Today’s Times has a new YouGov poll of Labour party members and registered supporters (so members, registered trade unionists and £3 supporters – the same group who were able to vote in the Labour leadership election). Full tabs are here.

65% thought Jeremy Corbyn was doing well as leader, 34% badly as leader. Less promisingly, only 46% think it’s likely Labour will win the next election under Corbyn and only 38% think it’s likely he will ever be PM. Labour party members think Corbyn is doing well and expect him to lose. This apparent contradiction is easily resolved: 56% of Labour members think parties should say what they believe, even if it’s unpopular and loses elections, in comparison 32% think they should compromise in order to put foward policies that allow it to win an election and put policies into action.

Looking forward there is little appetite amongst Labour members for a change of leader: 57% think Corbyn should remain leader and fight the next election, 20% think he should hand over the leadership to someone else at some later point during the Parliament, 18% think he should go now.

There’s a sharp division between those who voted Corbyn and the minority who didn’t – 86% who voted Corbyn think he’s doing well, 66% who didn’t vote Corbyn think he’s doing badly. 82% of people who voted Corbyn think he should stay till the election, 43% who voted differently think he should stand down now. The vast majority of people who voted for Corbyn think he is doing well and think he should stay on, at least for now; there is no sign at all of buyer’s remorse amongst Corbyn’s voters. Equally, Labour party members who opposed Corbyn in the leadership election continue to oppose him, there is little sign of them rallying round their new leader. The Labour party remains divided.

It’s quite hard to judge whether these figures are good or bad. Surveys of party members are quite rare, most of the time they only happen in the middle of a leadership election when there is no incumbent leader whose ratings we can compare. There were no polls, for example, of Labour party members when Ed Miliband had been in the job for a few months that we can compare to see if David Miliband supporters had rallied round the leader or all still wanted Ed to resign.

79% think the shadow cabinet is divided, but Corbyn’s opponents are much more widely blamed for this than Corbyn himself – 54% think the fault is mostly his opponents’, 19% Corbyn and his allies, 25% both equally. On balance, there is support amongst the Labour selectorate for mandatory re-selection of MPs – 39% think MPs should be automatically reselected unless they’ve failed badly or are very unpopular, 52% think all MPs should face a full reselection anyway.

Finally YouGov asked about two specific policy issues facing Labour. On Europe the party membership is clear: 80% would vote for Britain to stay in the EU and 62% think Jeremy Corbyn should actively campaign in favour of EU membership. On Syria Labour party members divide two-to-one against airstrikes and three-to-one against the use of British ground forces in Iraq or Syria. 48% of Labour members think Corbyn should oppose the RAF taking part in airstrikes against ISIS, only 25% think he should support them.


160 Responses to “YouGov poll of Labour party members”

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  1. @”there is no sign at all of buyer’s remorse amongst Corbyn’s voters. Equally, Labour party members who opposed Corbyn in the leadership election continue to oppose him, there is little sign of them rallying round their new leader. The Labour party remains divided.”

    The nub of it.

    Played out yet again on DP today with the unusual sight of a very annoyed & animated Alan Johnson

  2. You could compare Corbyn’s ratings to other leaders approval ratings amongst their own voters. From memory Nicola S is 90%+ approval amongst SNP voters
    Cameron also has high approval amongst Con voters

    So 66% approval amongst members is not very good.

  3. What would be the impact of 70% of the Shadow Cabinet deciding to resign? It is not impossible that a point could arise where there are insufficient Labour MPs willing to serve under Corbyn for any Shadow Cabinet to be viable. What then?

  4. Alan Johnson is normally so calm and collected, but today his head turned red with rage.

  5. The Labour Party, being a broad church since its conception, has always been able to hold together, give or take a couple of blips like The SDP, at times when different factions were seen to be in the ascendancy. That has been one of the parties biggest strengths in a Europe where few other countries have a similar situation. Most countries have a soft left and a hard left as 2 different parties.

