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. @Alan
    Aye, there’s the rub. Whatever you think of Corbyn, I have yet to see a convincing alternative.
    I have to confess that the most impressive politician I can see from any pan-UK party is Theresa May. If she was eligible, Ms Sturgeon would be a shoo-in.

  2. ASSIDUOSITY
    I believe the Party is funded by the Cooperative movement, so has some resources of its own.

    It does, so you make a good point. See their FAQ

    It also includes:
    Shouldn’t the Co-operative Party just be an independent party?

    The Co-operative Party is an independent party. it maintains its own membership, staff, national executive committee (NEC) and policy platform, all of which are independent of Labour’s.

    It stands candidates jointly with the Labour Party at elections in order to see its policies turned into law and co-operators elected across government government.

    Assuming the Co-op want them, this bit of the FAQ might be relevant:
    Why are members of political parties other than Labour prevented from joining?

    Like all political parties, Co-operative Party members are excluded from being a member of any other party. Anyone is welcome to join, but they must first resign from any other political parties of which they are a member.

    This is an arrangement shared by almost all membership-based parties – and indeed, even if our membership was open to members of other Parties, they would be prevented from joining us due to their own party rules.

    Our electoral agreement means that an exception is made for those who wish to be a member of both the Co-operative Party and the Labour Party. This is by no means required though, and many of our members choose solely to be Co-operative Party members.

  3. “It has loosened capital controls on banks and has pointed to the risk of reduced capital inflows to the UK ‘s current account deficit. ”

    Except of course that is codswallop. The capital flows always match the current account deficit *to the penny*. If people save less abroad the CAD will be less by accounting identity.

    So it’s up to those abroad whether they want to continue to sell as much stuff here as they did previously. They either take less for it in their own currency, or they have a word with their own central bank to correct the currency changes.

    Because in a world short of demand where else are they going to sell their stuff if not here?

    Carney’s religious beliefs about the way money works are getting increasingly tedious.

  4. @ Barbanzanzero

    Yes. I glanced through those rules too… which is why I though it looked like it could be a particularly useful ‘life raft’ for ‘plotters’.

    They wouldn’t even need to resign their Labour Party membership – assuming there’s a reciprocal rule allowing Labour members to be Coop members too.

    They could simply resign the Labour whip and join the Cooperative Party and form a new group in Parliament…

    The Coop have representation at every level of government too – including the devolved administrations, and even a few Police and Crime Commissioners.

    Finally, there’s the matter of finances. Many are making a great play of the Labour Party’s dependency on the Unions for cash; however, when the provisions of the 2016 Trades Union Act are phased in over the forthcoming years, this supply of money could well be about to dry up anyway. Some estimates put the figure as a loss of up to £8m per annum.

    Perhaps this delay, hesitation, ‘farce’, whatever name one wants to give it, is allowing those on the Labour backbenches to think more clearly about their future.

    Oh to be a fly on the wall at Tom Watson’s – is it on or is it off – meeting with the TUC today.

  5. Alan: “Who do you see as the new leader if this did come to pass?”

    In the short term, it would be Tim Farron. I think he’d have a year or so to prove he could ride a bucking bronco instead of a retired donkey. If he wasn’t up to, I’m sure one of the defectors would emerge as a potential leader.

    Remember, the leader is elected by the membership, and the arrival of 100+ MPs wouldn’t necessarily lead to rapid changes in the composition of the membership.

  6. Clarification on the Welsh indy question in Scully today.

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2016/07/05/the-eu-referendum-afterthoughts-and-consequences/

    The question was asked in 3 ways –

    “If there was a referendum tomorrow on Wales becoming an independent country and this was the question, how would you vote? Should Wales be an independent country?”

    Yes: 15% : No: 65% : Would Not Vote/Don’t Know: 20%

    (ie little change from previous questions)

    “Suppose that Scotland voted to become an independent country and a referendum was then held in Wales about becoming an independent country. If this was the question, how would you vote? Should Wales be an independent country?”

