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. One interesting 2020 scenario comes to mind.

    If a second hung Parliament came around, the minority parties could gang together to introduce PR and then call another election, even if the Tories were the largest party.

  2. Roger Mexico

    “Indeed. That would be almost as unthinkable as Unionists forming a government with political Parties that had the same aim of a united Ireland.”

    Naughty.

    Different administrations and political contexts. Not least the fact that the GFA *requires* there be a coalition government to avoid direct rule…(oops)!

    I cannot see any warmth emanating from the unionists to JC. Why should there be? Just look at his record on (Northern) Ireland.

  3. ” I suggest there is a good chance of another recession before 2020 and that Osborne may reap a bitter harvest as a result – with people feeling that the austerity and suffering had been for nothing”

    Come back Mr Micawber: all is forgiven!

  4. Sue

    @”The over-riding global danger is climate change”

    Well that may or may not be true-and my jury is still out on which bit of it we can actually do anything about. Global climate is a most complex system with many inputs-not all of them under the control of human beings.

    In any event this is a diversion from my response to your asertion that Corbyn is advocating “Keynsian stimulus”. He isn’t -for the reasons given. I am not attracted to the current Venezuelan model & I doubt it will receive mass approval in UK>

    By the way “employment” isn’t doing too badly-you may have noticed.

    Corbyn’s/ Murphy’s economic programme will eventually come under close scrutiny if this OP proves correct-I look forward to that.

  5. @Hawthorn – “The Corbyn surge is further evidence of political fragmentation within the UK.”

    Actually it’s the opposite.

    If you want to see real fragmentation, look to the Continent. In Germany the SPD shrivelling and Die Linke growing. In Greece Pasok shrivelling and Syriza growing. In Spain the PSD shrivelling and Podemos growing. On on the right, lots of equivalents too Front Nationale in France, AfD in Germany, all those right-wing parties popping up in Scandinavia that are cannibalising the main centre-right.

    But in Britain it doesn’t look like that’s happening at all. The Conservatives saw off UKIP at the last election. No one is talking about defecting to them any more. And Labour doesn’t look like it’s dying at all – it looks like it’s swelling rapidly in order to engorge on all the small left wing parties and absorb them like some giant boa constrictor.

    The best analogy to what is going on with Lab is the US Republicans. The Tea Party emerged on their right and the Republicans moved swiftly to co-opt and absorb them. Sure this moved the Republicans as a whole to the right – but it completely neutralised the anti-corporatist part of the Tea Party. Meanwhile the moderate Republicans have hung on and are valiantly fighting their corner. At some point they’ll win and the whole GOP will slowly shift back to the centre, with nothing on their right flank at all.

    Something similar will happen with Labour. They’ll move temporarily to the left as they absorb all these new people. But as long their right-wing hangs on and fights it’s corner, they should drift slowly back to the centre again. Lots of these new people will have lived in hermetically sealed extreme left-wing bubbles – it will be a shock to them to share a space with the moderate and right-wing Labourites and it will change them. People always change when they’re forced to argue and explain their positions. It’s when they’re in a bubble or echo-chamber that they stay the same.

  6. Rob Sheffield

    A major crisis that affects the middle class (more than a normal recession) is what precipitated the fall of the last four governments (Great Recession, Black Wednesday, Winter of Discontent/Oil Shock, 3 Day Week/Oil Shock).

    It is not Micawberism, it is just a case of looking at what causes the British to take a risk in changing a government. Of course a crisis does not necessarily result in a change of government if the opposition is a shambles.

  7. Candy

    ” In Greece Pasok shrivelling and Syriza growing”

    Hmm- but reality bites (just this morning)

    http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/greece-creditors-reach-deal-on-budget-targets-government-source-1205971

    They’ve committed to a budget surplus as early as 2016- I’d like to know JC opinion on that!

