I’ve had a break from the blog over the last few days, so I missed a YouGov poll of Labour members last week which suggested the first cracks in the hitherto solid support for Jeremy Corbyn among Labour members.

Back in May 72% of Labour members thought Corbyn was doing well, 27% badly; 60% wanted him to lead the party into the next election. Now 51% think he’s doing well, 48% badly and only 41% thought he should lead the party into the next election. However, for Labour MPs seeking to unseat him, their success of any leadership election is still questionable. 50% of members say they would probably still vote for Corbyn in a leadership election, 47% that they would probably not, and even that 47% relies upon finding a candidate who all those members unhappy with him could unite behind. Asked how they would vote in head-to-head contests between Corbyn and some potential challengers Corbyn still wins: he is ahead of Tom Watson by 50% to 39%, Angela Eagle by 50% to 40%, Dan Jarvis by 52% to 35%.

These figures are also just for fully paid up party members – an election would also include £3 supporters. Those £3 supporters from the last election would still break heavily for Corbyn, but in the case of an actual leadership election there would obviously be efforts by both sides to recruit new £3 supporters – we cannot tell how successful they’d be.

I can claim no particular insight into the mind of the Parliamentary Labour party, but I suspect one reason that none of Corbyn’s critics has yet triggered a leadership is that (as of last week at least) the polling of Labour party members did not suggest they could be sure of a victory in a leadership contest. Since then, of course, there has been another week of infighting and stand-off, and sooner or later there has to be some sort of resolution…

The tabs for the Labour leadership polling are here.


252 Responses to “Last week’s Labour Leadership Polling”

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  1. Anthony. Thank you for the new thread.

    Maybe the Party NEC will enforce the rule on the numbers of nominations to get on the Ballot.

    Kinnock is on the move and may ensure this does not happen for Corbyn We shall soon see

  2. As a Labour Party member I am waiting for the dust to settle. The country is in chaos, with uncertainty the only certainty. It is foolish to take a position out of context, and if polled I will resolutely tick “don’t know”.

  3. As a Conservative Party member, I am ardently hoping that Jezza prevails. I am foolish enough to think that the only chaos is in the Labour party. The Tories are electing a new leader (and PM), because the present incumbent has the decency to stand down now that his race is run. Of course had Jezza joined the gang who think leaving the Holy Roman Empire is doomed to failure, he would not be in his present predicament.

  4. Guardian reported a poll of Unite members that said that 48% wanted Corbyn to go and 44% wanted him to stay.

    Also, it has to be said that in a head to head stand off, a lot can change quickly if he does badly. One of the reasons Corbyn stood out in the last leadership election is that no-one attacked him until it was too late, and even then the other three were still trying to position themselves against each other.

    This time Corbyn would have to defend a pretty indifferent record (Lab members thought he was pants in the EU ref), plus his office sabotaging the EU ref) and also it would be a head-to-head on ability.

    Personally I think Owen Smith is a more viable candidate as he’s closer to Corbyn so can attack from a similar position and has no Iraq vote to defend.

  5. If the NEC do not ensure Corbyn has to get nominations it will be signing the death warrant of the party. The whole point of the nominations is to ensure that the leader has enough support in the PLP – if the MPs had done their job properly in the first place we’d not be in this situation.

    Without this, the current situation (although not inevitable to be repeated) has a chance of happening again. No leader in any field can succeed without the support of their key leaders (be they parish council, golf committee, or shareholders). The last leader who tried it was IDS.

  6. From these figures it seems that the only way out for Labour is to get Corbyn to resign – then hold an election after he is gone.

    I would expect that the PLP will just keep on and on badgering him – for months if necessary – until he does resign. It’s their only clear path to victory.

  7. ADRIAN B.
    Hello to you.
    I think Neil Kinnock will get the dirty work done, to save Labour

  8. @Chrislane1945

    Lord Kinnock’s view on what the party rules mean is based in the proviso there is a vacancy.

    There isn’t.

    I’ve read legal opinion that is quite clear that if JC does not resign (therefore there is no vacancy) he doesn’t need the nominations of the PLP. This would result the issue being a vote for the membership.

    I think it’s quite obvious that MPs think this is the case, or else they would have moved against JC by now.