    Yes: 19% : No: 61% : Would Not Vote/Don’t Know: 21%

    (little difference)

    “And please imagine a scenario where the rest of the UK left the European Union but Wales could remain a member of the European Union if it became an independent country. If a referendum was then held in Wales about becoming an independent country and this was the question, how would you vote? Should Wales be an independent country?”

    Yes: 28% : No: 53% : Would Not Vote/Don’t Know: 20%

    Which suggests that there is a group who would support indy, if the economic consequences of choosing EU over UK seemed worthwhile, but any clarity on that question is a very long way down the line!

  7. @Neil Wilson

    I should have said risk to the financing of the UK ‘s cad. Here is the BofE statement:

    “The financing of the deficit is reliant on continuing material inflows of portfolio and foreign direct investment, which have been used to finance the public sector deficit and corporate investment, including in commercial real estate.

    A sudden shift in the supply of foreign capital and in the current account deficit would be associated with a sharp increase in risk premia and adjustment in sterling.”

  8. SOMERJOHN

    Obviously Tim Farron would have first crack, however in the event of a mass exodus there would have to be some plan in place in case it didn’t work out for him.
    Unless they had a specific name in mind (they don’t seem to have one presently to contest the Labour Leadership) I can’t see them jumping and hoping to find a leader before the next election.

    Then again, they don’t seemed to have planned for the eventuality where JC says “No, I’m not going”.

    The fact that people are seriously considering a split/realignment goes to show just how strange the current environment is.

  9. @SOMERJOHN
    Yours 8ish last evening. You apparently mean that Mrs A Leadsom would not be much good as a PM and party leader. Assuming that were the case, what good would it do what remains of the Labour party? Short of being caught drowning golden retriever puppies,
    she leaves anyone in the Labour movement for dead. Even if she were very ugly, (she Is not), very stupid, (she is not), the baggage of lefty dogma and failure, is not her bed fellow. You cannot rely on Sheffield and Manchester and parts of London to win a GE.

  10. ASSIDUOSITY
    it looked like it could be a particularly useful ‘life raft’ for ‘plotters’.

    Potentially so. Others might care to look at the Co-op’s Members of Parliament page to see if any of the “plotters” are already Co-op MPs.

  11. GUYMONDE

    Given the oncoming political fiasco over existing EU national’s rights (if I had to guess, this is based on a “pasty tax” style failure to ignore civil service advice), I am beginning to suspect that Theresa May becoming PM might be another demonstration of the “Peter Principle”.

    I don’t actually think that the UK has a decent option for PM in the short to medium term. We’re screwed.

  12. @Hawthorn
    Yes. Good point.

  13. CAMBRIDGE RADICAL

    You assumption regarding Tory branch meetings is spooky in its accuracy. On the basis that the Tories are probably in power for 10 years, at least and the Labour party could very well splinter. In any case their image has given the SNP and Tories, enough ammunition to sink USS Nimitz. Therefore, what does a Labour party branch meeting look like?

  14. Thinking of that Buzzfeed article that basically implied the Labour Party has to ‘swing Brexit’ to ‘save its heartlands’, or indeed its electoral skin.

    Having looking more closely at the figures, apparently supported by Chris Hanretty, I have to say I think it’s all ‘back of a fag packet stuff’.

    First of all, the correlation between parliamentary seats and local authority areas (which is how the referendum results were counted) is far from direct.

    This leads to glaring anomalies that they themselves point out – awarding all the Leeds Westminster seats to ‘remain’ and all ‘Birmingham’ to ‘leave’ for example. Apart from these obvious absurdities, it fails to take account of urban rural splits in smaller local authorities, that may or may not exist, for which we don’t have the data, but that might impact on a constituency level.

    Quite apart from the fact that we simply can’t predict how important a factor Europe will be in the next election, there’s the more pressing question of Labour needing / wanting to reflect the actual views of its own voters.

