Tomorrow’s Times has a new YouGov poll of the Labour leadership electorate (party members from before the cut-off date, trade union affiliates and £25 registered supporters) showing Jeremy Corbyn with a robust lead over Owen Smith. Topline voting intentions excluding don’t knows are Corbyn 62%, Smith 38%. 8% of voters say don’t know.

Jeremy Corbyn leads convincingly in all three parts of the electorate: among party members he is ahead by 57% to 43%, among trade union affiliates he is ahead 62% to 38%, among registered supporters he is ahead by a daunting 74% to 26%. If the numbers are broken down by length of membership Owen Smith actually leads among those who were members before the last general election, but they are swamped by the influx of newer members who overwhelmingly back Jeremy Corbyn.

The poll was conducted over the weekend, so after Labour members will have started to vote. The actual contest still has three weeks to go, but with people already voting and that sort of lead to make up Owen Smith’s chances do not look good.

Looking to the future, 39% of the selectorate (and 35% of full party members) think it is likely the party will split after the election. 45% of party members who support Owen Smith say that if some MPs opposed to Corbyn were to leave and form a new party they would follow them (29% of Smith supporters say they are likely to leave the party if Corbyn wins anyway… though I’m always a little wary of questions like that, it’s easier to threaten to leave than to actually do it)

YouGov also asked about mandatory re-selection. Party members are divided right down the middle – 46% of full members think MPs should normally have the right to stand again without a full selection, 45% of members think that MPs should face a full reselection before every election. The split is very much along the Smith-Corbyn divide – 69% of Corbyn supporters are in favour of reselections, 77% of Smith supporters are opposed.

Full tabs are here.


1,056 Responses to “YouGov/Times poll of Labour leadership race”

1 2 3 4 22
  1. Whether Labour splits or not, at a local level it is incredibly polarised. The last meeting I went to, anyone speaking for Corbyn was roundly cheered, whatever nonsense they said, whereas anyone for Smith was interrupted, heckled and at best given a half-hearted clap when they finished. Local Labour parties are not pleasant places to be in now if you are not a Corbyn enthusiast, and I won’t be participating in Labour stuff again for a while. I wonder how many of those who have been doing the work will think, like me, “If they’re so certain they’re right, let them do it.” But it’s not true that Corbynistas don’t get out to the doorsteps, certainly not here. Before the council elections they were commoner than Jehovah’s witnesses (who in some ways they resemble). Good luck to them, and I hope it is me that is out of touch with reality, rather than them. But it’s hard to see it ending well

  2. DAVID CARROD

    “Those on the left did, and still do, whinge about ‘Tory cuts’, but again I would ask the question, what other realistic options were there?”

    You whinge, they make irrationally liberal proposals , we claret drinking intellectuals adhere to fiscal responsibiliy and austerity.

    Investment, Dear Boy,Investment and a more rational distribution of the national income.

  3. The Govan By Election 1988 showed what could happen north of the border – well before the Blair years.

    What happened that day in Govan was actually quite similar (in swing terms) to the tidal wave that swept the whole of north of the border in 2015.

  4. The division between pre-2015 members and those who joined once Corbyn was a candidate for the Labour leadership, or was Labour leader, suggests that Tom Watson was right about entryism (although he may not have been right about them being Trots). Certainly, it looks like most recent Labour members and supporters have joined because of Corbyn the person not his policies or his competence to lead.

    The question about mandatory reselection is misleading. There will be reselections in a large number of the Labour-held constituencies anyway because of boundary changes. Lord Hayward has suggested that 200 seats with Labour MPs will be affected. In some cases there will be MPs from more than one constituency fighting for a single seat, and if this happens then Labour cannot exclude other approved candidates putting themselves forward. With a majority of Corbynistas in each constituency, it would be easy to select a candidate who supported Jeremy. He does not even need to remove all MPs opposed to him, some will make themselves unavailable by standing down, while a rump of Blairite MPs (as long as they are in a minority) will provide a useful excuse for Labour’s failure to win in 2020.

  5. @LIZH
    Considering debt has gone up, NHS in crisis, the Coalition has destroyed not improved the economy.
    —–
    Under Brown, the national debt rose by an average of £158bn per year. Under the Coalition, it rose on average by £108bn per year. Under the present Govt., it has only risen by £45bn since 2015. (Source: http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/download_multi_year_1995_2017UKb_16c1li111mcn_G1t)

    So still going up, but at a slower rate. Still far too high, though.

