There is a new Opinium poll in the Observer with topline figures of CON 37%(+3), LAB 31%(+2), LDEM 6%(-1), UKIP 15%(-2), GRN 4%(nc) – changes are from a month ago. The Conservatives have a healthy lead, but not the sort of big honeymoon lead that ICM and YouGov both showed them enjoying.

The Observer’s write up concentrates on the Labour race. Among current Labour voters Jeremy Corbyn is the preferred choice of 54%, Owen Smith of 22%. Labour voters do not, of course, necessarily reflect the preferences of the Labour members and supporters who get a vote, though the previous YouGov polling of Labour party members also suggested a large lead for Corbyn. On who would make the best Prime Minister (among the general public, rather than just Labour supporters!) Theresa May leads Corbyn by 52% to 16%.

441 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 37, LAB 31, LD 6, UKIP 15”

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  1. The PLP have played so many dirty tricks, so many untruths that it has got to the stage that we have shut our ears to anything they or their supporters say. A bit like what happened to Clegg, when he spoke no one listened.

    This article published in the Independent in Nov. 2015 shows that the Labour Coup was planned and not a spontaneous decision after Hilary Benn’s resignation.

  2. Liz H

    I would guess some resignations were planned, some were spontaneous.

    But seriously, did you honestly believe it was ‘spontaneous’? I think spontaneous would have been a bit weird and disorganised wayt o behave.

    And what difference does it make? Why does this make the PLP bad people at all, let alone worse people than the vicious communists propping up JC?

  3. ALEC

    A really interesting article by Bagini.

    But he make one huge error when he says “the real job of politics is to balance competing demands ”

    This is so for “us”. But his article is about Corbyn & Corbyn’s supporters. And they believe that compromise is the problem in politics today. For them it isn’t a question of “competing demands”-it is a question of their demands.

  4. @BT
    I don’t consider myself a communist but I will support Corbyn to the very end. I call it fighting for democracy.The PLP don’t believe in democracy.

  5. @ BT says

    ‘And what difference does it make? Why does this make the PLP bad people at all’

    Have politics reached such a low that blatant and direct mis-speaking doesn’t make a difference or make politicians bad people?

    Such ‘pragmatism’ is a good part of the reason for Corbyn’s popularity and a desire to ‘clean up’ politics.

  6. @ David Carrod

    Many thanks for the clarification.

    ‘If Foster were to win, and get a ruling that JC has to get MP’s nominations to be on the ballot paper, I can imagine the NEC will take it to the Court of Appeal, and then the Supreme Court if necessary. it could all get very bloody and interesting.’

    Do you have any idea of the sort of timescale that would entail?

  7. In regard to polling about Labour, i think the most important question is whether Labour can win a general election with Corbyn as leader ? I don’t think many people around the UK see Corbyn as the person they want to see representing the country. Corbyn was not prepared to represent Labours position on Trident during the recent HoC debate and instead gave his own views.

    If in the unlikely event Corbyn led Labour to an election win, would he be representing himself or representing the view of the country ? I don’t see Corbyn following policies he does not agree with.

  8. Alec

    Try telling a black person that its ok there are only a few black people in parliament because white people understand their pain and can represent them just as well as any black person

    Try telling a woman that she doesn’t need women in parliament because she can trust men to have her interests at heart

    See what reaction you get, then perhaps you will see how offensive your post was

    The fact is that we are more underrepresented in parliament than any other group, we are underrepresented in the media as well. Its not socially acceptable for politicians or media personalitys to be racist or sexist or even homophobic but its open season on chavs. We are constantly put down and laughed at and abused in the media and politicians of all Persuasions talk about us in derogatory ways and advocate policies that disadvantage us.

    Im not upset, I’m really angry, I’ve had enough, I’m not going to take any more

  9. @R Huckle,

    I think the problem goes beyond that. What is “Labour’s View”? Corbyn’s answer would “Whatever the membership says it is”.

    If the membership want the party to have policies that mean it can’t be elected, that’s a matter for them.

    At the core of all this is free choice. You don’t have to share a party with people with whom you don’t share opinions.

  10. @SYZYGY
    “Do you have any idea of the sort of timescale that would entail?”

