Ian Warren of Electiondata had published a new YouGov poll of Labour party members. Overall, it looks as if Jeremy Corbyn’s suppport among the Labour membership is down a bit since last year… but that right now he’d likely be re-elected again. To some degree a fall in support among existing members has probably been mitigated by the gradual churn in membership as pre-Corbyn membership falls and newer, more pro-Corbyn members join. Back in August 2016, 53% of paid up Labour members thought Jeremy Corbyn was doing well, 45% badly. The latest figures are 51% well, 47% badly. The figures are not directly comparable because of changing membership (a substantial proportion of members joined post EU referendum and they were some of the most pro-Corbyn members). Nevertheless, the net effect is that Corbyn’s support really hasn’t fallen much.

If we go back and look at Corbyn’s historical ratings among party members the big drop appears to be at the time of the EU referendum and the attempted coup, but since then things have steadied. In Nov 2015 66% of Labour members thought Corbyn was doing well, by May 2016 that had risen to 72%. Straight after the EU referendum and Hilary Benn’s sacking it it fell to 51%, in July 2016 it stood at 55%, by August 2016 it stood at 53%, today it is back to 51%. Some of those ups and downs are because the polls were seeking to measure those Labour members entitled to take part in the election and there were back and forths about cut-off dates, but you can see the broad trend – a sharp fall, then a pretty steady position.

Neither has there been much change in attitudes towards Corbyn’s future. Opinion has moved a little against Corbyn fighting the general election and in favour of an organised transition. 44% of Labour members now think Corbyn should contest the general election (down from 47% last August, but up from 41% in June 2016), 14% think he should stand down at some time before the election (up from 6% in August). The proportion of members backing his immediate ousting has actually fallen, now just 36% (from 39% in August 2016 and 44% in June 2016)

If there was an election now, 52% of Labour members say they would definitely or probably vote for Corbyn in a fresh leadership election, 46% said they would probably or definitely not. To put this in context, when YouGov asked the same question in June 2016 50% of Labour members said they would probably or definitely vote for Jeremy Corbyn, 47% said they would probably vote against him.

In the event the leadership election that followed was not a close thing. By July 57% of Labour members were saying they’d probably vote Corbyn (40% probably would not) and Corbyn’s lead among full party members ended up being 18 percentage points. Of course, it may be that the 2016 leadership election could have panned out differently with a different anti-Corbyn candidate or a different strategy, but comparing these figures to the polls before last year’s leadership election does not suggest there has been any sea-change in Labour members’ support for Jeremy Corbyn.

So what, if anything, would change the mind of Labour members? Ian’s poll asked if Corbyn should stand down in various circumstances. A substantial majority (68%) of Labour members said he should go if Labour lose the general election. A majority (55%) also said he should go if he loses the support of Trade Union leaders, and 50% said he should go if he loses the support of the shadow cabinet.

The problem is these are theoretical questions. In practice people tend to see events through the prism of their existing support, so Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters will tend to explain away negative events and blame then on other people (that’s not intended as a comment about Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters in particular, but on human nature in general. It happens in all other political parties too). There’s a lovely example of this in Ian’s poll – asked who or what was most responsible for losing the Copeland by-election, 85% of those Labour members who voted for Owen Smith said Jeremy Corbyn. Very few Labour voters who voted for Jeremy Corbyn last year put any blame on him though – among Corbyn’s 2016 voters the main causes of the Copeland defeat were seen as the media (46%) and Tony Blair’s speech (35%). Only 14% blamed Jeremy Corbyn. Don’t imagine that all those hundreds of thousands of members who have supported Jeremy Corbyn, who have been enthused by him and brought into the party by him will easily be disuaded from supporting him.


384 Responses to “Election Data poll of Labour members”

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  1. “If we go back and look at Corbyn’s historical ratings among party members the big drop appears to be at the time of the EU referendum and the attempted coup, but since then things have steadied.”

    ——-

    Notable the impact such things may have…

  2. Do we know whether this poll is of actual “members”, or does it include “registered supporters”?

    Further, Is there a mechanism in Labour for annually re-registering these supporters, or will they be counted forever, even if they don’t pay another fee?

  3. In times of turmoil, voters and politicians alike seem to grab hold of something and cling to it.

    Corbyn seems to have tunnel vision. His supporters seem to have tunnel vision. Despite it looking like electoral disaster for both.