    As for the NHS, the 2015 census shows that out of 1.4million employees, 700,000 have no medical qualification.

    Obviously this includes cleaners, porters, and suchlike, but it shows that there are far too many highly paid administrators and managers on NHS Trust boards. No amount of money thrown at the problem will fix this, there has to be a radical top-down purge of these parasites.

  6. After many months of (deliberate) silence I would just like to humbly advise my comrades of Labour not to fall into the trap of converting their respected historic party into an English variety of Syriza! I have lived that experience in Greece and believe me it is a moral, political and financial disaster! The Corbynist sect will left no stone unturned until they turn Britain into a mix of Cuba, Venezuela and Hamas! And because of the disastrous decision of Brexit you cannot hope in an European intervention to protect you from this!

  7. HEATHER

    This poll does not reflect my experience from phone canvassing (of course include a large pinch of salt for one surveying around 300 people). Smith has been marginally ahead in members votes.

    Any impression, presumably from a single constituency (?), is no substitute for ‘the real thing’. In fact, I suspect with only 300 respondents, even ignoring the clear and present biases, having Smith marginally ahead in members’ votes would be within the reasonable error margin, given the YouGov poll gives a 57/43 split.

    Interesting questions, otherwise; I’d like to know more about the methodology for selecting and filtering registered supporters: is this given anywhere?

  8. @JOHN PILGRIM
    Investment, Dear Boy,Investment and a more rational distribution of the national income.
    —–
    That sounds like the same old, same old, Labour party dogma – tax the rich, borrow without worrying about the consequences – that has failed this country every time they’ve been in power (1945-50 excepted).

    They just don’t get that when you start taxing high earners at 50% and above, the law of diminishing returns applies.

  9. One of the interesting and quite frightening things about the Labour purge is the stories of labour supporters bring excluded for supporting family members who were standing for other parties (typically Green). Seems to have affected corbyn supporters most but not exclusively but what I find scary is it makes the Labour party a bit like the Jehovahs witnesses in that any contact outside the group is frowned upon even if its your own family members

  10. If that yougov poll on new members in the spring was correct, quite a few of those joiners (although a minority) since last May are actually returnees (just as those who joined when EM became the leader).

  11. David

    “Obviously this includes cleaners, porters, and suchlike, but it shows that there are far too many highly paid administrators and managers on NHS Trust boards. No amount of money thrown at the problem will fix this, there has to be a radical top-down purge of these parasites”

    But but but, those are establishment people, Tory and New Labour donors, have you gone corbynista?

  12. ‘The Govan By Election 1988 showed what could happen north of the border – well before the Blair years.’

    And indeed the November 1973 Govan by election won by Margo Macdonald!

  13. John Pilgrim

    “Investment, Dear Boy,Investment and a more rational distribution of the national income.”

    Borrowing enriches the lenders and concentrates wealth in the financial sector.

  14. Leftieliberal
    ‘The question about mandatory reselection is misleading. There will be reselections in a large number of the Labour-held constituencies anyway because of boundary changes. ‘

    That is a bit presumptious because it remains far from certain that the boundary changes will be approved when presented to Parliament in Autumn 2018. Several Tory rebels are likely.

  15. ProfHoward

    “The Govan By Election 1988 showed what could happen north of the border – well before the Blair years.”

    The exception proves the rule.

  16. BARBAZENZERO

    It will be interesting to see if there will be a split on the right but I think that would be less plausible than a Labour split. However any split/splits will be down to how May handles Brexit and how the PLP response to ol Corby winning the leadership contest.

    Who knows, by 2020 we could see a 4 party Parliament, rump Tory, a large UKIP representation, Corby led Labour party and some sort of new progressive Labour party.

    It would certainly make parliament more interesting and representative of public opinion and all that under FPTP!! Maybe there is life in the old system after all.. ;-)

  17. David Carrod
    ‘Under Brown, the national debt rose by an average of £158bn per year. Under the Coalition, it rose on average by £108bn per year. Under the present Govt., it has only risen by £45bn since 2015. ‘
    The Debt/GDP ratio in 2007 on the eve of the worldwide crash was lower than Labour had inherited in 1997.