    In the normal course of events, escalating a case up to the CoA and then the SC takes about a year for each step.

    But I would imagine the public interest, and the fact that they need to announce the result by 24 Sept, would mean the Court service would fast track the hearings so that it could all happen within a couple of weeks. The High Court case being heard today was listed far more quickly than would normally be the case.

    There is also a separate legal challenge being mounted by a law firm on behalf of the £3 members, in which they are saying that the NEC decision to only allow votes for members of six months standing, was a breach of contract. Not sure when that one will reach court.

  11. Cambridge Rachel
    Do I understand you to say that you are a “CHAV”? Is this a religion or an ethnic group. What does being a chav mean exactly, these are serious questions from me.

  12. R HUCKLE

    @” I don’t see Corbyn following policies he does not agree with.”

    Absolutely-losing Hilary Benn was an indication of that. Yet his supporters are aghast at the Shadow Cabinet reaction.

    It is deep in the man-one only has to reflect on his own history of serial rebellion against his Party & a succession of Labour leaders, as one listens to his demands for loyalty to him.

    His rebellions are “good”. Rebellions against him are “bad”.

    This Orwellian mindset produces an uncompromising politics which disdains pragmatism.

    I feel sure that it is what most appeals to his core supporters.

  13. Test

  14. Roland

    Chav is a derogatory term for a member of the lower classes, in the same way ni**er is a term for black people or qu**r is a term for gay people

    Interestingly chav doesn’t trigger auto mod but other derogatory terms do

  15. @CA – I’m genuinely sorry that you are angry at me, but I just don’t see why. I did imply in my last post that I am in favour of positive discrimination to reverse under representation and I repeatedly accepted that we need more diverse views in parliament and elsehwere.

    My point is that Corbyn drew his boundaries in terms of those who have suffered Tory cuts, not to a particular group, making assumptions that only the working class are struggling and by implication everyone else is fine.

    He then failed to deliver. Just what, precisely, has he done on this, and any other policy statement he has made. That’s the bit that makes me really angry. Labour successfully fought off cuts to tax credits, by concerted action by their shadow front bench and their members in the Lords. Corbyn never attended any of the meetings, presumably spending the time sitting on his arse inventing new slogans. And then he has the temerity to claim this as a victory for his leadership. The man’s an empty shell.

    Just as with his policy on big pharma. last year he was all for supporting Pfizer when there was a chance to make a statement to try and embarass his political opponents. This year he is attacking Pfizer to try and embarass his political opponents.

    You may well wish to stick with Corbyn to the bitter end, like @Lizh, but you won’t have to wait long, and I’m afraid it will be bitter.

  16. @ Ron Olden

    I think the “going after the Tory vote” may be a little bit simplistic It is possible there aren’t that many rich pickings in that vote as compared to the 7m plus who voted for other parties (UKIP, Lib Dem, Green).. The SNP vote is beyond Labour I think until the SNP slip up.

    Since 1997 Labour has lost 4.2m votes whereas the Tories have put on 1.7m so there are plenty of votes to be had elsewhere. Even with the 800k additional SNP voters there’s still just as many voters who have left Labour who have gone to other parties/not voting as those who have gone to the Tories.

    Plus there is also the “p*ssed off vote” that seem to have led to the higher turnout in the EU Referendum and a result that showed a majority of voters willing to take some sort of gamble.

    The problem for Labour is they are being split in several directions. There’s the City v Town thing we saw in the referendum, There’s the ethnic vote v working class mildly racist vote and the biggest of all is the “core vote” that seems to have deserted them since 1997 v the soft Tory vote (the Tories who will balance their economic views with wanting good public services). With the right policies none of the groups need to be an either/or but there is an element of choice to be made. Anything likely to appeal to Tory voters is also likely to bring risks to the core vote.

    I feel there is an argument to be made for focusing on the people who would vote Labour but just stopped voting (or went Green) and the UKIP vote that may have come predominantly from ex Tories but may previously have swung to Labour. And also inspiring the young to get out and vote.

    Either way I don’t think the country is the same as 1997 or pre 2008. 1997 the country wanted steady as she goes but with more emphasis on public services and a more liberal social attitude. In 2016 I think the country wants change- they just can’t agree what sort of change it should be. Hence to move among left and right leaning voters to more radical versions on their respective wings.

