Tomorrow’s Times has a new YouGov survey of the Labour party leadership election electorate (members, union affiliates and £3 supporters). The figures show Jeremy Corbyn’s lead increasing in the last three weeks – back then he had a seventeen point lead on the first round and just scraped over the line after the reallocation of second and third preferences. The new figures have him comfortably ahead – in the first round preferenes are Corbyn 53%, Burnham 21%, Cooper 18%, Kendall 8%. If the final round ends up Corbyn vs Burnham then Corbyn wins by 60% to 40%, if it ends up Corbyn vs Cooper then Corbyn wins by 62% to 38%. The full tabs are here and Peter Kellner’s commentary is here.
As far as the poll is concerned Jeremy Corbyn is currently solidly ahead (though of course, ballot papers haven’t yet gone out and there is a month to go – indeed, as I write it’s not too late to join Labour and have a vote in the election!). Polling party members is hard, there are not publically available targets to weight or sample too, and there has already been a huge influx of new members and new £3 sign-ups about whom we know little. YouGov’s data has the right sort of proportions of new and old members (thought the final proportions are obviously impossible to know yet), but it’s impossible to know if the sample is right in terms of things like social class. However, looking at the tables Jeremy Corbyn is ahead in every age group and amongst members from every region, amongst working class and middle class members, and amongst members, trade union affiliates and £3 sign-ups.
Corbyn’s least strong group is people who were party members back before 2010 among whom either Cooper or Burnham would beat Corbyn on second and third preferences. People who joined the Labour party between 2010 and 2015 are more pro-Corbyn, meaning amongst all pre-2015 party members the race would be very close. People who have signed up since 2015 are extremely pro-Corbyn, pushing him into the lead.