Today’s Times has some fresh polling of Labour party members. It was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday this week in the wake of the anti-Semitism row, though is also the first opportunity we’ve seen since the general election to take the general political temperature among Labour party members.

On that second point, the first thing to notice is the major shift in the level of support Jeremy Corbyn has among Labour party members. Two years ago this was still a party divided on the leadership and unsure of his future. Now they are solidly behind him. 80% of Labour members think Corbyn is doing well as leader, just 19% badly. 74% of Labour members think that Jeremy Corbyn should lead the party into the next general, and 64% of members think it is likely that Jeremy Corbyn will become Prime Minister in the future.

This is a complete transformation of attitudes since 2016 – back then, Labour members were split on Corbyn’s performance, didn’t think he could ever win, most didn’t want him to fight the next election. Now, following Corbyn’s victory against Owen Smith and the party’s revivial at the election, Corbyn’s support in the party looks absolutely solid.

Looking briefly at two of the other recent decisions Jeremy Corbyn has made, his members also back him over both his handling of the Salisbury poisonings and his sacking of Owen Smith. 69% think that Corbyn has responded well to the poisonings, and by 50% to 37% they think sacking Smith was the right decision.

Now, moving on to the anti-semitism row that Labour have found themselves in.

19% of Labour members think that anti-semitism in the party is a serious and genuine problem that needs addressing. A further 47% of Labour members agree that there is a serious and genuine problem, but think that is has been exaggerated for political reasons. Finally, 30% think that there is not a serious problem of anti-semitism at all. Broadly speaking, two-thirds of members think there is a problem (though many of those think it is being exaggerated for political effect), just under a third think there is not.

In terms of Jeremy Corbyn’s own handling of the row, most of his members think he has dealt with it well. 61% say he has responded very or fairly well, 33% think he has responded fairly or very badly. It’s less good than his approval overall (implying there are some Labour members who approve of Corbyn’s leadership in general, but think he’s dropped the ball here) but there is still clear majority approval.

Finally, the poll asked whether Labour party members wanted to see Ken Livingstone readmitted to the party or not. 33% wanted to see him return, 41% did not.

I’ll put a link up to the full tabs when they are released.


928 Responses to “YouGov polling of Labour members”

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  1. “I am very happy to be nuanced about the Blair years. As many people have pointed out services did improve and there were a lot of good initiatives especially in education where slogans like “every child matters” were genuinely put into practice. Plus there was a general updating of social attitudes and equality.”

    ———

    It’s good to point out achievements of Blair his supporters tend to miss, like dealing with dotcom crash, and in education, the introduction of the Literacy and Numeracy hours, immediately after which you see a significant rise in achievement that was sustained.

  2. @CARFREW

    Well, others will make their own minds up but I think the Cameron/Osborne stuff is pretty small beer compared with the Blair/Brown achievements.

  3. UKIP (remember them?)

    Latest news from the former UKIP capital of the UK, Clacton…

    The leader of the UKIP group on Tendring District Council has left UKIP and set up his own local party. 22 UKIP Councillors were elected to TDC in 2015. There are now just four left (including the one that beat me!)

  4. @Tony Ebert

    But Blair inherited favorable global economic conditions and they were in power for longer.

    It was rather harder for Brown to achieve much post-Crunch.

    Anyway, for me, it’s not really about who was better. We can discuss that anywhere. It’s about what shapes opinion as to who was better. Why do Blairites think the way they do about Blair, why do Thatcherites cleave to Thatcher. To what extent is supporting Corbyn youthful delusion vs. rooted in some reality. What might alter their view a bit?

    And each time round one gets new info. to absorb and accommodate. Guymonde’s stat about PFI, Colin’s quotes of Ed Balls etc.

    How many absorb these details, versus dismiss them, etc.

    And also: what am I missing myself. (I didn’t know the PFI stat for example, though haven’t checked it yet). Being part of this board constantly challenges one’s views and hence shapes them.

