The next part of YouGov’s poll of Labour party members for Ian Warren is out here, dealing with the party leadership. Approval of Jeremy Corbyn among Labour party members remains solid – 72% of party members approve of him, 17% disapprove. So while there is a rump of unhappy party members, there’s a solid majority with a positive opinion (figures are similar for John McDonnell – 57% of members approve, 19% disapprove). 63% of party members want to see Corbyn remain party leader and contest the general election.

At the time of Corbyn’s election polls suggested that his supporters were far more concerned about his beliefs than whether he would lead Labour to electoral success. This poll seems to confirm that’s still the case. At this stage support for Corbyn among Labour party members doesn’t really seem conditional upon how well the party does electorally. Less than half (47%) of members think the Labour party will win the next election under Corbyn, yet his support remains high. In the event that Labour do badly in the Scottish, Welsh, London and local elections 53% of Labour party members think he should still remain leader and contest the next election (the survey leaves it open to respondents to imagine what performing “badly” might mean… a bad performance in Scotland seems almost assured, but London polls so far have Sadiq ahead for the mayoralty).

If Corbyn was challenged, the data still suggests he’d hold onto the leadership. The poll had a “who would be your first preference as leader” question with a very long list of candidates in which Corbyn got less than a majority of support, but on a mock ballot paper against Hillary Benn, Dan Jarvis, Lisa Nandy, Angela Eagle and Tom Watson he wins comfortably on the first round (62% support, with Benn in second place on 15%). If Corbyn goes and McDonnell stands in his place he would be ahead on the first round, but only by 29% to Benn’s 20%, so perhaps he wouldn’t win overall.

Full tabs are here.


ICM have released their weekly tracker on the EU referendum. The poll was conducted between Friday evening and today, so it was after Cameron’s EU deal was announced but was almost entirely before Boris Johnson endorsed the leave campaign (only eleven responses are “post-Boris”). Topline voting intentions are REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 40% – so wholly in line with ICM’s polling before the deal. Tabs are here.

Today also saw some new YouGov polling of Labour party members, conducted for Ian Warren. The fun stuff from this is probably the data on the leadership (out tomorrow on Ian’s site) but the initial slice of data covers the policy views of Labour party members, and compares them to Labour party voters and to the general public.

The Labour party membership is increasingly in line with the views of their leader. 68% of Labour members opose renewal of Trident, 64% think trade unions should have more influence, 58% say they wouldn’t vote for any Labour leader if they had supported airstrikes against Syria. Recent recruits are even more Corbynite – over 80% of those who’ve joined in the last year are anti-Trident, over 70% think unions should have more influence and would only support a leader who opposed airstrikes in Syria.

A leftwards consolidation of the Labour party membership however risks opening up a significant gulf between the views of members and voters. The most obvious example of that here is immigration. On salience, health and the economy are seen as two of the three biggest issues facing the country by Labour members, Labour voters and the general public. But on immigration 60% of the general public think it is a major issue, 46% of Labour voters do, just 17% of Labour members do; 78% of Labour party members think immigration is good for the economy, only 41% of Labour voters do, only 29% of the general public.

Finally, on the EU referendum Labour party members are overwhelmingly in favour of REMAIN – 81% say they’ll vote to stay, 11% to leave, 8% don’t know.


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Today’s Times has a new YouGov poll of Labour party members and registered supporters (so members, registered trade unionists and £3 supporters – the same group who were able to vote in the Labour leadership election). Full tabs are here.

65% thought Jeremy Corbyn was doing well as leader, 34% badly as leader. Less promisingly, only 46% think it’s likely Labour will win the next election under Corbyn and only 38% think it’s likely he will ever be PM. Labour party members think Corbyn is doing well and expect him to lose. This apparent contradiction is easily resolved: 56% of Labour members think parties should say what they believe, even if it’s unpopular and loses elections, in comparison 32% think they should compromise in order to put foward policies that allow it to win an election and put policies into action.

Looking forward there is little appetite amongst Labour members for a change of leader: 57% think Corbyn should remain leader and fight the next election, 20% think he should hand over the leadership to someone else at some later point during the Parliament, 18% think he should go now.

There’s a sharp division between those who voted Corbyn and the minority who didn’t – 86% who voted Corbyn think he’s doing well, 66% who didn’t vote Corbyn think he’s doing badly. 82% of people who voted Corbyn think he should stay till the election, 43% who voted differently think he should stand down now. The vast majority of people who voted for Corbyn think he is doing well and think he should stay on, at least for now; there is no sign at all of buyer’s remorse amongst Corbyn’s voters. Equally, Labour party members who opposed Corbyn in the leadership election continue to oppose him, there is little sign of them rallying round their new leader. The Labour party remains divided.

It’s quite hard to judge whether these figures are good or bad. Surveys of party members are quite rare, most of the time they only happen in the middle of a leadership election when there is no incumbent leader whose ratings we can compare. There were no polls, for example, of Labour party members when Ed Miliband had been in the job for a few months that we can compare to see if David Miliband supporters had rallied round the leader or all still wanted Ed to resign.

79% think the shadow cabinet is divided, but Corbyn’s opponents are much more widely blamed for this than Corbyn himself – 54% think the fault is mostly his opponents’, 19% Corbyn and his allies, 25% both equally. On balance, there is support amongst the Labour selectorate for mandatory re-selection of MPs – 39% think MPs should be automatically reselected unless they’ve failed badly or are very unpopular, 52% think all MPs should face a full reselection anyway.