    What has always been a strength is now identifying itself as a weakness…

  6. What struck me most by this poll was the revelation that over 20% of all those entitled to vote in a Labour leadership election now did not vote Labour in the 2015 general election. Ed Miliband’s legacy to the party really was to open it up to entryism.

    Interesting though that the entryist group (62% favourable) already seem to have changed their previously rosy view of Corbyn much faster than the fully paid up members (66% favourable).

    Disasterous 2016 local elections will I think prompt a change of view, after which the views of the Labour membership will come a bit closer into line with the view the rest of the country have already formed of Corbyn, just two months into his “honeymoon” period. At the moment, the results are much as you would expect from a member of any political party to the question “do you consider that x is doing well as leader of your party”. That is, many interpret such questions as a loyalty test to their party more than to the leader, unless they have a very firm view of the leader already.

  7. Does anyone think that the Russian jet clusterf**k could have an influence on the Syria bombing vote?

    It surely at least means that we should closely coordinate with Russia if we do go in.

    Deterrence theory should suggest being careful.

  8. @Anthony Wells

    You Gov have split the cross tabs of Labour members (a) between full and non-full members and (b) between those who did and did not vote Labour in May 2015.

    You must therefore have the intormation to reveal (say) how many current non-full members did not vote Labour in the 2015 election, out of the total of 303 who did not.

    Is there any chance of YouGov now or the Sunday Times next week publishing an additional tab on this? You might glean a few extra pennies from your client as the results would I think be newsworthy in their own right (i.e. 35%? 40% of Labour registered/affiliated members did not vote for the party in May 2015.)

  9. I took part in this poll & there were the usual voting intention questions at the start so I’d be interested in knowing what those results were & why they weren’t reported.

  10. @Hawthorn

    The United States already has an agreement with the Russians not to conflict, and we would come under that – but these agreements only work if everyone is disciplined about observing them. Russia is not disciplined.

    I read the following comment elsewhere which sums the situation up:

    “Russia buzzes the airspace of European countries all the time. Turkey lacks the diplomatic intelligence of most European governments though. This is what happens when a country with an massive inferiority complex tests the will of another country with a massive inferiority complex.”

    It might be better if we concentrated on ISIS in Iraq, we have a duty of care in Iraq after all, and leave Syria to the Russians and French. I wish the oil price would collapse to $10 and bankrupt all these muppets and allow us all a bit of peace.

  11. CANDY

    Turkey downing the Russian plane reopens a split between Russia and NATO, which given their apparent double-dealing over ISIS is rather convenient for them. But as I pointed out in a previous thread though, not backing Turkey weakens NATO.

    It might also be an idea if we stopped being so chummy with certain Sunni Arab regimes, at the risk of sounding like a left-winger…

    However, I very much doubt if we will change course and the same actions will continue to have similar outcomes.

  12. @Hawthorn

    Turkey’s actions should serve more I think to remind the US that Putin is for once correct when he calls that country an “accomplice of terrorists”. Turkey’s record to date is one of putting every hindrance in the way of the Kurds as they take the fight to ISIS/Daish on the ground, in case a successful outcome also paved the way to strengthening the cause of the Kurdish minority within Turkey. So we’ve seen an enforced border blockade preventing material being supplied to the Kurds in Syria and the denial of the use of Turkish air bases to the US for example.

    I think it’s a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. So Turkey and ISIS/Daish must be friends. And one is a NATO member.

  13. PHIL HAINES

    The actions of the countries are perfectly logical if you assume they are trying to gain/retain proxy control over the region rather than defeat ISIS.

  14. Alan Johnson is a good bloke and labour must be regretting that he couldn’t be persuaded to run for the top job. He would have united the party.

    The shooting down of the jet is worrying but I doubt it will affect the HOC vote much. More worrying was the Channel 4 dispatches programme last night. Hopefully a few individuals have been rounded up by now.