  5. I’m no apologist for Blair and I agree banking deregulation and general worship of finance was both imprudent and a missed opportunity.
    Corporate culture is an awful mess. Not only Carillion and BHS and the rail companies – heads they win, tails we lose, but also selling off our few remaining major companies to asset strippers (GKN, Cadbury) and the fact that few of our tech start ups last 5 years – they either fail or fall to Google or Facebook.
    And our tax system is still hugely distorting in terms of investment in your own home (risible council tax and no CGT) or footloose funds via ISAs etc.
    But Pete’s list is compelling and we have seen so much of the progress wilfully reversed since 2010. There are a lot of smug elderly people who have no idea what a struggle it is for so many people today, this driving Brexit and other forms of mania.

  6. @Tony Ebert

    Also, Cameron did not even have a majority for most of it!

    He also took on the press initially over Levinson. which meant he got targeted by the press, limiting him further.

  7. @Norbold

    In Kirklees UKIP has virtually gone. They are standing in two of twenty three seats, and the former Chairman has started a new group who are standing two – Heavy Woollen District Independents.

    I do have to laugh, I was in Green Leaves (Green Party Leavers), and at the referendum one UKIP person quite rudely said to me that the Greens were finished and UKIP were on the rise.

    The Greens in Kirklees have a full slate.

    (BTW I am no longer a Green).

  8. CAREFREW, did Cameron and co really reduce taxes for the lower paid when all taxes are taken into consideration? Benefits cuts? Price rises (particularly housing)?

  9. PETE
    “The City caused the crash”.
    I thought the crash was caused by a sub-prime mortgage malfunction in America. A POLITICAL decision in America to make home ownership as easy as possible (no bad thing) backfired when taken too far by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They dropped all due diligence (urged on by the government) and allowed realtors to fake mortgage applications by ‘exaggerating’ (lying about actually) peoples’ incomes and waving loans through without any verification – because rising property prices meant it didn’t matter whether applicants could meet their payments as they could always cash out at a profit by ‘flipping’ . Banks (wrongly) thought they could wipe out all the risk by repackaging these mortgages and selling them on as quickly as they were written. Then property prices wobbled and the no-harm flipping turned into an avalanche of defaulted loans. In America, many properties are condos. When one loan goes bad in a building the bank forecloses and auctions the unit for peanuts. This creates a chain reaction. Values tumble in the building. Maintenance fees skyrocket as units fall empty and remaining tennants have to make up the shortfall (legally). In a flash there’s no more equity to protect in your mortgage and it’s easier and cheaper to walk away: Armageddon. I agree ‘The City’ got duped into buying this junk, but German and French banks were front and center (as they were with Greek debt, which was why so much of the Greek bailout money went from Frankfurt to Athens and back to the fernab and French banks without touching the ground). Again the banks were pled astray by a POLITICAL decision to cook the books and ram Greece into the euro (again, with good intentions you could argue).
    I don’t think we can blame ‘The City’ for the whole worlds’ woes – although it is a great get out of jail free card for the politicians who took the decisions that created the Greek debt and sub prime bubbles that ultimately brought the whole house of cards down.

  10. @Catman

    “(BTW I am no longer a Green).”

    —–

    It was Thorium, wasn’t it? Their difficulty in accommodating molten salt reactors had you fleeing their embrace!

  11. @David Colby

    That’s not a bad account, except it puts the cart before the horse rather.

    The Libertarians are keen to sell it as due to the state making things screw up, rather than the private sector screwing up, so they often portray things as you describe.

    It’s more like the other way around: canny bankers discovered a way to hide risky mortgage debt in complex packages , and by having power over ratings agencies, made them toe the line and rate this stuff triple A etc.

    Once you have this mechanism, you can incentivise financial advisors to pressure people to take out mortgages, deceiving them by disguising the fact the mortgages will increase massively after a while.

    In other words, it was standard misselling to make a fast buck, something that happens all the time and needs no state pressure to happen.

    To give an indication of how bad this can be, and how little it had to do with government, you had some organisations not ONLY selling on the toxic debt knowingly, but then taking out options on those companies, likened by one investigator to selling someone a car with dodgy brakes, then taking out life insurance on them! No, the state didn’t force them to make more money doing that either. Nor did the state hold a gun to them over Libor, PPI and much much more!

