YouGov had a poll in this morning’s Times asking some first impressions of Jeremy Corbyn from what people had seen so far (tables here). 31% of people said they were delighted or pleased by Corbyn’s victory, 34% of people were disappointed or dismayed – 35% had no strong feelings or don’t know.

Looking at people who voted Labour in 2015, 45% responded positively to Corbyn’s election, 13% said they were disappointed, 14% dismayed. By 50% to 29% 2015 Labour voters expect Corbyn to do well as leader. The idea that most Labour voters are in despair isn’t true – most seem happy enough at the moment with their new leader. There is, however, a significant minority of 2015 Labour voters who really aren’t happy at all.

Later on in the survey YouGov asked people if they would trust Jeremy Corbyn to make the right decisions on various issues – the only one were he came up positively was the NHS, normally a safe issue for Labour, where 40% would trust his judgement, 34% would not. Everywhere else he struggled – only 28% would trust him on government spending and cuts, 27% on tax, 24% on immigration, 23% on the economy, just 20% on defence. It almost goes without saying that hardly any Tory voters would trust him, ditto for UKIP voters (some have suggested Corbyn could win back votes from UKIP, perhaps he could, but the poll here shows what a challenge it will be). More worrying here is the sizeable chunk of people who voted Labour in 2015, but don’t trust Corbyn on key issues. 21% of Labour voters wouldn’t trust him on spending, 35% wouldn’t trust him on defence, 26% wouldn’t trust him to run the economy.

Labour’s performance at the last election was poor to begin with and Corbyn needs to hold onto those Labour voters who are currently saying they don’t trust him (he can try to replace them instead with non-voters, Green converts and so on… but then he’s trying to attract new voters just to make up for those he may be losing. Labour need to keep their existing voters AND attract new ones.)

Of course it’s early days and Corbyn has a long time to build trust. To use a well worn metaphor, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. That said, Corbyn’s start hasn’t been good: rather than a honeymoon, he’s had an initial week of bad press and perceived gaffes. It’s not a surprise that his initial ratings are negative given the media prism that most of the public have seen him through… but like it or not, that is the politics we have. We can only measure the opinion of the actual public – the actual voters, not some imaginary public where Corbyn got a better press. First impressions count, and the public’s first impressions of Jeremy Corbyn don’t seem good.

173 Responses to “First YouGov polling on Corbyn”

1 2 3 4
  1. The Independent have an ORB poll tonight which they are saying shows that ‘one in five people who voted for his party at the May general election more likely to vote Conservative next time’ and that ‘some 37 per cent of Labour voters say they are less likely to back the party at the next election’. The headline figure looks dramatic but I’m not sure too much can be read into this. Being ‘more likely’ to do something doesn’t mean that they will do something. If the chance of me voting Conservative next time was 1% when Miliband was leader but is now 2% I am still more likely to vote Conservative, even if in almost every eventuality I will still vote Labour. Still, there are absolutely no signs of any sort of honeymoon and when we finally have a VI poll it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Labour below 30%.

  2. EcoWirral
    “but this means that SF MPs are unable to exercise their democratic responsibilities due to an arcane bit of nonsense. Whether or not one agrees with SF, this is an affront on democracy and it is a disgrace that MPs are still made to do this.”

    This was about the oath of allegiance. I think you will find that most parliaments require some sort of oath about service to the nation, if not the monarch, so even if the current oath was replaced with something else, presumably Sinn Fein would feel unable to take it.
    As for Corbyn being a threat to National Security, surely someone who has spoken in favour of various enemies of this nation and our allies must be at least a bit suspect? Or do we pretend that he didn’t mean what he has said in the past?

  3. @EcoWirral

    Oaths are not unusual as PeteB said. And to remove it would be a more significant constitutional change than it appears on the surface. The oath underpins constitutional monarchy – if MPs didn’t have to swear allegiance before making the law you would, in effect, have a republic.

  4. Roger Mexico

    “Saying “He’s against Trident” is not enough, you have to make the case for Trident.”

    Then there’s those who want a cheapo (French-style?) version of WMD – in which case sharing costs with the French – as with current (and former naval policy for the last hundred years or so) would make a lot of sense.

    “Sense”, however, has seldom driven UK policy, so little change now.

    In Scotland, replacing Trident with an equivalent has less than a quarter of the population in support (24%), according to the latest YG poll. Something less powerful, but cheaper attracts 26%, while dumping the whole stupid concept attracts 37%.

  5. @JackSheldon

    Two polls on Corbyn and neither giving a VI, what’s with that?

  6. @Craig

    I make it at least three. I think pollsters and the media are being cautious after the election, and whilst the inquiry continues. I don’t mind that personally – rather get it right that keep producing flawed polls. Though I am surprised that we haven’t seen a rush of new VI polls post-Corbyn.

  7. Craig

    “Two polls on Corbyn and neither giving a VI, what’s with that?”