  18. “The Debt/GDP ratio in 2007 on the eve of the worldwide crash was lower than Labour had inherited in 1997.”

    but was GDP artificially inflated by the credit bubble that caused the crash?

  19. Jehovahs witnesses!! who mentioned them?

    A few weeks ago I was over in Stevenage looking after my cousins wee one (so she could get a night oot) and ordered a Domino’s pizza. 10 minutes later the door went and I thought, my my Domino’s have certainly given their staff a revamp..shock horror out came the pamphlet and kingdom hall mantra and then came the inevitable door slam.

    I don’t take to doorstep preaching that well.

  20. AC

    I remember getting into an argument with some JW at the age of 8. It ended up with me telling them they were ridiculous for believing that anything that contradicted their views was “put there by the devil”.

    I’d be more polite today but honestly I think they deserved it for trying to indoctrinate children, they just happened to pick on the wrong child with me.

  21. GUYMONDE

    The Labour experience seems very different in different areas. I have pretty close knowledge of four CLPs and they vary enormously. In my area the new members don’t attend meetings (four exceptions) and were all unwilling to help out in any way with the Ref campaign – or anything else. Can’t say what they are like because the only ones I know I’ve met outside of the party.

    The picture is identical in my sister’s party (300 miles away) but the exact opposite in those attended by my sons (also some distance away) where they have had very unpleasant meetings dominated by a specific group of new members.

    The only common thread I have noticed is that the new people in each area seem to have joined specifically to support Corbyn. In that sense their interest in local issues (which is what most local party meetings are about) is nil. Corbyn is the reason for their presence in the party and specific policies are not important – the judgement is simply is it or is it not supportive of, or supported by, Corbyn.

  22. have just seen that corbyn outscored smith with women and remainers?
    is that true? if so its surprising as this was one of smiths main attacks-also on competence?
    can anyone explain what an entryist is?
    its used a lot but what does it mean?
    i was a lab party member under wilson callaghan foot kinnock and early blair then decided club politics werent me and have steered clear since
    most of my lab friends at that time left during blair years-one joined greens one lib dems others opted out
    some rejoined just post 2010 others have joined recently
    are they entryists having been members for 20 years?
    most wont get to vote this time round but they are intelligent thoughtful people not trots
    again people have reasons for not being active members-one of these is disabled one is a carer etc
    should these people be deemed less worthy of a say in politics because they cant get to meetings or deliver leaflets?
    they mostly thought their party had been taken over by blair entryists
    perhaps everyone should all be a little more tolerant and listen to each other rather that shouting
    incidentally what vetting and purging are the conservatives planning on their 50k new members?

  23. @LeftieLiberal

    ‘ it looks like most recent Labour members and supporters have joined because of Corbyn the person not his policies or his competence to lead.’

    Why does it? I don’t know anyone who is supporting Corbyn just because of his person, and it is his policies that are of most significance.

    As for proving entryism … have you seen the demographic profile of the ‘new’ members? Their average age is 51y and a significant percentage are former Labour members who left because of Blair’s occupation of Iraq.

  24. Mr Jones

    Debt has grown faster than GDP since the late 70s, not just a gordon brown problem.

  25. maura the people i mentioned certainly are not cultists
    corbyn is almost irrelevent
    its the hope of what could happen and a revulsion of the nec and party management behaviour
    the corruptiion of the party machine since blair is important to them and the chance to have a say in policy

  26. CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    But it’s not ‘contact outside the group’ it’s actively supporting that family member in a political activity
    One of my relatives is a local Tory councillor. He has never expected me to support his political ambitions -and nor would I. We have different political views and it would never occur to me to ask him if he’d mind delivering a few labour leaflets ! that certainly doesn’t stop us having contact but if I start supporting one of his campaigns against a Labour candidate then it’s clearly not a policy issue for me but just that I think he needs support – in which case he can get it from a supporter of his own party.

  27. ALAN

    Good for you and any adult approaching an 8 year old child and trying to indoctrinate them into some sort of weird and wonderful cult should most certainly be put in their place. If I’m being honest I think you were too polite back then and you should had headbutted the weirdos.