    The winning from the middle ground theory may still just be holding but it is looking more wobbly by the day.

  17. @ Colin

    “It is deep in the man-one only has to reflect on his own history of serial rebellion against his Party & a succession of Labour leaders, as one listens to his demands for loyalty to him.

    His rebellions are “good”. Rebellions against him are “bad”.”

    Exactly. Why are his supporters like Cambridge R and Syzrgy so wilfully blind to his own hypocrisy and unfairness, and regard him as some kind of victim. It beggars belief.

  18. @RH
    Not wishing to speak for CambridgeRachel, but I read her to be saying that she is fed up with the assumption that, as a member of the working class, she has ‘undesirable’ characteristics that can be stereotyped under the label ‘chav’.

    @CR Please slap me down if I am wrong…

    What exactly are the lower classes. There are very few people around nowadays who don’t have to work for a living. Obviously I exclude the retired like me, but i certainly did have to work to live. Why are you so delighted to put yourself in some category that is seen as derogatory?
    If you are in the lower end of the wealth stakes, move heaven and earth to climb up the ladder. Since you seem determined to be on a footing with having black skin or fancying your own sex, I would point out that a black cannot become white and many homosexuals cannot enjoy the idea of hetrosexual sex. You can improve your lot. Of course this presupposes that a black person is not thrilled to be black, or a gay person does not think being gay is wonderful. You seem to be saying I am poor I love being poor, but Jeremy Corbyn should help me. I can promise you from the bottom of my heart, Corbyn will do nothing positive to help working people as long as he lives.

  20. What I find a bit baffling, being an onlooker to the Corbyn/PLP barney, is that the obvious conclusion is that BOTH sides are acting very badly.

    The PLP are petrified that ‘their’ party will be stolen by the newer members and they will lose their seats, despite the reality that this is the result of democracy in action, which they are supposed to be 100% in favour of.

    Conversely, Corbyn seems to be the very definition of an appallingly bad man-manager and leader; the more egocentric and selfish his actions, the more his supporters seem to applaud his ‘honesty and integrity’.

    It reminds me of watching the Republicans in the US, where Trump can come out with any meaningless rubbish he likes and the 10% of the public that is (in his case) right wing and feels excluded will cheer from the rafters and declare that he is ‘saying it like it is’.

    At the same time the Republican ‘establishment’ is flip-flopping between trying to stop Trump, trying to rein him in, or just ignoring him and hoping that he will go away.

    Substitute Corbyn for Trump, and maybe Harriet Harman for the Speaker of the House, and you have a pretty good match up!

  21. @BT says

    I didn’t realise Corbyn had called for a vote of no confidence in previous leaders and campaigned against them? Are there articles detailing this?

  22. @CA (and others).

    I’m declaring a unilateral truce here. I get the fact that various posters here think JC is the best thing since sliced bread and that he walks on water, and everyone by now also knows that I don’t share this view. There isn’t really muchy more to say.

    We occasionally get into these situations (Indyref, anyone?) and to be honest, views don’t shift and opinions remain fixed. All that happens is that everyone gets annoyed and upset, with those not interested in the specific topic getting bored, and Anthony despairing of the tone and content of threads.

    I’m going to do my best refrain from further comment on Corbyn unless it is more directly related to polling matters, and in doing so I hope to stay on good terms with other posters, who I may disagree with but still respect.

  23. Good morning all from a warm central London.

    @Allan Christie
    “What a load of utter tripe”

    That’s as far as I got reading your post then switched off. can’t be bothered with prolific bleathers like you, Totally obnoxious argumentative and incredibly boring. Can’t engage in proper debate and just pure babble.

    Regrettably I took you back off my own moderation filter but from now on thankfully I wont be seeing any more of your comments.

    Breath of fresh air….ah that’s better.

  24. @RolandHaines
    Being working class is not about the amount of money you make, it is about the type of work that you do, and to a lesser extent about social attitudes.

    Yes, an individual person can change their job, but then someone else has to do that job and presumably be subject to the same derogatory assumptions – and why should they have to change their work to escape stigmatisation anyway? Why can’t manual workers be proud of their jobs, communities, etc.?