    Best suggestion of the day was from General Dannet – Form all the young, able and single migrants in Europe and North Africa into a fighting force so they can be part of the plan to destroy Daesh, as well. It will never happen though.

  15. Good evening all from the center of the universe.

    . “On Syria Labour party members divide two-to-one against airstrikes and three-to-one against the use of British ground forces in Iraq or Syria. 48% of Labour members think Corbyn should oppose the RAF taking part in airstrikes against ISIS, only 25% think he should support them.”
    ________

    After today’s events in Syria one would suspect some jitters within the UK government regarding air strikes in Syria and even more jitters among Labour MP’s who appear to support UK air strikes in Syria.

    I don’t think it’s helpful to have Turkey as part of the NATO alliance because they clearly don’t have the correct strategy when dealing with Syria and tend to be at odds with NATO over the Kurds.

    Maybe ole Corby has a point regarding withdrawing from NATO because technically if the Russian response is a military one against Turkey then we would be at war with Russia and I really don’t think any of the Western European countries would be willing to got to war with Russia over what is seen as an ever increasing dictatorship in Turkey and a government who appear to be sponsoring and funding terrorists.

    All eyes will be on Putin and his response.

  16. @Phil,

    The situation vis “enemies of enemies” is even more complicated than that.

    The Turks were defending Turkmen who were being attacked by the Russians despite the fact that they are fighting against ISIS.

    Of the various opponents to ISIS,

    Turkey hates two (Assad Regime, the Kurds)
    Turkey likes three (the Turkmen, the FSA and NATO)
    Russia hates two (the Turkmen, the FSA and NATO)
    Russia likes one (Assad Regime)
    Russia is ambivalent about one (the Kurds)
    Nato likes three (the Kurds, the Turkmen and the FSA)
    Nato hates one (Assad regime).
    Nato is ambivalent about one (Russia)
    Iraq hates one (Free Syrian Army)
    Iraq likes three (Assad Regime, Russia, Nato)
    Iraq is ambivalent about one (the Kurds)
    Iraq doesn’t give a monkeys about one (the Turkmen).

    All this talk of “right side”, “wrong side” really misses the point. This isn’t a two dimensional war. Turkey helping the Turkmen against ISIS but not helping (much) the Kurds against ISIS tells you nothing about Turkey’s attitude to ISIS and everything about her attitude to Turkmen and Kurds.

  17. Never has a conflict so demonstrated the stupidity of thinking in terms of yes and no, or us and them. If some people learn about multidimensionality then at least domestic politics will gain.

    Perhaps Labour Party members are demonstrating that they are more sophisticated than the general public.

  18. Neil A

    It is about prioritisation and forming expedient alliances amongst anti-ISIS forces. This is the bread and butter of Realpolitik. []

    This is incredibly difficult but this is what competent government involves, [] There is no short cut.

  19. I’m not sure “I won’t attack people I know are bad because I’m not sure who the good people are” is some kind of Confucian wisdom.

    I buy the idea that there has to be an objective, and some evidence that bombing will make things better rather than worse.

    However, I cannot really see how a missile striking a Toyota full of extremists on their way to go and enslave some children, behead some apostates or stone some wayward woman is going to make things worse. It seems like a worthwhile objective in of itself to me.

  20. Neil A

    The problem is that you have to be sure it is what you think it is. Fog of War, not helped if the fog is viewed through a computer monitor.

    For example, why do you think wedding parties have been blown up in the past? Not sure I’d accept “oops it was a mistake” as an excuse if I were a relative.

    You also have to trust the intelligence you receive.

  21. Can we please NOT let conversation drift towards what should and should not be done in Syria please. I’ve asked nicely a couple of times, next I’ll just moderate people who keep ignoring my requests.

  22. ROBERT NEWARK

    @” It will never happen though.”

    Nope-they would rather let someone else fight for their homeland.