    It’s also clear they don’t think that a vote of Corbyn vs A.N.Other would be anything other than a JC.

    The PLP are hoisted by their democratic petard!

  9. Correction

    @Chrislane1945

    Lord Kinnock’s view on what the party rules mean is based in the proviso there is a vacancy.

    There isn’t.

    I’ve read legal opinion that is quite clear that if JC does not resign (therefore there is no vacancy) he doesn’t need the nominations of the PLP. This would result the issue being a vote for the membership.

    I think it’s quite obvious that MPs think this is the case, or else they would have moved against JC by now.

    It’s also clear they don’t think that a vote of Corbyn vs A.N.Other would be anything other than a JC win.

    The PLP are hoisted by the Labour Party petard!

  10. It is a very odd time. Cameron was spot on that the country needs the Labour Party to have genuine leadership.

    Currently, we do not just need a government to have a policy on Brexit, it is important to know where the opposition stand. Either the thoughts of many Remainers that they can turn this all around need to be put to bed, or the battle lines need to be drawn.

    Labour’s difficulty is that Corbyn doesn’t really speak for the old Labour heartlands, but his challengers are generally the sort who alienated those heartlands in the first place.

    It would be interesting to have a breakdown of where Labour support lies these days. My guess is that if you take out those who voted Leave up north and in Wales, you are left with a shaky coalition of metropolitan liberals and socially conservative ethnic minorities. So Labour need to reconnect with the Labour-Leavers – which can hardly be done by pleasing David Lammy by engaging in a rearguard campaign against Brexit.

  11. Sorrel

    You know how ridiculous the plotters look, day after day saying “resign or there will be a leadership challenge tomorrow”

    Up until this week it was weakening corbyn, i could feel my own resolve slipping away. Now its just silly and all i can do is laugh at the ineptitude of the PLP, they can’t even put away a frail old man!

    I have nothing but my personal feelings to go on but i think the coup has failed, from here on in support for corbyn will grow while respect for the PLP evaporates. I could be wrong, we await further polling with interest.

  12. @Joseph1832

    From my neck of the woods, up north, Labour voters no doubt voted Leave in a good portion. In my constituency, the only ward to vote Remain (by a small margin) was one with a substantial ewthnic minority vote, where Labour poll at 65% in local elections.

    Other wards that always vote Labour were Leave by as much as 2:1.

    The charge that Corbyn didn’t support Remain enough is crazy. If Corbyn had gone full tilt Remain, really hard, it would just have driven Labour voters away to other parties more quickly.

    Unless the Labour Party really find a way to reconnect with their Leave voters, they are in trouble in future elections.

    Labour voters will not march out and support the PLP line anymore just like that.

  13. @joseph1832

    You are making the assumption that leavers understood what they were voting for.

    There is a poll, so we can answer that question

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/8jgy2vu2ft/ChannelFiveResults_160628_EUReferendum_W.pdf

    Do you think each of the following will or will not happen? The £350m weekly contribution will be saved and spent in Britain by leaving the EU

    Leavers – 59% still think this is true

    Immigration will be more tightly controlled after leaving the EU

    Leavers – 75% think this is true

    People will be significantly worse off once we leave the EU

    Leavers – 77% think this is false.

    Now compare that to what is actually going to happen according to all the experts.

    Politics is going to look very different a year from now if those experts are correct in their analysis.

  14. Roland Haines: “As a Conservative Party member, I am ardently hoping that Jezza prevails.”

    And many of us ardently hope that Andrea Leadsom will prevail, for exactly the same reason. Hope you’ll do your bit!

  15. Someone on a previous thread quoted Labour Party rules which said something like “if there is no vacancy* i.e. the leader hasn’t resigned or died “CHALLENGERS need to get x nominations from the PLP”.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong on that, but if I’m right, it implies that an incumbent leader doesn’t need nominations from the PLP, because it uses the word challengers, not candidates.

    But I agree with those who say it’s a farce. Tories are in a bit of a mess, but they had a timetable for candidates to put their names forward, have the first ballot etc. Farage just resigns. Goodness knows what UKIP’s procedure is, but at least they’re getting on with it. Labour just look weak.

  16. I really hope Leadsom wins. Therea May would have far more appeal for the voter in the only election that matters.

  17. Richard

    As the Spartans said – “If”

  18. @ RICHARD

    It will be interesting to see how many people in polling think we have already left the EU. There must be some who think that after the vote it has already happened.