    Lets see where Syriza, Podemos, Left party (and their ilk) all are in a few years time: despite living in the luxury of PR systems (which Labour in UK GE do not)…

  8. Rivers10
    If the press had been a bit more tempered with Milliband they could have saved some stuff for Corbyn, a “you aint seen nothing yet” type attack drive. As it is though they’ll basically just be saying that Corbyn is the worst potential PM in the history of the universe…..just like Milliband…..and arguably Brown. I cant see it being any worse

    Are you very young or do you remember Michael Foot?

  9. @Colin & Syzygy

    “I cannot see any approval in Keynes here , of Murphy’s mad “Peoples QE”.”

    An alternative view on this:

    http://mainlymacro.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/we-want-helicopters-and-we-want-them.html

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2015/may/21/now-the-bank-of-england-needs-to-deliver-qe-for-the-people

    (Wren-Lewis is not writing to endorse the Corbyn/Murphy plan, and whether he approves or not I don’t know)

  10. Candy

    You forgot the SNP.

    For most of the small parties it is FPTP which prevented support translating into a sizeable contingent of MPs. That does not alter the underlying political dynamic.

    With FPTP, there is a tipping point where it the status quo cracks (e.g. SNP in Scotland).

    I could easily see the UKIP picking up a decent number of MPs in the South East if the economy does badly between now and 2020.

  11. I’m interested in the idea that has been mooted by some contributors that corbyn would be open to standing down in 2018 if this were the case we might find ourselves with a leadership contest containing a somewhat more inspiring line-up of contenders Dan Jarvis ,Chucka Umunna ,Keir Starmer , Stella Creasy ,Hillary Benn , with Lisa Nandy or maybe Rushwara Ali looks a pretty good line-up to me!

  12. Hawthorn

    To remind you (?): Micawberism is about waiting for / hoping for something to turn up.

    There is no evidence at all of the catastrophic middle england crisis you are hoping for/ waiting for.

    As for the public turning resolutely against austerity well there is no evidence of such a plurality- either at the last election, now or in the foreseeable future.

    You don’t like the phrase ‘Micawberism’?

    OK- I will give you another one.

    ‘Wishful thinking’

    – that the ‘public’ will ‘turn left’

    = the basic tenet of the hard left forever more/ JC currently.

  13. Rob Sheffield

    The Greek crisis still has a long way to go.

    Syriza on the last poll I saw were on 42%, around 20 pc ahead of New Democracy. If the objective is for the left to win at any cost (which seems to be the Blairite position), they are doing extremely well.

  14. Bob SHEFFIELD
    ” I suggest there is a good chance of another recession before 2020 and that Osborne may reap a bitter harvest as a result – with people feeling that the austerity and suffering had been for nothing”

    And on what possible information do you base this on except wishful thinking

  15. Rob Sheffield

    I am pointing out that in the absence of something turning up, then Labour have no chance, ever, no matter what they do nor how proactive they are.

    Something always turns up.

    I am not a Corbyn supporter by the way and I fear that a Labour could squander an opportunity.

  16. Nigel
    Foot was well before my time but I’m fully aware of that whole situation (I’m doing a modern history and politics degree) Foot certainly got slaughtered by the press but so did Milliband, not a day went by in the last couple of years when the Tory press didn’t come out with a “Labour insider” story admitting that Milliband couldn’t count, or a bacon sandwich photo-shoot, or an attack on his relatives, or another spin on the geek angle.

    Any comparison also has to be made with the relative power of the press being compared. The press were a lot wealthier and more powerful in 1983 than they will be in 2020.

  17. Mark Sadler

    “I’m interested in the idea that has been mooted by some contributors that corbyn would be open to standing down in 2018”

    FWIW

    I agree with a previous poster likening JC to a banana republic d*ctator i.e. he wont stand down voluntarily once hes crowned.

    So it will have to be a coup 2018 or allowing the 2020 “longest suicide note in history part deaux” to play itself out to its inexorable conclusion.

    I think the soft left, centre right and right of the PLP are not settled on this question yet.

    I think it depends on just how badly Labour perform between now and the summer of 2018**. If it looks like Labour are on target for an existential annihilation I think the situation will be forced then (by a PLP many of whom are staring certain defeat in the eyes: what is there to lose).