  12. @Pete

    “did Cameron and co really reduce taxes for the lower paid when all taxes are taken into consideration? Benefits cuts? Price rises (particularly housing)?”

    ——-

    Well I did just say taxes, not benefits. I didn’t do an analysis of the combined impact of all measures as:
    – this would be tricky, and I’ve bought the new Arturia filters and preamp plugins to play with
    – I was only asked to list some positives!

  13. from earlier – …(deceiving them by disguising the fact the mortgage PAYMENTS will increase massively after a while)…

  14. PETE

    @”COLIN, you must’ve been really annoyed with the Tories calling for even more banking deregulation then?”

    If you produce a speech which indicates that , rather than a general assertion that they would have done no better-I would certainly consider your point.

    As it is-I am ( and was after the HOL Report) “really annoyed” that Balls & Brown devised a Regulatory regime in which ” it was not clear who was in charge in a crisis” .
    Really annoyed that they bragged about a “risk based” surveillance policy only 11 months before said policy & regulatory regime failed to identify the risk posed by the pile of securities backed by US sub prime mortgage lending which froze the Global Credit Market & crashed the UK banking system.

    But I was pleased that Osborne replaced that useless & fatal set up quickly.

  15. New thread on the YouGov poll.

  16. Neues Thread

  17. The Great Recession was systemic (and without the loose banking regulation the financial sector would have tanked up around 2001-2002).

    The very long recession free period (1994-2007) obstructed management to acknowledge past losses due to leveraged buyouts, M&As at premium price, wrong investment decisions, and so on. Had the financial sector recognised the losses (they knew about it hence the differential interest rate setting from 1997 at a large scale), banks would have gone bankrupt as there were not enough investment projects to counterbalance the losses from the M&A cycles. On the other hand government’s pumped virtually free money in the economy to buy time (when by osmosis real investments could take off) – so to balance the books, banks went into asset-based securities… In many ways it was an unintentional conspiracy of governments banks, investment banks, mortgage companies, credit rating agencies, insurance companies, debt markets and the borrowers.

    Everybody was longing for recession so they could start the write off – the scale was not known …

  18. @CARFREW

    Thought you might like this little quiz.

    What do the following things have in common?

    Abolition of slavery, votes for women, legal aid, NHS, social security, state pension, abolition of child labour, legalisation of abortion, equal pay for women, outlawing racial discrimination, legalising homosexuality, civil partnerships, free secondary education, no-fault divorce, minimum wage, paid holidays, child benefit.

    They are all things that most western countries take for granted as features of a civlised society. They are also, all things that the British Conservative Party fought against tooth and nail.

  19. @Tony Ebert

    But to be non-partisan, do the other list. I’ll start you off: Tories introduced SSM, not Labour, they got rid of loads of Grammars, in the days of Macmillan they sought to outdo Labour on housebuilding, they did the Clean Air Act etc. etc.

  20. @CARFREW

    But that’s sort of my point. The Tories do sometimes legislate for things that Labour would have done anyway, like get rid of Grammar schools, build more houses etc (not sure what SSM is), but their basic impulse is to resist progress.

    I’ve sometimes wondered what motivates people to become Tory MPs, apart from the money and status. I know that Labour MPs have specific aims, like women’s rights, ending child poverty etc. So do Tory MPs just go to Westminster to stop good things happening, or rather, make sure that taxes and regulation stay low so that the UK’s inequality stays firmly in place.

    BTW, my German’s not perfect but I think it might be ‘neuer Faden’.

  21. @Tony Ebert

    “But that’s sort of my point. The Tories do sometimes legislate for things that Labour would have done anyway, like get rid of Grammar schools, build more houses etc (not sure what SSM is), but their basic impulse is to resist progress.”

    ——

    Yes, and sometimes Labour do things Tories would like to have done but didn’t even dare, like tuition fees, privatising bits of the NHS, Academies, ATOS etc. etc.

    Regarding motivations, there are motivations for being a Tory MP that are not insidious, and even those in the left might accept: Conservation, preserving what’s good, keeping a lid on too much state control, One Nation stuff etc.