    @ CAMBRIDGERACHEL
    I’m a bit of a spectator in the Labour Party row – though I do think the country would be better off with May versus Benn compared to the alternatives – however, the hopes of the very left wing within the Labour Party depend entirely on the behaviour of one person now.

    I can’t believe he will last. But then, I’m often wrong.

  19. Old version (2008)

    B. Nomination

    i. In the case of a vacancy for leader or deputy leader, each nomination must be supported by 12.5 per cent of the Commons members of the PLP. Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.

    New (2014)

    B. Nomination

    i. In the case of a vacancy for leader or deputy leader, each nomination must be supported by 15 per cent of the Commons members of the PLP. Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.

  20. For a while I genuinely hoped that May might win for good of the country…honestly.

    After her conversion to Idiaminomics, I now realise she is just as awful as the other candidates.

  21. It’s time the “sources” were told to shut up, or be identified.

    “Politics by leak” is no way to conduct democracy.

    Michael Crick tweet

    “Very senior union source tells me “it isn’t true” what Tom Watson told PLP tonight – that he is meeting unions tmrw. No meeting yet arranged”

    A meeting either has or hasn’t been arranged, and saying which it is doesn’t need you to whisper it over the toilet cubicle wall!

  22. @Roly

    I read you to be referring to the EU as the “Holy Roman Empire” in a derogatory manner.

    If the EU lasts one-tenth as long as that particular (literal) thousand-year reich, it will certainly be deemed a success and we’ll be left looking pretty stupid.

  23. CMJ
    Thanks for the clarification, but isn’t this the relevant part of the rules (assuming ol Corby doesn’t resign)?

    ‘ii. Where there is no vacancy, nominations shall be sought each year prior to the annual session of party conference. In this case any nomination must be supported by 20 per cent of the Commons members of the PLP. Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.’

    That is certainly different to what was posted on the earlier thread, and does suggest that Corbyn needs to get nominations. Mind you, if he doesn’t but the members support him, what happens then?

  24. I really must take issue with Catmanjeff’s comments.
    According to the party’s rules Corbyn would have to be nominated by the PLP. This is because back in 1988 Tony Benn challenged the leader Neil Kinnock and Kinnock had to get the required nominations from the PLP to be on the ballot.. The precedent has been set

  25. There are plenty of opinions out there that have looked at the rules and don’t think JC needs nominations. Who’s right?

    Anyhow, If the PLP don’t think Corbyn can get 20% of the PLP. why don’t they pull the trigger now?

  26. As an aside, if the May team manage to rig the MP vote to keep Leadsom off the run-off ballot, could we have a counter-factual to compare what might have happened if Corbyn had not made the Labour Party ballot last year?

  27. Catmanjeff

    They are saying that they are afraid of legal challenges, but the easy way around that is to make sure he gets enough nominations to be on the ballot. He won’t mount a legal challenge if he’s on the ballot paper, problem solved

  28. So who do we think is behind the coup? I’m an outsider but obvious suspects seem to be Watson, Benn or even Mandelson. My money’s on Watson, but it’s only gut feel. Why else would he have been so publicly at Glastonbury?

  29. @hawthorn

    I replied to your point about May’s stance on EU nationals on the previous thread. As a Remainer and no fan of May at all I don’t think the Government has any real.choice.

  30. Apparently Watson met with corbyn this morning. That was kept quiet, I thought his minders had refused a meeting because they had a duty of care. Lots of sound and fury from the plotters, endless spin and invention, but the corbyn side keeps quiet and plods along, no rancour no fuss. Which side would you want in govt?

  31. Rachel
    Presumably you’d want them all on the same side?

  32. Yougov poll of Tory members has May ahead of Leadsom 63-31

  33. Pete B

    I have a twisted suspicion that Andy Burnham was behind it. Crazy I know but at this point in time we know that none of the main actors is going to be leader next year. Corbyn will have to go, none of the plotters will be accepted by the membership even if corbyn stands down. The only person I can see that could be a unity candidate is Andy Burnham, it couldn’t be better if he had planned it ergo prehaps he did.

  34. @ Pete B

    I don’t think it is a single person, although there has to be somebody who conducts it (and Watson is well placed).