  23. Just to introduce something about polling for a change, though not in this country, it seems that Hollande being tough on terrorism hasn’t help if him at all. According to French TV his popularity has actually fallen by a few % while that of his PM has risen. I haven’t seen the actual poll so I don’t know the exact figures at the moment. The narrative seems to be that Holland has acted too late but Valls, only recently in office, is making a decent fist of it. He is still well behind Marine le Pen and whoever the centre right put up however.

    There is some speculation that if Hollande stands aside and the centre right fail to agree on a single candidate, then Valls could sneak in, beating Marine in a run off.

  24. Getting back to the Labour poll……

    Surely it is obvious that a party which sticks to what it believes is going to be respected by the general public (even if not voted for by the majority) more than one which always tries to be all things to all people. “These politicians never stick to what they said they’d do.” etc.

    On the other hand, BlaIr promised that if Labour publicly ditched what it believed in, then what it believed in could be brought in through the back door – and to a limited extent (minimum wage etc.) that was achieved.

    On balance I’d rather have the choice between a Conservative Party and a Labour party than two Conservative (or two Labour) parties. (Though I’d vote for neither at present!)

    As for Corbyn, was there really no-one better who might have enthused the Party and won the vote?

  25. @Anthony W

    “Can we please NOT let conversation drift towards what should and should not be done in Syria please. I’ve asked nicely a couple of times, next I’ll just moderate people who keep ignoring my requests.”

    Having allowed myself to occasionally stray into the Isis/Paris atrocities/Syrian and Islamic terrorism debate, I found myself merely adding noise to an already screamingly loud echo chamber and, accordingly, I take on board your strictures and wise counsel. I don’t think I’ve ever become so angry reading some of the comments that I saw on UKPR on this subject and I accept that I was part of the problem when I allowed my emotions to play out on my keyboard. Apologies and it’s a subject I shall steer well clear of in future, certainly on UKPR.

    So, on to calmer waters; Jeremy Corbyn and his impact on the current polls! He’s had an uncertain time of it of late, and the current political agenda has moved on to terrain that isn’t his natural strong suit; defence and security. I thought he was getting some traction on housing, health and welfare a few weeks ago and as and when the spotlight returns to these issues, the polls may look a little better for him. His comfort zone is a traditional left wing one and he seems most happy focusing on the problems of inequality, poverty, poor housing, low pay, job insecurity and a failing NHS but his challenge is how he weaves these important issues into an overarching political narrative that speaks to voters who aren’t already captive. It’s difficult although achievable, but he has to reassure centrist voters that he’s a safe pair of hands with conservative oriented issues like defence, security, crime and education. A circle that Cameron is still trying to square from the opposite side of the political spectrum, ironically. He’s home and dry on classic Tory issues but is still playing catch up on left field ground; hence his anaemic mandate

    If I was Jez, I’d read a few chapters from Harold Wilson’s political cookbook. Different era, I know, but there are eternal verities in politics that apply to every age, certainly when you’re a left wing politician trying to win a general election. It’s that old permission to vote Labour thing again. Ed couldn’t crack it and Corbyn is looking a little bemused too, if I’m being honest. He’s still got some time but I’m worried about the tipping point where he may be judged beyond redemption in terms of electability. In hindsight, it problem came for Miliband much earlier than we first thought.

  26. @Anthony W

    “Can we not….(etc)”
    Fine, as one of the many guilty parties. It also gives me an lazy excuse to avoid questioning Neil A’s version of the facts.

    Any chance of my earlier question to you on Labour members polling eliciting a response as well? (3.00pm).

  27. JOHN B

    There was-but Party Members wanted JC. There are two electorates in the Labour Party-MPs , claiming a mandate from the UK Electorate; and the Leader claiming a mandate from the Members.

    TRouble is each has a completely different political outlook & instinct.