    But if it looks like it is just going to be another 25-30% vote share defeat (a la 1983; 2015) I think they will wait – and thoroughly incriminate both him and his faction in the latest (serious) defeat- that condemns ‘the masses’ to yet more Tory majority rule.

    Incredibly difficult tactical decisions for the majority of the PLP await in these coming 2-3 years…..

    ——————
    ** on the other hand if hes overcoming all before him: leads a victorious “leave the bosses club” No to EU campaign; takes back Scotland on an agenda to the left of the SNP; wins London Mayor, and rides to victory in town halls up and down the country including the south west and south east. Well then (obviously) hes safe!

  18. @Popeye

    Just got back from work, hence my belated response.

    Thank you for your excellent work – I had not appreciated that the optimum age of economic performance could change so rapidly. Guess what? – I was 27 in 1975, so I have been fortunate indeed to have peaked at the right time…

    But the other interesting thing that I recall was the suggestion that economies perform best when the number of 47 year olds is highest. I remember that the stalling of the Japanese economy was so explained. Their population profile showed a sudden deterioration in the number of 47s.

    I think the article was in the Sunday Times, but it was ten years ago, when I was… 47.

  19. @Rob Sheffield

    The point is that Pasok had to die before Syriza grew.

    Labour doesn’t look like it’s dying at all. Instead it looks like it might kill all the small parties on it’s left. Just like the Republicans saw off the Tea Party as a separate force.

    True the process of absorbing the tea party has seen the Republicans out of the White House for eight years, but they still do well in Congress…

  20. Rivers10. Ed Miliband did not go about wearing a white vest. Unfortunately The Monk is right.. What happened about Michael Foot’s (apparently actually very up-market) duffle coat is nothing on what the hostile press will do to poor Jeremy Corbyn.

  21. @Hawthorn

    The SNP have peaked. Their re-election in 2016 will come on the date when Scotland would have been independent had they won the referendum.

    I’m sure their opposition (Tory and Labour) will be playing “Arn’t you glad that silly Nicola was thwarted?” and “If Nicola was wrong about independence, what else has she been wrong about”.

    As for UKIP, they peaked in the 2014 euros. By the 2015 general election they were deflating and that process will continue.

  22. @ Roger Mexico,

    That would be almost as unthinkable as Unionists forming a government with political Parties that had the same aim of a united Ireland.

    They didn’t do that voluntarily, they are not very good at it, they complain about it incessantly, and it appears to be collapsing.

    Since the primary purpose of the Northern Irish parties in the Westminster Parliament is rent-seeking I actually think Corbyn will not be a barrier to them voting against the Government. If they vote for benefit cuts, etc it will be used against them in elections back home, and “The Labour leader invited Gerry Adams to Parliament in the 1980s so we voted with Cameron” is not an argument that save the DUP from the UUP. But that’s not because of power-sharing.

  23. Frederic Stansfield
    Oh I have no doubt the press will go after Corbyn, they will accuse him of every crime under the sun and call for things that Corbyn does that are at present legal to be made into crimes so that the legal system recognizes how evil he is. They will also call for all people who associate with Corbyn to be arrested for conversing with the most dangerous man on earth, there will also be a small caveat at the end of each piece were they inform the reader than the journalist writing this story had to be put down after writing it because just researching Corbyn caused such huge stress on their bodies, along with a health warning that after reading the article they should take it easy for a few days since reading about Corbyn is known to cause several life threatening health conditions. It won’t be long before they get inspired by Harry Potter and start referring to him as “He who shall not be named”

    Joking aside my main point is that they did all this to Milliband, of course the press will pull out all the stops to make Corbyn seem bad but there are only so many cries of “EVIL” that the public can take before they shout back “YES WE GET IT”

  24. Nigel
    Well obviously I didn’t live through it but I dispute the notion that Milliband got it easy compared to Foot. One of my modules (Aspects of Media and Politics) was all about what effects the media has on British politics and I remember a study being quoted that stated there were more negative articles written about Milliband in his first year as leader of the opposition than there was about Foot in his entire term. The caveat is that we obviously live in a more media saturated environment but regardless that’s pretty startling.