    According to the figures extrapolated [email protected] Mexico from the Ashcroft polling, Labour voters broke for remain in every single part of Britain:

    “the percentages for (Labour) Leave are:

    Scotland 27% [38%]
    North East 41% [54%]
    North West 41% [53%]
    Yorkshire & Humber 41% [55%]
    West Midlands 43% [55%]
    East Midlands 36% [57%]
    Wales 41% [56%]
    East of England 36% [57%]
    London 29% [44%]
    South East 32% [53%]
    South West 33% [53%]
    Total GB 37% [52%]

    where [] are the Ashcroft Leave figures for those regions (which may be different from the actual – they don’t seem to have weighted).”

    Granted these are existing Labour voters, but it’s worth noting that the VI polls up to and around the referendum were not / are not picking up huge variation from the GE.

    So there’s a question as to whether a swing to a staunchly pro-Brexit position is likely to shore Labour up in this part of the world (as it could gift some existing majority ‘remainers’ away) and also how great the threat from UKIP actually is – the leadership election and subsequent fortunes of that party will unfurl in a fascinating way in the months ahead.

    Given that in the most pro-Brexit areas the Labour vote for leave is around the national Conservative vote for remain, the proposition if reversed would be that the Tories had to adopt a remain position to protect the Home Counties and M4 Corridor. Does that sound sensible?

    Furthermore, there is the question of metropolitan and Southern Labour voters who seem to be amongst the most staunchly pro-remain in the electorate.

    Will a party that embraces Brexit heartily hold on to these voters? The experience of the SDP from the 1980s and the ‘Lib Dem surge’ or the 2000s is that these Southern ‘retail voters’ are some of the most likely to switch.

    Finally, there’s the question of ‘electoral ambition’. If the Labour Party (should it continue to exist) essentially holds the same position as the Conservatives on the potentially defining issue of Europe in the run up to the next election, what differentiates them? Why would a ‘soft Tory’ in the East Midlands or South East jump ship? A policy of ‘drawing people back to the polls’ could be advocated – but the ones who came this time are in existing Labour areas, and next time might be younger pro-remain.

    Clearly for either main party to ‘reject’ the outcome of the referendum would be politically impossible. However, those advocating that Labour need to swing ‘heavily Brexit’ are probably being naive. The majority of Labour voters backed remain – the party ignores them at its peril. Likewise, Southern and metropolitan Labour voters could well find somewhere else to go.

    Finally the political wisdom of both major parties occupying a political position held by 53/4% of the population in E&W, does leave the remaining 46% of the electorate open for grabs.

    Labour would be well advised to hold its nerve and concentrate on its focus on ‘holding the Conservatives accountable’ rather than setting out on any brave new policy adventures themselves.

  15. ROLAND HAINES

    Good post, especially the Short of being caught drowning golden retriever puppies, she leaves anyone in the Labour movement for dead but whoever becomes the next PM is going to have a fairly difficult next couple of years just negotiating Brexit let alone trying to keep Scotland and NI [should a “hard” border prove necessary] in the UK.

    That may end up improving his or her position but equally it may not, especially if the “city” disapproves. If Lab can find a uniting leader fairly soon, then all bets for GE 2020 may be off.

  16. Those percentages of Labour voters don’t, of course, take into account the large numbers of Labour voters who had already deserted Labour PRIOR TO the 2015 election – or those (probably some of the same) who had rejoined under Corbyn’s more leftwing leadership.

    Therefore don’t underestimate the capacity for Brexit etc to make Labour’s loss of traditional voters more permanent.

  17. @ Barba

    ” Others might care to look at the Co-op’s Members of Parliament page to see if any of the “plotters” are already Co-op MPs.”

    Quite… Chis Leslie? Lucy Powell? Seema Malhotra? Steve Reed?

    All ‘resigners’.

    Though I note that Jonathan Ashworth – rather surprisingly – is still in place. Plus, Rachel Maskell has actually been promoted.

    So there you go – it could be a swapping of personnel.