Finally YouGov asked about two specific policy issues facing Labour. On Europe the party membership is clear: 80% would vote for Britain to stay in the EU and 62% think Jeremy Corbyn should actively campaign in favour of EU membership. On Syria Labour party members divide two-to-one against airstrikes and three-to-one against the use of British ground forces in Iraq or Syria. 48% of Labour members think Corbyn should oppose the RAF taking part in airstrikes against ISIS, only 25% think he should support them.


The Sun had fresh YouGov voting intention figures today, fieldwork conducted straight after Jeremy Corbyn’s speech. Topline figures are CON 37%(-2), LAB 31%(nc), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 17%(+1) – changes are since YouGov’s last poll in mid-September, just after Jeremy Corbyn became leader. Tabs are here.

The rest of the poll repeated some of the questions YouGov asked just after Ed Miliband became Labour leader, five years ago. Corbyn’s figures are worse than the ratings Miliband had at the time and as I wrote in relation to the Ipsos MORI poll earlier in the week, while Corbyn’s ratings aren’t that bad at first glance, brand new leaders normally get some leeway from the public, so they are bad when compared to the ratings new leaders have usually got.

YouGov also repeated the bank of party image statements they normally ask at conference time, testing positive and negative lines about the Labour party. The figures are (remarkably) close to what they were five years ago when Labour first entered opposition – 71% think Labour need to make major changes to their policies and beliefs to be fit for goverment (up 2 from 2010), 58% think they have lost touch with ordinary working people (down 1), 56% think they haven’t faced up to the damaged they caused to the economy (down 4), 44% think they care about helping all groups, not just the few (up 2), 39% think their core values and principles are still relevant (down 2), 42% think they would cut spending in a fairer and more compassionate way than the government (up 1).

The only areas* where there is a significant shift since 2010 are the claim that Labour are a party only for immigrants, welfare recipients and trade unionists (49% agreed in 2010, now only 42%) and the claim that if Labour returned to government they’d get the country into even more debt (47% agreed in 2010, 53% agree now).

Afrer five years in opposition, Labour don’t really seem to have made much progress at all in nullifying their perceived weaknesses. There is still an underlying strength in their brand – a large chunk of the public do think their heart in the right place, that they care about the many not the few, that they are more caring than the Tories. The big weaknesses though remain those negative perceptions about the economy and the belief they’ve lost touch with their ordinary supporters – the challenge for the next five years is to address those.

(*There was also a big shift in a question about whether Labour will be ready for a quick return to office after a short period in opposition. We debated whether to keep that statement from 2010, given Labour have now been in opposition for five years. We decided to keep it because it can still make sense if you interpret it as being a short period from now, but given we’re assuming people will interpret it differently I wouldn’t really compare 2010 and 2015 on that one)


ComRes and YouGov both had post-Corbyn polls in the Indy on Sunday/Sunday Mirror and Sunday Times respectively. Tabs are here – Comres, YouGov.

ComRes had topline voting intention figures of CON 42% (+2), LAB 30%(+1), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 13%(nc), GRN 3%(-1). Changes are since their August poll and show no obvious impact from Jeremy Corbyn becoming leader.

YouGov had topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 31%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 3%. YouGov haven’t released voting intention figures since May, but as you can see, the gap between Labour and the Conservatives is barely changed from the election (the difference between the 12 point Tory lead in ComRes and the 8 point Tory lead in YouGov will be at least partially because ComRes have adopted their new socio-economic turnout model, which weights down younger and poorer voters who are historically less likely to vote. YouGov are still reviewing their methods post-election).

YouGov included some more questions about early attitudes towards Jeremy Corbyn. Most people don’t think he has much chance of being Prime Minister (only 14% think it’s likely), but beyond that attitudes are currently quite evenly divided. 30% think he’s strong enough to be a good leader, 41% think he is not.

36% of people agree with the description that Corbyn has dangerous and unworkable views and would be a threat to the economy and national security, but 32% agree with the description that he’s a man of integrity & principle who has caught the mood of people disillusioned by politics. 7% don’t agree with either, 6% agree with both (which is fair enough – one could be a decent and principled man with unworkable and dangerous views!).

YouGov also asked about a list of policies that have been supported by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell in the past, announced by Corbyn or floated as possible Labour policies. Again, they found a mixed bag. Some, like withdrawal from NATO, negotiating over the Falklands and abolishing the benefit cap are extremely unpopular, but other things like a higher top rate of tax, rent controls and nationalising the utility companies meet with wide public approval.

The rest of ComRes’s poll had bank of favourable/unfavourable opinion questions on leading politicians. Boris Johnson had the most favourable net score of those asked about with plus 8, followed by David Cameron on minus 7, Theresa May (minus 11), Vince Cable (minus 14), George Osborne (minus 17), Jeremy Corbyn (minus 18), Nicola Sturgeon (minus 19), Nick Clegg (minus 27).

Tom Watson actually had a comparatively good score – minus 8 – but on a low number of responses (71% said don’t know or no opinion), Tim Farron and John McDonnell got similarly high don’t knows, though more negative scores. At this stage, the public simply aren’t familiar enough with them to hold any strong positive or negative opinions.

UPDATE: I missed a third national GB poll, Opinium for the Observer. They had topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 32%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 14%. Opinium also included a best PM question (Cameron 41%, Corbyn 22%) and had some figures on whether Labour under Corbyn could win that were a little more optimistic for them – 32% think Labour could definitely or probably win under Corbyn, 55% though they probably or definitely could not. Tabs are here.