    It also attributed peoples memories of the “Foot bashing” to how radical it was at the time. Foot’s treatment was by far the worst treatment of any potential PM up until that point. After him though we had Kinnock (bashed) Major (bashed) Blair (n his later years bashed) Brown (heavily bashed) Cameron (in his early years lightly bashed) and now Milliband (slaughtered) Its the new norm, people remember Foot getting attacked mercilessly because it was new.

  25. @ Jim Jam,

    Corbyn has said he wants annual or biennial votes of confidence for the leader at Conference, so they wouldn’t even need to stage a challenge. I think the people who think he’d cling on to power are wrong. Opposition Leader is a difficult and unpleasant job, it will be an incredibly difficult and unpleasant job for him in particular, and there’s no evidence he even wants it now, much less once he’s suffered through it for a year or two.

    The right’s problem though is that there is no point holding a leadership election they’ll simply lose again, and there is no evidence they know how to win one.

    @ Syzygy,

    I agree about the economics, at least the “When interest rates are incredibly low the government should borrow for investment” bit. I just don’t see how we get Corbyn in power to implement it, and I prefer Chris Leslie’s economic delusions to George Osborne’s.

    We’ll see. At least no one is complaining the Labour leadership contest is boring anymore! And for an opposition party there is a certain value in getting media coverage even if it’s negative.

  26. rivers10
    One of my modules (Aspects of Media and Politics) was all about what effects the media has on British politics and I remember a study being quoted that stated there were more negative articles written about Milliband in his first year as leader of the opposition than there was about Foot in his entire term. The caveat is that we obviously live in a more media saturated environment but regardless that’s pretty startling.

    Caveat is quite right, the comparison cannot be made unless you exclude a vast amount of the modern media and so it is invalid. It is like comparing the movement of people before and after the invention of modern transport ,but not taking it into account in any conclusions

  27. Rivers10

    “Well obviously I didn’t live through it but I dispute the notion that Milliband got it easy compared to Foot. One of my modules (Aspects of Media and Politics) was all about what effects the media has on British politics and I remember a study being quoted that stated there were more negative articles written about Milliband in his first year as leader of the opposition than there was about Foot in his entire term”

    Hhmm- you obvious have not studied enough about historical context.

    Just think of this: the number of media ‘outlets’/ ‘platforms’/ ‘forums’ has exploded in the last 10 years. In 1980- 1983 it was just the newspapers and ITV (BBC required to be unbiased)- we did not even have cable TV!

    Believe me- as somebody who lived through BOTH Foot and Miliband epochs and can therefore offer a comparative analysis- if Foot had been leader since 2010 he would have been picked to pieces in with an intensity and regularity that Ed simply was not- on the massively larger plethora of media platforms that now exist.

    I think you need to go back and change your entries on the module evaluation form ;-)

  28. @ Roland,

    Having read several million explanations as to what a great leader E.Miliband was

    I said he was good at keeping the party unified, and the value of this should not be underestimated.

    I feel more vindicated in that assessment by the day…

  29. @ Nigel,

    Of course, in Greece the people who borrowed all the money and let everyone dodge their taxes were the centre right party.

  30. SPEARMINT
    I am not saying Mili was a bad man and he obviously had certain good points, but PM? I think not. This character Corbyn may be good news at Durham Miners Gala, but nowhere else. I still cannot believe it will happen. The laughing postman will step in at the last moment.

  31. Spearmint

    “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.”
    ______________________________________________________________

    The massive, massive difference, of course, being that in the late 90s Labour had a mind-bogglingly huge majority. The current government has a wafer thin majority – less than the coalition had, or John Major ‘enjoyed’ from 1992 on.

    It is entirely possible this this will be eradicated over the course of the parliament. It is possible the current administration will fall before 2015 and the then leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition take the government benches.

    A sign of panic will be Cameron moving to repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

    I know an old hand like you knows all this, but it is hard to keep all pertinent facts in mind at once!