  28. CR

    “not just a gordon brown problem”

    didn’t say it was

    pointed out that GDP was artificially inflated before the crash by the credit bubble that caused the crash

  29. I have decided not to help anyway with canvassing or money (except my membership fee) until Corbyn is elected leader & there are no more challenges because I don’t want any of my help to benefit the rebels should they succeed in ousting Corbyn. It is possible that others think the same.

  30. @Maura @leftieliberal

    As you say Maura it must vary a lot. Here the new members are enthusiastic not only about Jeremy Corbyn but are well informed about policies and issues both national and local. One reason they have joined is that they see the chance for once to have some of those policies come into being and are willing to trust the Labour party once more, whereas under Blair and Milliband they saw no hope. Many are returning in our area having resigned over the Iraq war. To paint them as followers of a single character and decry their political understanding seems misguided to me… especially if you haven’t had much chance to talk to them. Many are bringing lots of life experience of having worked hard in social justice areas such as housing and food banks and are certainly out on the doorsteps and campaigning on issues. In fact it is the longer term members who it is hard to motivate at the moment.

  31. Good Afternoon everyone from a sunny Bournemouth East.
    I think Labour in Parliament will carry on until 2020 GE. (I think May will hold it then, on the grounds the Labour Party will be weaker then than it is now).
    With a ‘rump’ of about 130 seats out of 600 the long road back may begin, but not if a far left/ultra left NEC and Shadow Cabinet and Leader are picked.

  32. TULLY

    I didn’t describe them as ‘cultists’. As I said I think different areas may be different but I do think the influx in party members has been driven by a desire to support Corbyn. Your experience/belief may not be the same.
    I also think many people are rejoining but clearly not in numbers great enough to explain the huge growth in members – because the membership now is so big

  33. AC

    Agreed, I’d include political parties with that. It always annoys me to see children dragged along to rallies carrying a placard that mummy made.

  34. Maura

    You wouldn’t sign nomination papers for your uncle? You have never posted on social media hoping he does well? What about if it was your daughter, would party still come before family? Would you not tweet good luck to your daughter if she was standing for another party?

  35. @MAURA

    ‘The Labour experience seems very different in different areas.’

    Very true .. in the four nearest constituencies, including my own, the new members have become very active. For example about 20 are going out canvassing tonight, in a town council by-election 12 miles away. In addition, they are setting up all sorts of initiatives, including a mother and baby group meeting in the LP building, getting involved with the food bank, refugees, closure of schools and Post Office plus leafletting at the train station in support of the guard strike.

    Anecdotal evidence is just that but I can’t help but feel that with the right encouragement, there are new members everywhere that are wanting to be involved. However, unfortunately, even in my own area there are long standing members who are very negative towards the newcomers… I suppose that’s very human to not want change but it is also very sad to see such a waste of energy and enthusiasm.

  36. I am really enthusiastic about the policies that Corbyn’s team are proposing but the reason I back Corbyn is a) he was democratically elected and should be given at least one GE before challenging his leadership and 2) he has shown stamina that I don’t think any current Lab MP possesses to fight the Establishment and bring about the changes we members want.

  37. Alan

    Taking your children along to protests etc is a sure fire way to turn your kids into right wingers. I was concerned about indoctrinating my kids so I always argued the right wing point of view, it worked a little too well! My son says he’s a Communist

  38. CATOSWYN

    Indeed I’m sure it’s very different. I didn’t think I had decried their political understanding – simply because as I said I know little about them other than conversations outside of party meetings. They may see Corbyn, as you suggest, as the individual who will put the policies into place that they want. It just so happens that one of the major policy decisions recently was on the Ref and no new members here were prepared to participate. If they had then I would have probably had a different view on their motivations.

  39. @Tully

    have just seen that corbyn outscored smith with women and remainers?
    is that true?

    Men went for Smith/Corbyn 43 – 57
    Women 33 – 67

    Remainers 42-58
    Leavers 17-83

    Please note that the Leavers subset was only 146, so the MOE is around +/- 8%, so it might be closer than the 17-83 figures suggest.

    However, it looks like like Leavers do have a strong preference for Corbyn. Given Smith wants to campaign to remain in the EU and have a second referendum, this is not surprising.