    May seems to have tunnel vision on Brexit. Her cabinet the same and those who voted for it the same. Despite it looking like it wont deliver what it said on the tin.

    Voters are odd. But so too are politicians.

    From all this, it is to be hoped, something good and solid emerges. But who and what? Only time will tell.

  4. ON
    Good points.

    ————————-

    I picked up on this:
    “…..and 50% said he should go if he loses the support of the shadow cabinet”

    Hasn’t he already done that about twice?

  5. Good evening all from rural Hampshire.

    “So what, if anything, would change the mind of Labour members? Ian’s poll asked if Corbyn should stand down in various circumstances. A substantial majority (68%) of Labour members said he should go if Labour lose the general election”
    __________

    Well, one thing is for certain….ol Corby will be toast sometime in May 2020.

    I was speaking to a colleague at work today about ol Corby his romance with Diane Abbott. According to him Diane Abbot’s romance was with Robert De Niro.

  6. De Niro married his first wife, Diahnne Abbott, in 1976.

  7. DAVE

    I can see why he was confused.

  8. There is a place for people who do not believe in born to rule for the head of state.Against spending the vast sums on renewing trident.However it is not with FPTP in England.If we had PR these views would find a level of support.

  9. @Dez

    They have a level of support. Currently around 25-26% of the population it seems.

  10. The Tories will be glad that the Secretary of State for Ensuring a Feeble Opposition is still firmly in place. A very valuable member of cabinet when all around are political difficulties..

  11. Dez,
    That’s true, but there would also be a level of support for parties who wanted to deport all immigrants, bring back the death penalty, and so on. I agree that some form of PR would be good, but we have to realise that extremists on all sides would get a voice.

  12. Not sure republicanism is extreme Pete?

  13. @Mr Jones

    Have replied in the previous thread to your post concerning the Greek olive-picking crisis…

  14. Peteb True but at least your vote is worth something.Millions of votes at the last GE for UKIP and the Greens and One seat each not good for democracy.Also the seats that never change keeps turnout down so hardly representative democracy .Every vote should count.

  15. Well the micro-targeting stuff might make FPTP increasingly less tenable…

  16. Quite sad, and a little baffling, to read through AW’s commentary on this poll. It shows the depressingly poor judgement of so many members that is really hampering Labour.

    With apparently 32% of members thinking Corbyn shouldn’t even resign if he loses in 2020 (‘if’ – that’s a screamer) and 35% blaming Copeland on Blair’s speech, you can really see why Labour are simply irrelevant now.

    It is the problem of trying to get people to take responsibility that keeps coming back to haunt politics. No one likes to admit they got something wrong, so Copeland can’t be anything to do with Corbyn – it must be the last Labour leader but one who has been out of UK politics for 10 years (yes – a full decade, yet he still apparently sways elections!).

    Likewise Brexit. There are all manner of excuses/denials underway, which will continue for decade hence, simply because people won’t like to admit they were old a pup, even when the evidence presents itself to them tied up in a neat bow.

  17. JIm Jam
    I should perhaps have said ‘a greater variety of views’ rather than extremists. As it happens I don’t think bringing back the death penalty is extreme either.

    One odd thing about republicanism is that all MPs have to swear allegiance to the queen, her heirs and successors. Are there any republicans in Parliament at present? If so, are they hypocrites? I seem to remember a story about one new MP who kept his fingers crossed behind his back when he took the oath!

  18. @Jim Jam

    Significantly more Britons believe the moon landings were faked than are in favour of ending the monarchy.

    “Extreme” might be accurate if couched in terms of “a long way from the average voter’s views”.

    But yes, a Republican is not an Extremist (anywhere outside of NI. And perhaps Trump Tower).

  19. @Alec

    I don’t think the jury verdict is quite as assured on Brexit as you present it.

    Those who predict it will be a disaster have certainly set out a wide range of well-argued reasons why. But the future has a funny way of slipping through the fingers of the prophets.

  20. @Neil A – “I don’t think the jury verdict is quite as assured on Brexit as you present it.”

    Absolutely, but there have already been many visible negatives, which some are choosing to ignore. That’s really my point.

  21. “Significantly more Britons believe the moon landings were faked…”

    ——-

    Well there are a few questions…

  22. @Alec

    Hmm, I am not sure that have been that many visible negatives. I suppose it depends on how you define it. I would characterise it more as “straws in the wind” and “warnings” than visible negatives.