  32. Roland Haines

    The left have no understanding Milliband was too left wing for the British electorate so lets take the party further the left by electing Corbyn as leader

  33. Couper2002

    “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’”
    ______________________________________________________________

    I’m quite torn on this. I can see the logic of allowing the general public who are a bit interested and partial to Labour participating – they’re more likely to vote for a party when it is lead by someone they like. So it broadens the support.

    On the other hand, it relies on people not being dicks and voting under false pretences. Though I doubt significant numbers are actually doing that. I think Corybyn has actually managed to galvanize a lot of support from the non-aligned centre left. Whether that translates into popularity in the wider electorate remains to be seen.

    But – just as the Blairites warn that popularity at political meetings doesn’t mean anything – I’m sceptical of opprobrium frm the Daily Mail class. How many votes in that demographic would Corbyn lose? Damn few, I suspect.

  34. Frederic Stansfield:

    “What happened about Michael Foot’s (apparently actually very up-market) duffle coat is nothing on what the hostile press will do to poor Jeremy Corbyn.”
    ______________________________________________________________

    This terrifies me (a bit). We’re likely to see something utterly grotesque from the Mail-Sun-Telegraph ‘axis.’ It will be sickening.

    What its political effect it il have is is a bit harder to judge. I wonder how many people were actually turned Blairwards by the Sun’s endorsement, and against Milliband by the right-wing loathing squirted his way?

    Are they opinion leaders or mere jackals of opinion, yapping at the stumbling heels of the shambling, injured wildebeest of public opinion?

  35. @ Nigel,

    .Apart from political dogma why would anyone be so hell bent on destroying such an improving economy

    Because post-2008 there is zero evidence that debt-to-GDP ratios influence government borrowing rates and the UK is currently in the grip of a productivity crisis that can only be fixed through a massive increase in investment?

    At a guess.

  36. Lurgee
    ‘It is entirely possible this this will be eradicated over the course of the parliament. It is possible the current administration will fall before 2015 and the then leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition take the government benches.’
    I assume that you meant 2020 but I fail to see how that will come to pass. 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.

  37. Nigel

    “The left have no understanding Milliband was too left wing for the British electorate so lets take the party further the left by electing Corbyn as leader”
    ______________________________________________________________

    I doubt Milliband lost because he was ‘too left wing.’

    Several things were working against him completely separate his politics – his rather dorky personality and presentation, the vagaries of the economic cycle which favoured the intuitive austerity argument, the electoral system (which maximised Labour’s losses and minimised any gains), the lack of support from the PLP, and (possibly – see above) the continually hostile press yelling nonsense and smearing him.

    If – big if – Corbyn does contest a general election, it will be on different terrain. The economy may either have tanked, discrediting the Tories and strengthening the opposition; or it may be doing well, favouring the ‘end austerity’ argument; or it may be doing indifferently, which will mean that after 10 years people may be starting to get a bit tired of the Tories. The likelihood is the Tories have peaked – where are they going to get additional votes from? They can’t really cannibalise any more from the Lib Dems and the intuitive (but possibly misleading) argument that Labour shouldn’t lurch left to win back right-wing voters argument works against them as well – they can’t really filch votes from Labour because, well, Labour hasn’t got many votes that are filchable.

    Whatever presentational issues Corbyn has, he’s a better performer than Milliband and surely even the Blairite right realise they can’t destroy another leader, especially one voted in by the party membership under OMOV (sort of), rather than ‘imposed’ by the unions.

    And last of all, remember that in 1992, Labour – leader by a short, gingerhaired, CND embracing Welshman, encumbered with Clause IV and rnning from a position to the left of Milliband in 2015 – won 34.5% of the vote. Well up on Milliband’s performance and only a snivel behind Cameron’s mediocre 2015 ‘triumph.’

  38. Anyway, to get back to this very interesting poll, it’s worth pointing out that it unusual in being an exhaustive poll rather than a true sample. That is YouGov ask everyone on their panel who they know is entitled to vote in the Labour leadership. It’s the only way even with a 500K panel the size of YouGov’s, that they can get a decent-sized sample.