    I think it is a very narrow circle of conspirators who,started to sign up followers on the basis of existing prejudices (right or wrong) and LP member opinions that you can read here, for example. Then it becomes coercion for the rest.

    I also think that it was planned for after the local elections.

    Whether or not Corbyn hurts the LP (I mean he wouldn’t be in a bad company) or not is a different question. If Corbyn wins the leadership election (if the PLP pull their private A50), it puts the lot in an impossible situation. Even the debate could be such (what could they say – now scrutinised, unlike their media briefings) would be damaging for them almost to the same degree. Actually would show them as pitiful self-serving lot (I don’t think all of them are, but they actually have no argument for replacing Corbyn) – although such people are often elected.

  35. Rachel
    Interesting theory. Is he that clever?

    The Monk
    If that’s true, it looks all over.

  36. @HAWTHORN

    Current odds (to be next PM) are May 2/5, Leadsom 3/1, Gove 25/1, Crabb 75/1, Fox 150/1.

    We know bookies don’t always get it right, but it would be a major shock now if May and Leadsom weren’t the final two candidates to go to the members’ ballot.

  37. Sam Coates Times tweet

    “Exc: Times/YouGov Tory members poll

    In final round, May beats Leadsom by 32 points.

    May 63%
    Leadsom 31%”

  38. Pete B

    Yes I would want them all on the same side, but the corbyn camp has impressed me with their cool heads and refusal to pour petrol on the fire. Individual supporters of course haven’t been so disciplined but then you wouldnt expect that either

  39. Tablet forces me to be over-concise. So let’s try differently.

    If there is a leadership election, there would be debates. The plotters simply have no argument against Corbyn. Defeat number 1. Thus it would mean that the argument would have to be that the nopponent has a better chance … Now … How? Defeat (or maybe a draw if it is not Eagle) no 2…

  40. YouGov member polls on leadership have an impressive record of accuracy.

  41. @ Pete B

    Burnham is very clever, but not a very good politician.

  42. Hireton

    We are the ones who decided to leave.

    I would hope that EU countries don’t enact forcible repatriation of UK citizens, but the only way the UK government could prevent it is to maintain freedom of movement (or better still maintain parliamentary sovereignty by ignoring the referendum result).

    You need to see what happened to the Ugandan economy after the Ugandan Asians were forcibly deported…it is not a credible threat.

  43. Interesting poll, but look at the momentum leadsom has, its early days and her star seems to be burning brightly. Only problem is that boris has endorsed her

  44. David Carrod

    Those odds make sense if you assume that Tory MPs are completely honest about their intentions and are not prone to scheming.

    Personally I suspect the Anyone But May vote would outweigh any attempted shenannigans, but I would not put money on it.

  45. Corbyn would not need nominations to be on the ballot, that is why the PLP is trying to force him to resign…

    “Election of leader and deputy leader
    A. The leader and deputy leader shall be elected separately in accordance with rule C below, unless rule E below applies.
    B. Nomination
    i. In the case of a vacancy for leader or deputy leader, each nomination must be supported by 15 per cent of the combined Commons members of the PLP and members of the EPLP. Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.
    ii. Where there is no vacancy, nominations may be sought by potential challengers each year prior to the annual session of Party conference. In this case any nomination must be supported by 20 per cent of the combined Commons members of the PLP and members of the EPLP. Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.”

    Note the two different scenarios & the use of the word ‘challengers’

  46. Corbyn

    I think Corbyn’s position on Blair post Chilcott will effectively turn into a kind of loyalty oath most of the PLP will feel obliged to back – the heretics will be shunned and the divisions sealed for a while.

  47. Couper2802

    The rules are ambiguous…it depends on who can get their way.

    It reminds me of the Oxford Union when I was a student. The President ended up being the person that Sheridan Westlake (returning officer) decided had not broken the rules.

  48. Hawthorn
    Why couldn’t we allow those already here to stay, but control further immigration? I don’t see why we would have to either allow unlimited freedom of movement or deport.

    The EU are unlikely to deport UK people, because I believe that a large number are in Spain, whose economy would be in an even worse state if the UK pensioners left.

  49. PETEB

    We should allow people to stay…it is Theresa May who is suggesting that may not happen.

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