    The signs are that the UK economy is going to slow down, and those in the know are certainly ascribing at least some of that to the referendum vote.

    But if once April comes and the A50 negotiations are underway, it looks like both sides are engaging with a mutual interest in progress, I suspect the picture may brighten. A big “If” though of course, but I retain a sense of optimism about the fundamental good sense and constructive atttitude of both sides.

  23. Synth prices were a visible negative…

  24. Controller keyboards, they increased in price too. And music apps, Apple put those up. And my new iPad Pro too, come to think of it…

  25. @Neil A

    “I suspect the picture may brighten. A big “If” though of course, but I retain a sense of optimism about the fundamental good sense and constructive atttitude of both sides”

    ———

    Ah, you must not know about the constructive attitude to Italy and Greece…

  26. ALEC
    “Quite sad, and a little baffling, to read through AW’s commentary on this poll. It shows the depressingly poor judgement of so many members that is really hampering Labour”
    _____________

    How can it be poor judgment if a significant section like and feel connected to the Corby message? All they are doing is sticking by their and ol Corby’s principles. Poor judgment to outsiders but not to his supporters.

    Looking from the outside in, the problem Labour has under Corby is that his message ain’t resonating beyond the Labour core. It also doesn’t help matters when you have an orchestrated witch hunt by the MSM towards the guy.

    Personally, I don’t see Corby as a natural leader for a political party but he does have pressure group qualities. In an age of austerity, you do need someone like Corby around, I just don’t think leading HM opposition is the right place for him but that’s for his supporters to determine.

  27. Fake moon landings!!

    Well up until a few years ago I was extremely sceptical about the whole thing then I watched a documentary on the moon landings which covered all the conspiracies one by one.

    One fact alone should dispell all myths that the moon landings were faked….The Russian’s said they monitored every inch of the lunar landing and even to this day they still pick up a very faint signal from the beacon the Americans left on the moon.

    Rember it was at the height of the space race between the USSR and the USA.. The Soviets already won the space race by putting man into space, do you think they would have sat back and said nothing if they thought putting man on the moon was a fake?

    Not on your Rusky nelly.

  28. @Allan C

    You don’t need to walk on the moon to leave a beacon.

    Jus’ sayin’…

  29. @Allan Christie:

    What most conspiracy theorists forget is that conspiracies are comprised of people, not institutions. To get a conspiracy like faking the moon landings off the ground (so to speak), you would need hundreds of people to sign up to it.

    Lots of people involved, particularly the ring leaders, would be ruined if it were exposed – and those at the top will generally be very comfortable in life. You need to bring people into the conspiracy – so presumably you either need a 100% recruitment rate (impossible), or eliminate anyone who refuses (now they are getting involved in murder!!)

    Having carried out the conspiracy, now live in fear of exposure for rest of life while lots of people carry a secret that can ruin you. The people at the bottom could make a fortune by spilling the beans (unless the enforcers are still ready and primed), but little downside.

    And for what personal gain??

    That is not to say lots of people will ignore inconvenient truths for what they see is the greater good, or have a selection bias in one direction or another. But for truly epic, downright lying conspiracies like “faking a moonlanding”, you just need too many ordinary people with no personal upside to get involved.

  30. Well, it doesn’t all have to be faked. if they just faked the landing, the tricky bit, how many would really need to know?

  31. There is no problem with Corbyn having enough support in his party to remain its leader. The problem is he is leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, which needs coherent policies and to be capable of forming a government.

    @ALEC ” people won’t like to admit they were old a pup”
    But whether you were sold a pup depends on what kind of dog you voted for.
    On my contention that on major issues people vote against what they don’t want rather than for what they do, I believe that Leave got a majority because of the number of people not wanting to be ruled from Brussels with little chance of choosing who is in power there. Admittedly that the Remain economic arguments were obvious nonsense did not help that cause, and good ones might have swung it, but that is hardly being sold a pup, as whether either UK or EU makes a go of it will only be known in the medium to long term.
    Incidentally, older people (like me) were I think more likely to be prepared to vote as I have just suggested because we know from experience how to live happy and fulfilled lives even if the country’s GDP and average wages were a lot less than now.
    Macmillan was not laughed at in the fifties when he said “You’ve never had it so good” – or something like that, anyway
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/20/newsid_3728000/3728225.stm

  32. CARFREW
    @Allan C
    You don’t need to walk on the moon to leave a beacon.
    Jus’ sayin’…
    ___________

    That’s true but the USSR confirmed the moon landings were real.They also said that the reason there hs been no other moon landings is just purely down to the sheer cost of it.