    So most of those who took part in this poll would have done so with the previous one as well. It does make it difficult to judge the representativeness of each poll, but means we can see how people change their views. According to the Mirror[1]:

    YouGov said four of the 10 new percentage points voting for Mr Corbyn have switched candidates – the other six have joined afresh in the last month.

    So while the new joiners[2] have provided most of the extra Corbyn boost, he is also persuading some existing members to come over to his side, especially from Burnham.

    As with the previous poll Corbyn does particularly well among women[3] (61% v 48% for men), despite Cooper in particular going for that vote and Kendall only gets 4%.

    Again the myth that Corbyn’s rise is coming from the young is exploded (not that anyone will notice). He does do a bit worse with his peers (only 49% in the over-60s), but it’s not much and within MoE it’s pretty even for all the candidates. Though Kendall does manage to soar to joint second among the 25-39s. Are there that many SpAds?

    She was also expected to do well in London, and it is her best region, but only with 12%. And it’s also Corbyn’s best with a massive 62% – Scotland is his second best which might indicate potential for revival (but then at current levels…). As you’d expect Burnham does better in the North, but again differences aren’t massive and Corbyn leads everywhere.

    As already noted, despite the ‘infiltration’ stories, the biggest Corbyn lead is, as before, in the TU affiliates rather than the £3 voters. And although Corbyn would just lose after transfers if voting was among pre-Ed voters[4], even if the franchise was restricted to full members of a year’s standing he would clearly still win. And as ever, some of those TU affiliates classed as since the GE may actually have been paying their political levy and perhaps working for the Party for decades.

    [1] It doesn’t seem to appear in either Kellner’s piece or the analysis by Will Dahlgreen:

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/08/10/corbyn-pull-ahead/

    so I assume it comes from background briefing.

    [2] Though it’s possible that they may just be new to YouGov or that YouGov has just managed to identify them as eligible to vote, even though they are long-standing members. The number polled went from 1054 (17-21 Jul) to 1411 (6-10 Aug) – an increase of 34% which would not have been matched by an increase in those who could vote in that period.

    [3] Women make up only 41% of the selectorate according to YouGov using LP figures, but it’s possible that if the newer members are balanced differently this may alter things again.

    [4] Confusingly this poll splits pre/post-Miliband while the previous one used pre/post-2010 election. I don’t know why this was changed, but a lot of people joined Labour between May and September in 2010 in the usual post election rush, and the different ratios in the two polls reflect this.

  39. Nigel
    ” I suggest there is a good chance of another recession before 2020 and that Osborne may reap a bitter harvest as a result – with people feeling that the austerity and suffering had been for nothing”

    I don’t see that as wishful thinking at all . The deflationary impact of cuts in public spending coupled with higher interest rates in the UK/USA and eventually elsewhere make such a scenario highly likely. The manufacturing sector is already showing signs of struggling.

  40. Lurgee

    Are you unaware of the fact the current boundaries very much favoured Labour at the last GE They will not next time. Despite my own opinion of EM he performed well in the GE campaign, he lost because the electorate did not like the policies. They either admit it or just say the voters are stupid and we will serve up even more radical policies next time. With that arrogance they will get what they deserve.

  41. @Nigel

    “They either admit it or just say the voters are stupid and we will serve up even more radical policies next time. With that arrogance they will get what they deserve.”

    From the you-gov pol, the sample seem to know that Corbyn is a hard sell to the UK population (see question about likely to win GE 2020). They just like his policies.

  42. Graham
    And there is a good chance there wont be a recession 50/50 so it is a pointless comment, wishful thinking if you are hoping for one

  43. Spearmint

    “That would be almost as unthinkable as Unionists forming a government with political Parties that had the same aim of a united Ireland.”

    They didn’t do that voluntarily, they are not very good at it, they complain about it incessantly, and it appears to be collapsing.

    Eppur si muove. Power and position are great calmers of scruples.