  40. David Carrod
    “As for the NHS, the 2015 census shows that out of 1.4million employees, 700,000 have no medical qualification. Obviously this includes cleaners, porters, and suchlike, but it shows that there are far too many highly paid administrators and managers on NHS Trust boards. No amount of money thrown at the problem will fix this, there has to be a radical top-down purge of these parasites.”

    Obviously there are some overpaid administrators, but that figure seems misleading. Presumably most of those 700,000 are actually lower-paid vital people that hospitals will always need like engineers, cleaners, cooks etc?

    I personally know several people who work for the NHS without medical qualifications and they’re all doing important work (e.g. fixing medical equipment) on fairly meagre salaries.

  41. BARBAZENZERO

    I wasn’t arguing whether it was fair or not I was just saying that :

    ………………many are very happy with FPTP and think its more than adequate.”

    I stand by my statement, many either think its fair or don’t care and the only real voting recently on the subject saw the status quo (FPTP) winning comfortably.

  42. Well – to answer your questions specifically: no I have never signed nomination papers for my uncle -why would I there must be lots of people who support his views who would sign his nomination papers?
    I have never posted on social media wishing him good luck – if I did I’d imagine he’d think I was being either sarcastic or hypocritical – he knows I don’t support his views
    The position would be the same if it was my daughter – she would know perfectly well that a) I love her dearly and b) I would be unable to support her political views. To me that seems pretty mature in a democracy.

  43. My son (aged nine) was never forced into any beliefs, but recently told us he wants to be vegan like my wife and myself.

    Not only that, yesterday he started to make banners against the new badger cull off this own volition, and has for a long time complained every time a commercial for cosmetics comes on TV about the pointlessness and cruelty of animal testing.

    We are proud of him :)

  44. by the way i understand the average age of new members is 51
    not an age renowned for rashness naivity or blind personality politics
    i have no idea how many are rejoiners byt that age suggests quite a few-lots and lots were lost under blair

  45. Delighted to hear Mrs May reaffirming to her cabinet the following:

    “………..Theresa May has said the UK must focus on the “opportunities” on offer outside the EU as she reiterated there would be no second referendum on Brexit.
    She told them that the UK would not stay in the EU “by the back door” and she was committed to making a success of Britain’s “new role” in the world.”

    I think that clears up some of the nonsense theories we have seen from Remainers (or Remoaners as David likes to put it) recently.

  46. MAURA

    Corbyn is the reason for their presence in the party and specific policies are not important – the judgement is simply is it or is it not supportive of, or supported by, Corbyn.

    I take some objection to this. People support Corbyn because of his policies. Ergo, policy is important.

    I’m a member of the CLP in the borough I grew up in, and am now returning to after a five year stint elsewhere. As my father was on the board of governors for local schools and was an active member and canvasser for the local Tory party, I intend to be for Labour.

    Agree that new members tend to care more about national than local issues, but not exclusively, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing (the Tories won the last GE with a national campaign).

  47. Irish govt doesn’t want the 13 billion pounds that the EU says it owes Ireland. I see their point, its only £3000 per person and its not like the Irish need the money. Irish govt is going to appeal the EU decision because its a vote winning strategy

  48. ICM poll

    Conservatives – 41%
    Labour – 27%
    UKIP – 13%
    LD – 9%
    Greens – 4%

  49. @Millie

    “There is now a significant space available in the centre left of British politics, so it is surprising that the LibDems do not appear to be making much progress. If I were a Smith/PLP supporter, I would be inclined to go and hijack the LibDems…”

    ———

    When the Labour lot who left to form the SDP tried that, it rather turned out the other way around, that the Liberals took over the SDP…

  50. Theresa May has said the UK must focus on the “opportunities” on offer outside the EU
    —–
    In other words, let’s focus on much closer relationships with our Commonwealth family and other former members of the Empire.

    Going off topic a bit, I wrote a comment in the New York Times about the limited power of the President when the opposing party has a majority in the Senate.

    i suggested that it was a mistake to tip all that tea into Boston Harbour 240-odd years ago, and that the US should have retained the UK Monarch as head of state, like Canada, and adopted the Westminster parliamentary model.

    A surprisingly high proportion of the readership posted comments agreeing with that.

1 2 3 4 22