    Scientifically, we know more about the surface of the moon than the bottom of the Earths oceans. The program I watched covered everything from the shoogly American flag in zero gravity to the shadow of the flag itself which some said was on the wrong side.

    If the Ruskies said the Yanks did land on the moon then that’s good enough for me.

    Mind you, some say the moon is a giant alien space station and it’s hollow inside. That’s for another night, though!!

  33. JOSEPH

    I totally agree with your comment. Actually, the documentary touched on the part you mentioned regarding people. Thousands were employed and hundreds were directly employed to monitor the landing…I’m sure if the landing was a fake then someone would be a millionaire by now from selling the storey to the media.

  34. Carfrew,

    Speaking as a geologist the 380kg of NASA moon rocks are pretty hard to explain without landing (the Russians did manage to get <1 kg of dust back with unmanned probes, but it hardly compares). They include rocks older than anything on Earth and with unique compositions…

    Allan: It is a bit spooky to see you quoting my grant applications for ocean floor research!

  35. @Allan C

    Well I’m not saying it didn’t happen. But you can drop a beacon or an unmanned landing stage on the moon remotely. Even today it’s quite tricky to land summat on rocket thrust without mishap. But yeah, most of the conspiracy things are easily explained away… but maybe the Ruskies played along to get someone elected!!…

  36. @Andrew

    Maybe they sent an unmanned probe… Or several till they got it right…

    And how do you know they’re not from an Asteroid? In Allan’s back garden?

  37. Dave
    “Incidentally, older people (like me) were I think more likely to be prepared to vote as I have just suggested because we know from experience how to live happy and fulfilled lives even if the country’s GDP and average wages were a lot less than now.”

    Well said. The Remain campaign’s relentless emphasis on purely economic aspects fell on deaf ears. Partly because it was so ridiculously over the top. and also because some of us can remember bread rationing, and we coped then.

  38. Yes I don’t think that’s really selling Brexit.

    Brexit is a good idea because… It’s not quite as bad as bread rationing…

    Putting up with bread rationing because had to fight a war is one thing. But to just vote for it because unhappy about fruit pickers etc. is summat else. Maybe not as bad as voting to raise synth prices, but still…

  39. Carfrew
    Bread rationing came after the war because of the government’s disastrous policies. During the war bread was not rationed.

  40. Re Brexit ‘n all that. I was flying today so picked up a freebie Times. Robert Lea’s column goes into a lot of stuff I don’t really understand about WTO rules and local content, and opines that nothing made in Britain bar certain Jags and Land Rovers comes close to complying.
    He points out that Ford are running down the Bridgend engine plant and Vauxhall is likely to follow when current models run out. Also we hear this week that BMW will build electric Minis outside of the UK (so much for our aspirations to be the lead in this tech).
    He sums up: “We have reached the Gershwin inflection point. We can argue about either or neither, but catastrophically for tens of thousands ofBritish auto manufacturing workers, we are past the point of saying: let’s call the whole thing off”

  41. ANDREW

    “Allan: It is a bit spooky to see you quoting my grant applications for ocean floor research”
    _________

    OH!! Well, I hope your ocean floor research yields some tangible results. Even if it means (no pun intended) going to great depths.
    ……………..
    CARFREW

    “… but maybe the Ruskies played along to get someone elected!!…”
    ____

    It’s not impossible but again it brings us back to all they peeps at NASA and on the USSR side…who knew what where and when and why has no one come out to myth bust the moon landing?

    Questions questions but one thing is for sure…It’s way past my bedtime.

    Night night peeps and don’t let the lunar bugs bite.

  42. I meant to post this link…Maybe the North Koreans will shed some light on the moon landing. Apparently, they are bringing the moon to Earth.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZIgda01k6o

  43. @PETE B

    “Bread rationing came after the war because of the government’s disastrous policies. During the war bread was not rationed”

    ———

    I’m not sure that exactly when the bread got rationed really helps with selling Brexit…

  44. @Allan

    Like I said, if they flew round the moon and just faked the landing part, how many would really need to know?