    Actually my point was similar to yours. Guilt by association won’t work to alienate the Unionists from Corbyn. If anything they are slightly more likely to work alongside (rather than together) Labour with him because of similar priorities.

    A more interesting development might be if SF decide to take up their seats. It may be that abstentionism is starting to hurt a little but developments in the South might have a bigger effect. No one has the faintest idea what will happen in the next GE there (there has to be one in the next six months) with FG, FF and SF all pretty equal and ‘Others’ frequently beating all of them in the polls:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Irish_general_election#Opinion_polls

    Add in the vagaries of STV in small constituencies with big personal votes and anything could happen.

  44. Ah, the Michael Foot comparison. Like Rivers I wasn’t alive but do have good historical knowledge on these matters (there is an excellent four-part BBC series on Labour from 1979 to 1994)

    There are key similarities – both Foot and Corbyn were/are 67, grey-haired, from the left of the party and in many ways unlikely leadership contenders; both have come to prominence during the first term of a Tory majority government. However, the differences make this result (should it come to pass) far more remarkable that what happened in 1980. Foot was not generally considered likely to run in 1980 but he was well qualified to do so – though a rebellious backbencher in his youth, by 1980 he had been a cabinet minister for six years and Deputy Leader of the party for more than three. He had also run for the leadership previously. Many saw him as a unifier, somebody who would prevent the party falling apart and fill the breach for a time until somebody from a younger generation came along. Corbyn, on the other hand, is not just a rebel but the single most rebellious Labour MP since 1997. He has never held any sort of front-bench post and, I assume, has never wanted to until now (from just about the moment he came into Parliament in 1983 he was one of the most rebellious Labour MPs). Crucially whilst Foot’s pitch to unify won over the PLP (the only voters in 1980), in 2015 Corbyn can claim the genuine support of less than a tenth of MPs with many, many on record saying he’d be a disaster. Whilst lots of Foot’s colleagues didn’t think he was the right person, he did at least command respect from across the party. Corbyn won’t – with his record of rebellion why should he?

    Corbyn will also, as Rob rightly flags, have to operate in a very different media environment – undoubtedly a harsher one. In the early 1980s Parliament wasn’t televised, evening news bulletins featured far more reportage and far less analysis, there was no rolling news for critics to vent to and of course no social media. Corbyn will be under the most immense scrutiny and, once the initial shock has worn off, will probably come up short. The story of other leaders who have neglected to play to the modern media is not a happy one – just look at Gordon Brown and Francois Hollande, not to mention Ed Miliband (who did at least try).

    In short, these are potentially times of huge significance for the future of the Labour Party that we are living through. If Corbyn does win it will be a step totally into the unknown.

  45. Nigel+Roland Haines
    What I’m about to say doesn’t just apply to you but you’re the most recent examples.
    I was going to respond to both your points but decided against it. Both of you are making partisan point after partisan point and that’s not what this site is about. Nigel I was talking about how the press might treat Corbyn and then you jump in with stuff about how you don’t like the Greek government, about how the British people know not to elect a leftie, moderate government blah blah blah, hell you’re even spouting the “live within our means” line that even most of the right wingers on this site acknowledge is mostly nonsense. Not only is this all your own very partisan opinion its TOTALLY irrelevant to the discussion we were having about the media.
    Roland you then decide to pile on in with a bunch of patronising generalisations about what the left think, well considering your clearly not on the left why don’t you stick to your area of expertise and leave your great insights into the inner working of the left to yourself since its a load of partisan drivel.
    You then act all butt hurt about how “the left are taking over this site but we hard working sensible folk must stick together” Well you might not have noticed but I ignored this site for months after the election because it was full of right wing triumphalism, many left of centre posters have left as well and some only comment a fraction of what they used to. While all the right wing posters seem to be sticking around so I’m not sure what universe your living in. Every other comment you make is in violation of the comments policy and resultantly everyone who responds to you (myself included) is in violation as well because were dragged into a partisan debate. Please for the love of whatever strange deity you deem most important temper your comments.