    So we wiill go on & on reading reports like this one :-

    “Jeremy Corbyn failed to talk to his shadow defence secretary in the immediate run-up to Monday’s strategic defence review — in the latest sign of dysfunction at the helm of the Labour party.
    “They don’t trust anyone,” said one member of the shadow cabinet. “There is a bunker mentality.”

    The defence review, which takes place every five years, is a significant Commons set piece event involving the prime minister setting out his long-term defence strategy.
    Maria Eagle, Labour’s defence spokesperson, sent a 30-page document to Mr Corbyn’s office on Friday setting out various angles for the leader of the opposition to consider in his response to David Cameron.
    That was largely ignored when Mr Corbyn wrote his own speech, which included references to tackling climate change and the need for human rights advisers in every British embassy around the world. The sometimes disjointed response was described by one Labour MP as “catastrophic”.
    Mr Corbyn had resisted attempts by his own defence team to amend a draft of his speech during the course of Monday.
    He did not meet Ms Eagle that day until the pair sat down moments before Mr Cameron began his speech at 3.30pm. “No meeting was requested of the office,” his spokesman said.”

    FT

    How can this continue ?-but how can it not ?

  28. @Crossbat11

    Re your Corbyn comment “….he seems most happy focusing on the problems of inequality, poverty, poor housing, low pay, job insecurity and a failing NHS…”

    That might well be so. It’s unfortunate then that political reporting around Labour party themes has for the past couple of weeks been focused on anything but all that. Thanks in part to Corbyn’s own lousy responses to events and failure to compromise on his hobby horses.

  29. @ Phil Haines:

    “Interesting though that the entryist group (62% favourable) already seem to have changed their previously rosy view of Corbyn much faster than the fully paid up members (66% favourable).”

    “Entryist” meaning the 20% new selectorate chunk? Some of them are now paid-up members so they are not independent demographics. So I’m not sure how much value there is in comparing them.

    Also, where are these figures in the tabs? When I look on the first page I see 66% of the Fully Paid-Up members think Corbyn’s doing well, but of the selectorate that didn’t vote Labour in May, who I think are your “Entryists”, I see 74% think he’s doing well, not 62% as you say.

  30. I doubt VERY much this is “good news” for Corbyn as has been reported in the Times. That most members already think he is going to lose the election means that he has no “goodwill” bonus on being leader, no “lets rally around the leader” bump, no honeymoon period.

    He’s not won over any of his opponents supporters and he’s now 15% behind in the latest poll with a -28 approval rating.

    But that means that each time he shoots himself in the foot (e.g. over shoot-to-kill, which even Len McCluskey thought was stupid, or the crass U-turn on austerity) he will start to lose support – the “he’s going to lose but I like him” crowd will quickly turn to the “he’s going to lose, and I’ve realised he’s basically not up to the job” crowd.

    We’ll see what happens when by-elections are lost, and mayoral elections are lost, because activists don’t like campaigning and then losing.

  31. I think one of ways Corby can gain traction in the ole public VI is to go back to basics again at PM Questions. The pull the question out of the hat thing resonated with voters….I think!!

    Mrs Wilson just round the corner from me on Edgware Road wants to know who will pay for her husbands dentures when he turns 80.
    I suggested she emails JC and hopefully he will bring it up on Wednesday.

  32. @Phil H

    “Thanks in part to Corbyn’s own lousy responses to events and failure to compromise on his hobby horses.”

    I agree, and I’ve touched on this issue before. As Matthew Norman said in the Independent recently, a more adept politician than Corbyn would have anticipated,and then nonchalantly sidestepped, some of the traps set for him by hostile interviewers when they questioned him on defence and security issues. Instead, he walked on to myriad punches a left a whole load of hostages to fortune in his wake. Naivete? Possibly, but more likely the gauche responses of a politician unused to front line politics, leadership, media attention and the glare of publicity. Ironically, this was part of Corbyn’s appeal in his campaign to become leader but that initial appeal may be mutating into a liability now he is leader of HM Opposition.