  25. @Alec

    Anew poll, but I fear it won’t calm the debate…

    @Conservatives 43%
    @UKLabour 27%
    @LibDems 8%
    @UKIP 13%
    @theSNP 4%
    @TheGreenParty 4%
    @Plaid_Cymru 1%

  26. Muddy,

    The small (181) Scottish sample has the SNP on 48% and Labour only 2% ahead of the Tories on 22% to 20%.

    On these figures if near accurate, the Tories could come above Labour in Scotland at westminster but there is also the possibility that the SNP might win all the seats in Scotland because if anything it suggests the SNP are stronger and Labour weaker than last year.

    I don’t think we have had a Scottish poll in some time so it’s difficult to tell just how it would go.


  27. The term ‘chav’ is defined in Wikipedia as follows:

    “Chav (/?t?æv/ CHAV) is a pejorative epithet used in Britain to describe a particular stereotype.[1][2] The word was popularised in the first decade of the 21st century by the British mass media to refer to an anti-social youth subculture in the United Kingdom.[3] The Oxford English Dictionary defines “chav” as an informal British derogatory, meaning “a young lower-class person who displays brash and loutish behaviour and wears real or imitation designer clothes”.[4] The derivative chavette has been used to refer to females,[5] and the adjectives “chavish” and “chavtastic” have been used in relation to items designed for or suitable for use by chavs.[6]”

    So it’s more to do with behaviour and lack of dress sense – some chavs are working class, but far from all working class people are chavs.

    Colleen Rooney was once described as “Queen of the Chavettes”. I think the country might be in a sorry state if people like her sat on the green benches.

  28. David Carrod

    I always made that sort of association, I see it as a modern day subculture much like mods, rockers and teddy boys from before my time.

    It might be seen as derogatory because people who fit this behaviour tend to be a nuisance. If groups of young men dressed in sports gear went around tidying hedgerows and picking up litter from the street, I’m sure whatever word was used to describe them wouldn’t have a negative connotation, regardless of the class they were predominantly from.


    No. Class is ultimately about upbringing – not education, work or money. It is about upbringing and social attittudes completely. If you define class as purely an economic classification then it’s about work, but I think it’s more than that.

  30. ANDREW111
    @ Allan Christie

    I agree with a lot of you comment regarding Russia and Putin. I’m not suggesting Putin is a saint but if you had a Western type leader running Russia then I think the Russian state would fragment and eventually fail. The country went through decades of Communism then a period of instability, a period of mass corruption and now somehow Putin has to deal with all of this.

    I know there are civil rights issues in Russia but in the main the majority of Russians do support him and the more the west try to isolate Putin the more popular he becomes.

    As for NATO, I think Putin is making a lot of noise about the alliance for political reasons at home and he knows that NATO would never attempt to invade or attack Russia because it would lead to the eventual destruction of the alliance and likewise NATO and especially the Americans are making a lot of noise about the Russian bear so they can justify defense spending and keep the defense lobby happy.

    I think the planet is a far less safe place when we have a unipolar World dominated by America than having a multipolar world dominated by Russia USA and China, that way any expansionism can be kept in check.

  31. @David Carrod
    You have precisely illustrated Cambridgerachel’s point – ‘people like her’ aren’t fit to take part in public life, in your view.

    If you are objecting to her level of intelligence, well there are a few pretty stupid MPs in the Tory party (I’ve met at least one that I wouldn’t trust with a shopping trolley)

    If you object to the way she behaves, again we’ve had some pretty poor behaviour from sitting MPs – from bribery to ‘cash for questions’, from duck houses to multiple affairs, and as for some MPs’ penchant for self publicity… it’s a tough call to mark her down against our current pool of political ‘talent’.

    Or do you object to her working class background, accent and demeanour? In which case you are demonstrating exactly the prejudice CR is referencing.

    Perhaps by having one or two people from Colleen Rooney’s background in the Commons we might find out more about why this large group of our citizens feel so ignored, disenfranchised and embittered – which could be quite useful, yes?

  32. @Peter Cairns

    Quite so. But compared to the rest of the regional cross-breaks a 2 point lead over the Tories in Scotland feels like a triumph. I wonder how long it is since Labour last failed to hold a poll lead in any GB region.