    I used to really enjoy posting here but unfortunately its went downhill since the election because the aforementioned triumphalism has went unchecked. I’m saying all this because I don’t see why I should have a site I very much used to enjoy ruined by your constant and inane “observations” into how awful Labour are, how Corbyn is as bad as Stalin, how George Osborne is the finest economic mind since Adam Smith etc etc There is still a lot of good observations made here by most contributors (including those on the right) but I don’t see why we should have to wade through the latest comment on how “Corbyn will definitely lose in 2020” or “The British people hate left wing policies” or “I’m doing my own bit to make sure Labour crash and burn at the next election” or “Labour’s fundamental problem is their polices are s**t” to get to the good stuff.

    Apologies for the rant but frankly I’m amazed nobody else has just came out and said it even when posters come on here and say things to the effect of “this site has went downhill of late” (which has been pointed out by multiple people in the last month or so) everyone just goes “argh come on don’t leave” rather than “you’re right I think we should all agree to stop making stupid comments like (insert example here) until we have more information and even if said comment looks to be materialising point it out in a NON PARTISAN WAY!!!!!

    Rant over sorry to all involved.

  46. @ Carfew

    ‘Well, the Sisyphus thing isn’t the most enticing, but it could even be worse than useless, if each time around most peeps wind up worse off as their wealth and effort gets siphoned upwards.’

    Why do you think most peeps would wind up worse off – in the short term anyway? They weren’t for a goodly while post war. Apart from that, the current form of capitalism cannot continue – it is unsustainable on so many counts.

    Furthermore, Kalecki warned in the 30s that Keynes’ policies would invoke the claw-back – as it did, in 1947 with the formation of Hayek’s ‘think tank, the Mount Perelin Society. Another time maybe some peeps might learn from history … and insulate the economy rather better from a take-over.

  47. jimr

    From the you-gov pol, the sample seem to know that Corbyn is a hard sell to the UK population (see question about likely to win GE 2020). They just like his policies.

    I like them too!!! That does not make them a vote winner

  48. ANARCHISTS UNITE

    I was interested in the Wren-Lewis piece & these thoughts occur after reading it:-

    He states-correctly in my view-that helicopter money is fiscal stimulus dressed up as monetary stimulus.
    This is important, because it helps to understand the crucial difference between QE (in which tradeable financial assets with repayment dates are purchased) which will reverse the stimulus to money supply automatically ; and Helicopter Money ( in which funds are sunk into illiquid assets) which adds permanently to the money supply.
    Now the latter may or may not be desirable at a point in time but Wren-Lewis actually suggests that “macro-economic stabilisation” should not be in the hands of an independent Central Bank.

    What he is calling for is control of interest rates & monetary policy to revert to politicians. And in the context of a Central Bank instructed to print helicopter money ( which we have agreed is a fiscal stimulus) -politicians who are trying to inject fiscal stimuli whilst overseeing interest rate policy -at the same time-via a captive Central Bank.

    Whilst his piece fails to spell out the change to Central Bank mandate, away from control of inflation & financial stability, to investment in public works, it is manifest. What Central Banker would accept & implement such an impossible brief, and what reaction in the market for UK Gilts ?-he offers no thoughts.

    Finally, there is the implication in his piece-mentioned as a defence by Richard Murphy- that this bastardised financial stimulus paid for with new pound notes & no debt, would be limited & focused. To which I respond oh yeah?

    Once you have built ten schools & hospitals with free money-why stop there? And they have to be manned-this is an “investment” too isn’t it?-investment in people etc etc?-so lets pay the teachers’ & doctors’ salaries with free money too.

    And before you know where you are the Central Bank is monetising chunks of State Spending, and you begin to look a lot like Zimbabwe in first few years of this century-and Venezuela right now.

  49. @Sheffield

    “which meant talking to 250,000 uninterested and ignorant people in marginal seats. Calling people in seats we need to win ‘uninterested and ignorant’! Now thats a guarenteed way to win an election!!”

    There are another 40m voters out there, who I would suggest are more important…..in anything but a universe of politicians obsessed by tactics rather than beliefs.

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