PLP MPs hadn’t been subverting the system. The point of the nomination % was to avoid the situation where the candidate has little PLP support…..’ to late now’

    @Millie

    The problem is so much damage will be done during his leadership it will take a decade to undo

  46. @Spearmint

    Exactly sometimes they are just laughing.

  47. Millie

    Assuming that this is all a cunning plan and Corbyn isn’t intending to be leader in 2020 what exactly happens next?

    After this pronounced lurch to the left it’s a bit dfficult to see a centrist candidate coming along as the natural heir to Corbyn. Which suggests that it is 1983 all over again and it will take another resounding defeat to convince the curent generation of Labour activists that the way to win is to not to veer to the left.

  48. @COUPER2802

    I can’t help feeling all your concern about this Labour leadership election is to do with loss of SNP votes.

  49. The top reasons Labour lost the election according to TUC poll:
    “The top three reasons people gave for not voting Labour were fears that the party could not be trusted with the economy and would spend too much, be too generous with the benefit system, and be forced to make too many concessions to the SNP.”

    http://labourlist.org/2015/05/untrusted-on-economy-and-competence-tuc-polling-sheds-light-on-why-labour-lost-the-election/

    A Corbyn win reinforces these reasons it doesn’t address them

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