    Who are paying the pollsters, and what questions do they want to focus on?

    Let’s not pretend that polling is anything other than a commercial operation!

    Occasionally, it tells us ordinary folk something we would like to know, but for the most part, questions are designed to pursue an editorial agenda.

    Fortunately, the media are pretty crap at working out how people outwith their magic circle actually think, so sometimes the answers aren’t what they hoped for.

  8. @Craig, wait a few more days, the fieldwork has probably been done already and they’ll be released over the weekend.

  9. Corbyn may be on fire by appointing an arsonist Lord to his team – or just really stupid.

    Who knows?

  10. ON
    I seem to remember from “Yes Minister” that we needed the nukes BECAUSE of the French (though I can’t find the clip – it may only have been in the books).

  11. It is quite difficult to recognise UKPR …

    Anyway, I don’t know why Corbyn appointed Watson, but the press is really not a consideration – if JC doesn’t do something, it would be a problem (by the way Watson was readmitted to the Labour Party in 2012).

    I think the important thing is what Norbold mentioned – with the added caveat if it can be maintained. If yes, then many here will be on People’s Pension :-)

  12. @OldNat

    A lot of interesting appointments among his junior shadow ministers. Gordon Brown critic Rob Marris (not really a left-winger, just a maverick) at the Treasury, alongside Richard Burgon – somebody with a strong claim for second place behind Dennis Skinner in the most left-wing Labour MP contest. Mixed messages at defence also with Toby Perkins, Liz Kendall’s campaign manager, and the left-winger Rachael Maskell. Jobs for a lot of new MPs, including all bar two of the assistant whips – will the new rebels listen to them? These appointments won’t get as much attention as the shadow cabinet but they matter almost as much – more often than not it is the junior shadows that deal with bill committees and report stage on the floor of the House, and who therefore have to decide what to oppose and what amendments to endorse. The nuts and bolts, not just the leadership, have now been shifted to the left.

  13. @Oldnat

    You should check out what happened during the Archway road enquiry

  14. OLDNAT

    “Fortunately, the media are pretty crap at working out how people outwith their magic circle actually think, so sometimes the answers aren’t what they hoped for.”

    That’s plain wrong, the detailed questions in the polls often tell us exactly how people think and are likely to vote. I got the last election exactly right by taking due notice of what the polls said about the parties on the economy and the contenders for PM.

  15. OLDNAT

    “Sense”, however, has seldom driven UK policy, so little change now.”

    That’s just you very biased opinion.

  16. OLDNAT

    @”Do they have the same one?”

    Evidently your teacher training didn’t include the knowledge with which to distinguish between the definite & the indefinite article.

  17. LIb Dem conference starts today… a few suggestions going round that Corbyn opens up an opportunity for them… on the face of it he does, though I think it will be very difficult to exploit. Firstly, I’m not sure the current Lib Dem leadership are strong enough to turn things around in the space of one Parliament. But perhaps more importantly defectors from Corbyn are likely to move across because they don’t trust JC’s economic policies, foreign policies, defence policies and immigration policies… i.e. they are not the type of people likely to find a comfortable home with the Lib Dems. In the long run if anybody is to benefit from Corbyn I think it will be the Tories and, perhaps, UKIP.

  18. Colin,

    They did mention it, but there was confusion as to whether they meant “the definite and the indefinite article” or “a definite and an indefinite article”.

  19. BILL


    I expect it is different in Scotland-it usually is.

  20. JACK

    In terms of MPs ( as opposed to voters)-it all depends whether the Centre Left decide to stay, and fight from within, or leave &n their own.

    Mathew Paris advises the latter in today’s Times, because, he says, the “real” Labour Party has never liked them.

    Interesting reports of chaotic Shadow Cabinet & Labour Party HQ communications, and “organisation”. If Corbyn can’t actually manage the PLP his much vaunted “mandate from the People” will count for Jack Sh**t.

    All eyes on the Labour Conference-could be fun :-)

  21. COLIN

    “Interesting reports” or interested?

  22. I know its awful to hark on about the salacious but I just can’t stop myself. I have two questions.

    1. How on earth did you get a motorbike into East Germany in 1979 for a holiday when apart from day trips though checkpoint charlie, the only way into the east was on a business visa (which meant you were probably a spy), as part of a monitored, ‘Intourist’ group or as a diplomat (which also meant that you were probably a spy)?

    And (this ones rhetorical)….

    2. If the second MP mr corbyn is reported to have had a fling with was also one of the 36 MPs who nominated him, then his two lady friends would have actually ‘tipped him over the magic number of 35’. Would it then be true to say that he slept his way into the job? :)

  23. Why would Labour MPs who don’t like Corbyn join the failed Liberal Party? Why not stay in the Labour Party and fight for policies in which they believe. Or quit as an MP.

1 2 3 4