    He’s in a very rough and tumble old world now and crying foul about his media coverage will appear weak. To survive, I think he will have to very quickly develop and acquire a whole armoury of political skills that, hitherto, seem to have gone missing. He needs some good advice and less friendly fire too. There’s still time, and events move quickly in politics. Underneath it all, I think there may still be an appealing politician waiting to come out. A lot of politics is about luck and being in the right place at the right time. Major was an extraordinarily lucky politician in 1990, Brown manifestly less so when he found the world economy tanking on his watch in 2008.

    I’ve never subscribed to this “the game’s up” school of politics where people and parties are “doomed”. Who’d have thought that Thatcher’s hegemonic Tory party of 1987 could have been reduced to a rump of 160 MPs inside 10 years and who would have predicted where Labour are now when Blair was in his election winning pomp of 10 years ago. I remember the Tory Party obituaries of that time very well. SNP, UKIP, Lib Dems, anyone?

    Hence it’s perfectly possible for Corbyn to come through this but he needs to up his current level of performance so he’s still in his job when things start to go horribly wrong for this currently hubristic government.

    I’m very confident of the latter but much less sure of the former!

    :-)

  33. @Crossbatt11

    Well, there are signs that they’re going to be going strongly on Osborne cutting back on police and chopping defence as a security issue, if what McDonnell is saying is anything to go by.

    @Colin

    ““They don’t trust anyone,” said one member of the shadow cabinet. “There is a bunker mentality.””

    Or, to put another spin on it, ‘leakers baffled they’re no longer given reports in advance’ ;)

  34. Hi Anthony.

    Any chance of a post/tweet on this:

    http://survation.com/statement-on-survations-poll-of-muslims-for-the-sun/

  35. @AU

    ‘Or, to put another spin on it, ‘leakers baffled they’re no longer given reports in advance’ ;)’

    Made me smile :)

  36. @Syzygy / AU.

    Maybe it’s the Corbynistas’ fault, maybe its the rest of the Labour party’s fault. But could you really imagine the UK voting a party into government when it’s in this kind of conflict?

    A PM who didn’t talk to his own Defence Secretary about matters of defence, in case they leaked, would be a bit scary.

    This needs to be a transitional phase leading to something a bit more sustainable. Either a red-blooded socialist party in Corbyn’s image (presumably after mass deselections) or a return to centre-left triangulation.

    If this is just the way the Labour is going to be from now on, electoral success will be a very hard struggle.

  37. @LURKINGGHERKIN

    I agree that 74% of those 20% of members who didn’t vote Labour in May do think Corbyn is doing well. Yes you are right, those are who I define as the (mainly far left) entryists so scratch that specific if incidental point of mine (but not the rest). I had read from the 62% of the higher number non-full members, which was a different group. A lot of initially registered supporters have now become full time members.

    My view is that any party worth its salt should routinely freeze its membership list for voting in leadership elections as soon as the need for an election arises. If that isn’t done, it should at least clearly disqualify people who its records indicate are not party supporters and whom I define as entryists (something Labour could have done from its canvass returns). Labour did neither, and it appals me that, in a context of declining public support, as high a figure as 20% of those who selected its new leader were not prepared to vote for party back in May.

  38. @NEIL A

    I believe that we had a Labour Chancellor who would not tell the PM what was in the budget for over a decade :)

    No. Of course, you are right. This situation cannot continue and must be resolved one way or another.

    Tbh I see a lot of evidence that Corbyn, McDonnell et al are trying to reach out across the spectrum to the PLP. For example, both Jeremy and John abstained on the Trident vote today. And neither has retaliated to any of the smears or untruths. The shadow cabinet comprises 140+ Labour MPs and there would have been places for Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper had they wanted to serve.