  18. My prediction of Leadsom for PM is getting some traction on Social Media, Lefties & alternate candidate supporters are tweeting Leadsom’s views on matters such as political correctness, burqua wearing, gay adoption, hoping to harm her. Unfortunately for them, I can imagine the 150k Tory electorate nodding along with her and saying ‘this is why we voted Leave’.

  19. Dave
    ‘ his stance on the EU which was ‘Remain and Reform’”
    Delusional. But then I voted out back in 1972 because I thought that the “United States of Europe” was a bad runner and should have been a non-starter, but they will keep trying.’

    There was no vote in 1972!

  20. @BT Says….

    “Those percentages of Labour voters don’t, of course, take into account the large numbers of Labour voters who had already deserted Labour PRIOR TO the 2015 election – or those (probably some of the same) who had rejoined under Corbyn’s more leftwing leadership.”

    It’s interesting that we hear so much talk about all the voters who ‘abandoned Labour at the last GE’ in the North.

    In percentage terms this isn’t the case.

    In the North West Labour took 44.6% of the vote in 2015 up 5.2%.

    Here the LibDem vote collapsed and UKIP rose dramatically.

    In the North East Labour took 46.9% of the vote, up 3.3%.

    Here the LibDem vote collapsed and UKIP rose dramatically.

    In Yorkshire and the Humber Labour took 39.1% up 4.8%.

    Here the LibDem vote collapsed and UKIP rose dramatically.

    Even in the East and West Mids and the East of England Labour increased its vote – but by no where near enough to achieve a significant enough swing to take seats from the Conservatives, who, in turn were devouring the LibDems.

    The highly complicated story of UKIPs rise is not properly understood – it can be put down to churn, but the observable facts are massive LibDem collapse and significant UKIP rise in region after region.

    This is why I say simple solutions like Labour becoming a Eurosceptic party overnight are based on a distortion of the data and are unlikely to work out in the way those proposing them believe.

  21. Got the new Private Eye in my hot little (Metropolitan) hands.

    Only just started reading it, but they are having a field day.

  22. Roland

    CLP meetings are as you would expect. First we tally oppression points to see who’s going to chair the meeting. A bit pointless really because the genderqueer disabled black lesbian always wins.

  23. Test

  24. @OLDNAT

    There is no real appetite for Welsh independence. Wales is, to all intents and purposes, practically a part of England, in the same way that Cornwall is. The Celtic heritage is much less associated with national identity than in Scotland or Ireland. I don’t ever foresee any Welsh independence.

  25. Ah, i don’t know which word in my last post triggered the auto mod. I suppose it will pop out later, its just an innocuous poke at entrenched misconceptions

  26. @:Graham
    You are right. 1975 of course, to decide whether to stay in. I thought when I posted that the date might be wrong, but didn’t check. My memory, which falls off with age, misled me. In 1972 I was still at the stage of not wanting to go in, but we didn’t get a vote then.
    For what it’s worth, 67% of a 65% turnout voted to stay, so Remain support has fallen off somewhat since then.

  27. @HAWTHORN

    You are correct – we are well and truly screwed. Cameron or Osborne were still the best options for PM but are too identified with the remain camp. This has now become a sectarian struggle within the Tory party. I predict that the current consensus in the Conservative Party will not last long – if negotiations go badly the remain camp will start to finger point at Gove, Johnson and Leadsom and sparks will fly. May seems to have jumped ship to the leave camp and others like Fallon and Hammond have joined her with enthusiasm, which makes me wonder if they were ever pro-EU in the first place. But there is still a strong pro-EU element and they will agitate unless we stay in the single market.

  28. Cameron is generally viewed as being better than any of the 5 Tory contenders. He is also now considered the worst PM since at least Anthony Eden.

  29. @Barba

    “If Lab can find a uniting leader fairly soon, then all bets for GE 2020 may be off.”

    Indeed. Likewise if re-alignment were to occur. The SDP / Liberal Alliance just failed to break the mould for a range of reasons.