    Maybe it was a joint Russian-American operation and so they had to keep it secret. The Lunski Module…

  45. Alec

    “Quite sad, and a little baffling, to read through AW’s commentary on this poll. It shows the depressingly poor judgement of so many members that is really hampering Labour. ”

    You may be in danger of arguing from the stance that these Labour members are showing “poor judgment” because their motives aren’t the same as yours would be, if you were a Labour Party member.

    That’s a very fallacious argument!

    You assume that their main motive is to get a party called “Labour” into forming the government of the UK.

    I have a pal in the Labour Party who still campaigns for them, although he recognises the chances of SLab electing an MP/MSP here again will come after our deaths.

    He does, however, believe passionately in the concept of a united “British working class” (he doesn’t give a damn about those in either bit of Ireland. with which he was brought up, so is happy to work with the Tories to that end.

    I spent most of my time in politics as an activist for minor parties – though I knew their was zero prospect of a Liberal, then SNP, being elected where I lived.

    Membership and campaigning are more than just getting the correct rosette on its way to Westminster!

  46. @Guymonde

    “He points out that Ford are running down the Bridgend engine plant and Vauxhall is likely to follow when current models run out. Also we hear this week that BMW will build electric Minis outside of the UK (so much for our aspirations to be the lead in this tech).
    He sums up: “We have reached the Gershwin inflection point. We can argue about either or neither, but catastrophically for tens of thousands ofBritish auto manufacturing workers, we are past the point of saying: let’s call the whole thing off””

    ————

    We used to have bread rationing though, so apparently it’s all ok…

  47. On to discussion of this polling on this polling site.

    Voting intention of Lab members (the most pro-Labour 1.5% of the electorate) is as follows:
    Lab 87%
    LibDem 5%
    Green 1%
    Con 1%
    Don’t know 5%

    Now, anything other than the high 90s would seem odd to me. Comparable figures to both the New Labour, Miliband eras would be modestly enlightening, as would the VI of current Tory members.

  48. @Neil A – “Hmm, I am not sure that have been that many visible negatives. I suppose it depends on how you define it. I would characterise it more as “straws in the wind” and “warnings” than visible negatives.”

    That kind of makes my point for me:

    – Significant and sharp rise in inflation
    – Much more expensive foreign holidays
    – Families who have been working in the UK for 20 moving overseas as St Theresa has declined to guarantee their right too remain
    – Car assembly plants placed under constant review
    – 75,000 shortfall of agricultural labourers
    – University staff frozen out of funding bids

    There are many, many more, but I guess you must have missed/hidden from these?

  49. Hague

    So Hague joins the great and the good in their attempt to stop Brexit. TM needs to put hague on her list of Hostiles. There is no political reason to call an election:

    1. It does not suit the character of our Prime mInister;

    2.The new boundaries would not be in place;

    3.It would only extend her government until 2022.If an election deposed Corbyn and a new leader emerged and the opposition got its act together the 22 election might be tricky. Whereas at present a win in 2020 will lead to a Tory Gov until 2025.

    4. Apart from Brexit the government is in complete control;

    5. The country does not want an election; It would create massive economic uncertainty.

    6.It would throw Brexit into confusion. TM is about to have Brexit confirmed by a massive majority in Parliament.

    7. No one can explain the rather vague “strengthen her hand ” argument. With who?She already has a referendum result and a huge majority in Parliament. Would we get a better deal from the EC? Is Barnier going to say that the game is up and the UK need pay nothing and can remain in the Single Market. It is fantasy and Hague is a clever man

    8. Calls for an election have only one purpose and that is to derail Brexit.

  50. ‘Britain leaving the EU’ is ticked as the joint-top issue facing the country by Labour members, alongside Health (no shock there)/both on 66%. Thats ahead of housing (38%), the economy (a mere 31% put the economy into the top 3), & education.
    The Health figure (despite the recognised crisis and whatnot) is technically down 2% from 68% last February.
    The EU departure item is a new entrant, so that obviously affects the superficial figures for others when you can only pick ‘3’.

    Regarding support for a 2nd EU referendum, this is supported in the membership by 68%, opposed by 24%, 8% don’t know.

    Worth noting is the unweighted sample was 976 Remain voting members to 96 Leave voting members, then weighted to 961:101.
    I am wondering if the ratio used for the weighting is that accurate to the balance of referendum votes present in the overall Feb 2017 membership, since resignations & churn.

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