    Anew poll, but I fear it won’t calm the debate…
    @Conservatives 43%
    @UKLabour 27%
    @LibDems 8%
    @UKIP 13%
    @theSNP 4%
    @TheGreenParty 4%
    @Plaid_Cymru 1%

    That’s quite an incredible poll for the Tories and truthfully it was only a matter of time Labour would slip further down into the 20’s and the Tories hit over 40%..although this is just one poll…

    It will be interesting to see how Labour spin this..One side will say it’s more evidence ol Corby is dragging the party down and others will say it’s due to ol Corby bashing from the PLP.

  34. This Poll will be a very interesting test of the determination of Corbyn’s followers .

    I assumed Smith will make use of it-what will The Flock’s reaction be.?

    If it’s “we don’t care-that’s not the issue”-Smith & The Labour Party have had it.

  35. @Bardin

    Corbyn supported Tony Benn when he challenged Kinnock for the leadership in 1988. Rebellion enough for you?

    It was this that prompted the threshold for challenger nominations to be increased to 20%, to prevent futile, divisive, annual challenges.

    I don’t regard it at all likely (and I think it would be an incorrect ruling, the NEC was entitled to rule as it did), but it would be ironic if the High Court overturns the NEC decision on whether Corbyn needs nomination, and Corbyn is unable to stand because of a threshold for nomination he was instrumental in bringing into being, albeit unwittingly.

    I can’t see the other High Court case getting very far either.

    Requiring a 6 month qualification period for voting was entirely (and IMHO sensibly) within the rules. When you join a club you accept its rules. It might be argued there was an implied contract which has been breached, but even if this argument succeeds the loss incurred by the plaintiffs is the cost of their membership. The Buy-a-Vote scheme blurs the picture somewhat, but that is an entirely separate contractual arrangement. The obvious legal remedy for the breach of contract is for the plaintiffs to repudiate the contract if they wish so that their membership is cancelled and membership subs refunded.


    So, for a trigger ballot you need a bare majority of the votes in a bare majority of the party units? In other words, it is much *easier* to trigger a full reselection than if you needed a majority of all members. In a CLP with e.g. 7 branches and no affiliates (far from unusual) you would need to win in the 4 smallest branches.

  36. @Colin
    ““we don’t care-that’s not the issue”
    That’s how I see it. It is about democracy and Smith & PLP are trying to oust a democratically elected leader.

  37. @LizH

    Like Corbyn did in 1988.

  38. @Tancred
    That’s your opinion, but sociologists tend to lean towards class defined by levels of access to a combination of economic, social and cultural capital, as originally defined by Boardieu IIRC.
    I think that is how the British Social Survey works, for instance.

  39. @Robin,
    Kinnock was elected in 183 and lost an election in 1987. PLP has been plotting to oust Corbyn from day one and he hasn’t been given the chance Kinnock was given.

  40. Obviously in 1983 and not 183.

  41. Bardin

    Corbyn campaigned consistently against his leaders the whole time they were in government, as well as some or all of the time they weren’t. He was the most rebellious MP in the Commons by some way, with no concept of pulling together for the common good.

    When the Labour Party membership was less Corbyn-friendly (pick whatever year you like, guess we can all agree pre-2010 anyway), do you think Corbyn was busy quoting them and what a majority of them thought as justification for his rebellion? NO, because it wouldn’t have been true. Blatant inconsistency with his stance, used against those he doesn’t like in the party, today.

    Corbyn doesn’t deserve the sympathy of eg Cambridge Rachel or Syzgy – who I believe to be sincere, decent people – because (regardless of the very many faults of many individuals from the PLP) he has shown himself to be the most self-serving and dishonest of them all. Just because he is more inept with it doesn’t somehow make him more principled, more nice or less culpable.

    Are these people really supporting him because of his class stance rather than his ‘decency’, ‘policies’ etc.? If so, that’s their prerogative, but why not recognise it as such and then say so openly? And, perhaps, question whether this is desirable (although of course allowable; we’re a free country).