    A unifying national war now seems like a remote prospect, the Conservatives putting entirely to bed their personal and political acrimony and unifying also seems to me a lot more unlikely than many assume, finally the financial and social heft of the unions is hugely decayed.

    All the above combined with the wholly changed situation in both Scotland and NI and the EU negotiations make this the most propitious time for a new force since the 1920s. We see them emerging elsewhere, why not here?

  30. Re all this chatter about the plotters and their attempted coup.
    Surely most plotters planning coups have in mind the actual person they want to become the new leader – and how that person will be put in place.
    I think the PLP have been naive.
    People thought If Corbyn did not have the support of MPs, then he would resign – and no doubt stand again.
    But Corbyn ‘s blinkered certainty that he has God on his side quickly put paid to that.
    Someone, I think BFRon, pointed out political parties have three constituencies – Members, MPs and voters. It is not just about the wishes of members, whether or not they paid 3 quid.
    This is a parliamentary democracy and MPs represent millions of labour voters whose views should also count.

  31. In reference to lurkinggherkin post @ 9.25 am . I voted against corbyn and i want him out now . Yet i find myself in exactly the same position as yourself . We are in strange and confounding times indeed.

  32. CR – I got one as well in on the last page which I am sure does not fall foul of any autmod triggers, hopefully my test works like yours.

  33. ASSIDUOSITY

    Glad to see I’m not the only one of that view.

    BTW, please use BZ if you don’t use copy and paste.

  34. GRAHAM

    “But then I voted out back in 1972 because I thought that the “United States of Europe” was a bad runner”

    There was no vote in 1972!

    Actually there was. Just not in the UK.

  35. @Assiduosity

    You used my “retail voters” expression. I am happy now.

  36. Assiduosity.
    Thanks for reminding us Labour did increase its vote share in many areas of the country at the last GE. It’s funny how people make assertions. Although the press and BBC have always portrayed 2015 as Labour’s Armageddon.
    Hopefully people here do take the trouble to read posts, such as yours, which provide evidence to support their arguments. Oh well. Hope springs eternal.

  37. I see Juncker is now sniping at Johnson and Farage for ‘leaving the boat’.

    Hasn’t this bloated bureaucrat got anything better to do, such as signing off massively inflated expenses claims, moving thousands of documents from Brussels to Strasbourg in a fleet of lorries, or dreaming up the latest Regulations regarding the approved shape of vegetables?

    Every time this clown opens his mouth, it’s further confirmation that Leave was the correct choice.

  38. @ Tancred

    “There is no real appetite for Welsh independence. Wales is, to all intents and purposes, practically a part of England, in the same way that Cornwall is. The Celtic heritage is much less associated with national identity than in Scotland or Ireland. I don’t ever foresee any Welsh independence.”

    I agree with the first part, that political independence is, for the foreseeable future (so that will be Thursday), out of the question for Wales.

    However, the second part of your argument is deeply flawed. Wales’ Celtic heritage is very much tied up with a sense of national identity, it is simply that Welsh national identity is essentially cultural rather than itself being tied up with the notion of a nation state.

    In my own experience of returning to Wales over the last 30 years, I would say that a more cohesive national cultural identity, crossing the traditional language divide, exists today than it has done at any point in at least the last half century.

    This can be seen in the growing popularity of symbols of nationhood, popularity of Welsh names and a growing preference for bi-lingual and Welsh medium education even among traditionally English-speaking families.

    Whether this cultural sense of nationhood ever translates into the political sphere is another matter entirely, and to an extent will relate to patterns of migration to Wales from the rest of the UK and the fortunes of Labour and Plaid Cymru.

    Part of the reason that Wales’ Celtic heritage is not as widely appreciated outside of Wales (as opposed to that of Scotland and Ireland) is that it is conducted in the medium of Welsh and therefore more focused almost exclusively on the Welsh themselves. The two major Eisteddfodau alone attract around 250,000 attendees each year, but are largely unreported, apart from in the Telegraph and FT who normally cover the major poetry prize.