    The ‘conflict’ really does come from a group of about 20 MPs, from the right of the party, who are persistently leaking stories and making statements that undermine Jeremy Corbyn. I could name them if you want but e.g. 14 of the usual ‘suspects’ rebelled on the meaningless Trident vote today. The rest of the negative press comes from the same New Labour dinosaurs who constantly undermined Ed Miliband, and the particular spin of New Labour and right wing journalists.

    You are a very fair man and considered in your position so I feel sure that you would agree that the angle of Jeremy Corbyn’s bow was focussed on unfairly (and absurdly) but it dominated the day’s news agenda. I could take apart three or four similar so-called ‘conflicts’ every day at the moment. Obviously, I am not denying that there are real differences of opinion but there are those, like Liam Byrne, who are serious in developing and arguing alternative policies and those who seem not to realise how much of their own self-importance is showing… or how damaging they are being to the LP that they say that they are trying to save.

  39. AU

    @”Or, to put another spin on it, ‘leakers baffled they’re no longer given reports in advance’ ;)”

    And you think that is a satisfactory state of affairs with appeal to the UK Electorate?

    The PLP has to reflect the Leader’s views -anything else is mere Anarchy & I am sure you of all people will know that isn’t going to win a GE.

    I cannot see how Labour MPs can change the Leader, so he will have to change them .

    What other course of events seems likely?

  40. @Adrian B

    While I agree with most of your criticism, you are wrong to add what you describe as a “crass u-turn on austerity” to the list. The position of McDonnell is not actually that different from the position that Balls wanted to take throughout the last parliament, but the public “too far, too fast” line was initially chopped by Miliband and this public stance then continued, culminating in Miliband’s final pre-election interview guff of “we’ll match Conservative borrowing plans”. No-one in the end believed Miliband. The irony is that his stance on capital borrowing was far from the substance of what could have been argued from the detail of a manifesto which contained a reasonable but very limited degree of fiscal prudence on current spending as the IFS analysis confirmed. McDonnell hasn’t really departed much from that, apart from ramping up the plans on tax avoidance to give more headroom on current spending and opposition to austerity generally. The only other difference now is that this position is being put forward in Labour’s public stance.

    I sense now from polling that the public mood is not in favour of a further period of extreme austerity and a firm stance against this on the lines of the tax crediit campaign will be Labour’s way back if only Corbyn can stop shooting himself in the foot from every other angle imaginable.

    @Syzygy

    See above, as I think you’re wrong to conflate your views on Corbyn and McDonnell. And leaving aside the substance, compare the latter’s polling rating against Osborne with the former’s polling rating against Cameron.

    On the rest, yes there are a couple of dozen of overly disloyal Labour MPs who are publically out to “get” Corbyn asap. But that doesn’t mean that there are not 150+ others who keep their growing disquiet to meetings of the PLP and the shadow cabinet members who are still trying to diplomatically work their brief despite the very great difficulties the leadership is putting in their way (i.e. Benn and Eagle). Corbyn is making numerous real mistakes which are compromising the ability of the party to hold together – it is not all contrived guff by a Conservative media.

    @Pete B

    For those who don’t share your view that we’ve been living in a socialist nirvana for countless years, and are governed by a party intent only on extending that, my advice to any young person is to emigrate to Canada.

  41. Much criticism of the treachery by moderate labour MPs rebelling and voting against their leader on issues like Trident.

    Firstly, the renewal of Trident is official Labour Party policy. It has not been changed as far as I am aware by conference. It is certainly under review but for the time being it is the leader who is out of step, not so called rebelling MPs.

    Second, the irony of JC complaining about lack of loyalty from his MP seems to be lost on some.

    Crossbat11 is correct though in his view that labour will ascend once again, eventually. Both main parties have been written off for dead on previous occasions and both have come back. Tories become unelectable when the right wing nuts take over and labour is unelectable when the left wing nuts take over. Politics in the UK is won on the centre ground.
    It could be a 15 year wait though.