    People like Trump and Corbyn have, frankly, shown themselves unfit to lead their countries.
    Corbyn should take a leaf out of Bernie Sanders’ behaviour at the Democrat Convention this week. He hasn’t surrendered any of his principles, but he’s shown he can be both pragmatic and think for the good of his party, and – important to people on this site aforementioned I believe – what is really going to come closest to turning his principles into reality.

    “You have precisely illustrated Cambridgerachel’s point – ‘people like her’ aren’t fit to take part in public life, in your view.”

    No, I didn’t say that. CR has stated that she is working class, but I have no idea whether she goes round in a girl gang terrorising pensioners outside the post office while dressed in Sports Direct’s finest attire.

    The archetypal chavs would have no interest in public life anyway, most of them would struggle to name more than two politicians. For them, everything revolves around so-called ‘reality’ TV – The Only Way Is Essex, Celebrity Big Brother, and that kind of dross. They’re the sort of people who say “should of” and can’t distinguish between there, their and they’re. Such people should be nowhere near the Palace of Westminster.

  43. This poll really is terrible for Labour – it’s very hard to to describe just how awful it is. Of the 82 polls since September 2015 and corbyn’s election, the average Labour score has been 31.4%, and this is only the third time they have plumbed the depths of 27%, their lowest in this time period.

    In a way, this is not unexpected, as a new PM normally gets some kind of bounce and setting this in juxtaposition to Labour’s problems is almost bound to produce something like a 16% Con lead, but Labour supporters should be very concerned about the long term trend, in my view.

    There is a genuine debate about who is to blame for the immediate issue. Obviously some think Corbyn is simply a poor leader, but a contested and pretty haphazard attempt to unseat a sitting leader is certainly not going to help your poll ratings.

    I do find it difficult though to reconcile myself with @Lizh’s and others criticism of the attempted coup as being undemocratic however, when the person they support campaigned hard for annual leadership elections. As others have pointed out, there is an element of the boot being on the other foot here. Stability is the watchword for whoever is in charge, and those democratic principles now seem out of the window when the Left have seized the crown.

    The other point to be made is the obvious one – that ultimately the leadership challenge is being done through perfectly normal Labour Party democratic rules. It’s very disconcerting to see pro Corbyn democrats saying that this whole matter is all about democracy, when Owen Smith is simple asking for a democratic vote on the leadership.

  44. David carrod

    Arrrrhhh, there their and they’re

    My head is exploding right now. You people here can’t help but be offensive!


    Prettu much agree with all you said

  45. @Robin
    If we go down fighting for democracy so be it. No point having a party that doesn’t believe in democracy.

  46. @BT Says @Robin

    Thanks – I’m noty a Corbyn supporter, just wanted a bit of background.

    I would say though that 1988 is somewhat different – a Leader after losing an election he was widely expected to win (as opposed to someone just elected to be leader by a large majority of his party)

    I’d be more interested in the ‘campaigning against the leaders’ Robin mentions (which I assume to be more than just voting against the party whip, which would be consistent with his Trident stance). Some detail on that would damage Corbyn’s campaign far more than some of the over-hyped stuff like the Watergate comparisons at teh weekend (which could have been subitled “Office Manager uses key to unlock office !!”)

  47. @LizH

    What precisely do you think “democracy” is? What is its purpose? Is it tyranny of the majority, or finding a compromise that accommodates all views? How do you safeguard the minority view and allow reasonable dissent? What is reasonable?

    I think Erdogan has some interesting answers to these questions, and regrettably I suspect your answers in a Labour Party context would be uncomfortably close to his as regards Turkey.

  48. LIZH

    Freed of the constraints of actually wanting to achieve political power, you will be very happy, I feel sure, with Mr Corbyn’s brand of “Democracy”

  49. Sorry not discussing any further. Corbyn for Leader.

  50. Just one example of Corbyn’s long-standing view of leadership challenges:

    On June 15, 2015 – in the run up to the leadership election – Mr Corbyn told a BBC Newsnight hustings: “To avoid the personality argument I think there should be the opportunity to elect or not elect the Labour leader regularly every one or two years so that we don’t get into this idea ‘the leader’s vulnerable, we have got to get rid of the leader or don’t get rid of the leader’.

    Well, this contest is one year later, so why is he complaining?

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