  22. @Tony Ebert

    Regarding “Thread”

    Sure, if you’re saying “common thread”, “runs like a thread through something”, you’d use some variant of Faden, but when it’s an web discussion it’s normal to just use “Thread”.

    I think sometimes they might use “Thema”? But anyway, I should have said Neuen Thread anyway. I blame “Autorichtig”

  23. @Tony Ebert

    Example of your use of thread:

    “So the thread of discovery that we have really is a thread.”

    “Unser Entdeckungsfaden ist also tatsächlich ein Faden

    But, using “Thread” on a forum…

    “Falls Ihnen also diese Informationen nicht weiterhelfen, beginnen Sie einen neuen Thread im Google Places-Forum.”

    “So if none of the information above applies to you, start a new thread in the Places forum and we’ll investigate.”

    More examples here…

    https://en.bab.la/dictionary/english-german/threads

    (Anyway, like I said, I’m rubbish at German!)

  24. @CARFREW

    OK, thanks for info. But I don’t agree with your implied argument that left and right politicians are equally motivated by morality/unselfishness. Selfishness is part of Toryism, which is why you get ‘shy Tories’.

    I wonder why the Germans use ‘thread’ when ‘Faden’ is a perfectly good word!

  25. @Tony Ebert

    Ah well, when I first came here I posted on political motives and stuff, and Anthony made clear he wasn’t keen, and that was before Colin, Paul and Alec all had a pop about it. There might be occasions when it’s unavoidable, but this isn’t one of those times!

    Regarding the German use of “thread”, the French also worry about co-opting English words. I’m trying to rebalance things with autorichtig etc. I think it could catch on…

  26. joseph1832,
    “You don’t find it odd that the EU sticks close to precedent on some things, and then demands a status for Northern Ireland that is half-way to being like when the Ottoman Empire transferred power over Bosnia to a victorious Habsburg Empire, but keeping their flag flying.”

    Whats odd is that anyone makes a comment like this, because in regard most things most people are interested in, the EU doesnt have much control at all. Thats the big fallacy behind Brexit.

    Colin,
    “The UK income tax system has become significantly more “progressive” — a measure of how much tax rates increase with income —”

    Yet still the income gap widens. Not progressive enough to keep up, which must mean overall it is less progressive than before.

  27. Carfrew,
    “It was rather harder for Brown to achieve much post-Crunch”

    Yet wasn’t the economy recovering up to the election, and then collapsed again under the new regime? Nearly went back into recession?

    I’d quite agree that its relative bad performance compared to the early years was spun as failure, and that was what mattered in the election,but the economy then did worse when the next lot took over. My take on the election was labour failed to defend itself from tory attacks on its economic policy, and suffered from divisions.

    The divisions were unsurprising since it plainly contained a left leaning majority bursting to get out form blairite control. The blairities are still spinning that they are the path to electoral success, and the tories are egging them on, because whether blairites win or lose in the national vote, they represent policy much closer to the wishes of tories.

    Having a left right consensus settled on the right of policy has greatly aided the party of the right, whether it is in power or not. A labour party with solidly left policies has an ability to influence national policy even in opposition, which might prove greater than a blairite win.

    Did the tories really mind being out of power, when labour implemented their main policies for them?

  28. David Colby,
    “. I agree ‘The City’ got duped into buying this junk,”

    I dont. Clever people. The cream of university output in the UK at least. They were not duped. They simply understood that all investment carries risk, but there is no risk while the market is rising and you can sell on for more than you paid. And in the final analysis, if it goes bad you personally lose nothing and the institution you work for must be refinanced by the central authority. No risk at all. Nothing to be duped about.

    The US tried to play it differently and allowed a bank or two to fail. But realising the true financial armageddon they were about to create, they reversed policy and went for bailouts. The bankers understood this perfectly and followed an impeccable strategy for personal advantage.

    Are they to blame for understanding the risk involved and selling to politicians a system where they themselves could not lose? I think they are.

    Most wealth creation today is asset inflation. It isnt real creation of tangible wealth at all. Think ponzi, think how that always ends. Pensioners gambling that it will last long enough post brexit to see them out.

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