  42. SYZYGY

    @”The ‘conflict’ really does come from a group of about 20 MPs, from the right of the party, ”

    Shouldn’t be too much of a problem to deal with then.

    It might be different if a majority of the PLP was in serious disagreement with the Leader.

  43. @ Colin and Phil Haines

    I broadly agree with you both. My main point was that the noise and fury of ‘conflict’ which is reported every day stems from what you call ‘overly disloyal’ MPs, New Labour grandees and antagonistic journalists.

    I do not dispute that there are real disagreements between, and disquiet felt by the remainder of the PLP about the leadership. However, that is true to one degree or another by all the political parties, including the Greens and the SNP, even if it is more pronounced currently in the LP.

    Jeremy Corbyn was only elected a couple of months ago and has been subject to (IMO) ludicrous level of hostility across the media, who have picked up on and magnified every possible (and impossible) criticism. The party needs a period of quietly thrashing out policy and it seems that a majority of the PLP are committed to trying to do that. The ‘noisy plotters’ are in fact quite few.

  44. @SYZYGY
    @Colin

    Yesterday on Trident – lifetime cost 167bn, WMD, strategic BIG ISSUE

    Labour leader – whose policy is non-Trident renewal Abstained. This is NOT leading, a leader would have had the courage to stand up in the House of Commons and make his case.

    PLP – mainly Abstained, 20 voted for Trident renewal and 4 voted against renewal

    This is a self-inflicted mess, Labour by not voting at conference on Trident now effectively do not have a policy and are unlikely to have a policy by the time of the Trident maingate vote

  45. I suspect that a position of opposing Trident but preserving the nuclear deterrent will provide a substantial consensus in the Labour Party, and is the most likely outcome. A lot of effort is currently being made by vested interests to conflate Trident with the nuclear deterrent, which of course it is not.

    Such a position, although not to the taste of Woodcock or Corbyn, could well be quite popular with the public, and would also get assent from a substantial chunk of the armed forces, which would kill the “unpatriotic” argument.

  46. SYZYGY

    @” The ‘noisy plotters’ are in fact quite few.”

    Hmmm-I thought history teaches that it is the “quiet” plotters who do the real damage.

    My view is that there is much more criticism in the Press about what JC says & does not say , than how low he bows ( or does not bow).

    Having said that -Foreign Policy & Defence was always going to expose the huge gulf between his outlook & that of most voters -or even his own MPs judging by their reaction & non-presence in HoC two days ago. His brand of pacifism-particularly at this time was a “brave” thing to insist on from the Opposition Front Bench.

    He should get much more support from behind him this afternoon , one imagines.

    Isn’t the key group Shadow Cabinet? His much paraded “Mandate” can squash any backbench problems ( until a GE anyway)-but no Leader can hope for Electoral credibility if his Shadow Cabinet are constantly disagreeing with him , or “re-interpreting” his statements.

  47. @Couper

    It’s not true that Labour don’t have a policy on Trident – were your assertion true, Labour wouldn’t have a policy on anything that they hadn’t had specifically ratified by conference. That would leave them with very long conferences.

    Labour do have a policy on Trident, it’s just that the Labour leader doesn’t like it and that he failed to get it changed. That’s not the fault of whoever is the Corbynite enemy-du-jour, it’s the problem that the leader and his supporters don’t seem comfortable with the idea that being leader doesn’t mean the party has to suddenly change to reflect all of his views.

    He was elected to lead the party, not rule as its King.

  48. PETE B

    I agree with you, soft left Tories and hard left Labour.

  49. Lols.

  50. @Chris Riley

    The reasonable assumption is that the leader is elected on a manifesto, in this case anti-Trident, anti-Austerity etc. In the election Labour members and supporters overwhelmingly backed that manifesto. I would have expected the PLP to honour that.

    But Corbyn who didn’t even turn up to argue the case isn’t even trying to persuade the PLP into line.

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