    So whether Wales plumps for independence is perhaps unlikely, though unpredictable, then again perhaps the notion of national identity being so closely linked with nation state is the one that will seem more anachronistic in the future.

  39. BZ
    I always picture you as ‘Ginger’, Just William’s best friend.

  40. My prediction of Leadsom for PM is getting some traction

    On social media Journalists & alternate candidate supporters are tweeting Leadsom’s views on matters such as political correctness, burqua wearing, gay adoption, hoping to harm her. Unfortunately for them, I can imagine the 150k Tory electorate nodding along with her and saying ‘this is why we voted Leave’ or ‘about time someone said this’

  41. Valerie

    Its a bit difficult to ask the 9 million voters their opinion on the Labour leader, but at the last labour leadership contest there were 423 thousand voters. Thats quite a bit. This time round given the increase in membership and the media frenzy over the issue, there could be anywhere between 500 thousand and 1 million voters in a Labour leadership election. Personally my best back of a fag packet guess is 700,000.

    Are you saying that a leader that gets 350,000 plus people to vote for him in direct opposition to the parliamentary party has no mandate?

  42. @DAVID CARROD

    You sound like Farage yourself. People like Juncker exist in any organisation, whether you like it or not.

  43. @ BZ

    “BTW, please use BZ if you don’t use copy and paste.”

    Received and understood – shame, I rather like Barba as it reminded me of Barbapapa et al, but I understand if you don’t wish to be associated with a 1970s shapeshifting pink blob and erstwhile star of children’s books and animations.

  44. @HAWTHORN

    “Cameron is generally viewed as being better than any of the 5 Tory contenders. He is also now considered the worst PM since at least Anthony Eden.”

    And all this speaks volumes about the current candidates. I think Boris is biding his time, having seen the awful mess to sort out. He doesn’t want to sort it out and neither does Osborne. Both of them are positioning themselves to be the ‘safe pair of hands’ candidates once Brexit negotiations go belly up. The new PM will be drinking from a poisoned chalice.

  45. Valerie

    “BZ I always picture you as ‘Ginger’, Just William’s best friend.”

    A dangerous road to go down! You’ll have people searching for Violet Elizabeth Bott ! :-)

  46. @ Neil A

    “You used my “retail voters” expression. I am happy now.”

    I think it’s an excellent term – I’m sure I’ve ‘borrowed’ it before – apologies for acknowledging you as the source!

    Unfortunately, I fear we also have ‘retail politicians’ who are prepared to shift any old policy they think will sell. Extending the metaphor I wonder who will end up being the BHS in the current crop….

  47. @ Cambridge Rachel

    ‘The problem with the rebel labour MPs joining the Dems is the liberal Democrats are even more democratic than the Labour party.’

    (Snigger!)

    Re: Co-op MPs new HoC grouping… do the Co-op members get a say?

  48. @ Valerie

    “Hopefully people here do take the trouble to read posts, such as yours, which provide evidence to support their arguments. Oh well. Hope springs eternal.”

    Thank you… it is good to know that someone might be getting through to the end of my posts!

  49. Oh dear auto mod thinks I’m a racist.. Will try again removing possible word.

    @ Cambridge Rachel
    ‘The problem with the rebel labour MPs joining the Dems is the liberal Democrats are even more democratic than the Labour party.’

    (Chuckle!)

    Re: Co-op MPs new HoC grouping… do the Co-op members get a say?

  50. I went through all this trauma with Labour in the 80s\90s. Basically, they need a leader and there isn’t one. Someone has to lead the band of plotters and unify the party and be nice to JC.

    In the 80\90s a rule was brought in to counter entryism & people had to be members for a year before they were allowed to vote – that rule should never have been repealed. The £3 entryism has done for Labour I’m afraid.

    The problem is no leader is emerging, the person I’ve been most impressed with is Richard Burgon and he’s on Corbyn’s side.

    Dan Jarvis, Keir Stammer etc have been found sadly wanting. It is a pity Sadiq decided to be mayor as he seems the best Labour has.

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