Corbyn even more popular with Labour members following no confidence motion, poll suggests
Andrew Sparrow, Graun, Jul 19 2016
Corbyn at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Rally in Dorset on Sunday. Photo: Geoff Moore/Rex
YouGov polled Labour members during the leadership contest last year and their findings turned out be be a reliable guide to the eventual outcome. Here are the key points. Corbyn has a lead of more than 20% over both his main rivals, the YouGov poll suggests. In a two-way contest he would beat Angela Eagle by 24% and Owen Smith by 22%, the poll suggests. And if all three were on the ballot Corbyn (on 54%) would be 18% ahead of the combined total of Eagle (21%) and Smith (15%) on first preference votes, the poll suggests. There is no clear evidence to show whether Eagle or Smith would have the better chance challenging Corbyn. Eagle is ahead of Smith on first preference votes if both names are included (perhaps reflecting the fact she is better known). But the poll also suggests that Corbyn’s lead over Smith in a two-way contest would be marginally smaller than his lead over Eagle. In truth, the figures suggest that, if the election were held now, Corbyn would easily trounce either of them. Corbyn’s net approval rating with Labour members has gone up over the last three weeks, from +3 to +14, despite Labour MPs passing a motion of no confidence in him. This may be the most remarkable finding in the survey, and perhaps the “despite” in my previous sentence was inappropriate. It may well be the case that Corbyn’s approval ratings have gone up precisely because he is perceived at war with his MPs. If so, this suggests that Labour’s attempt to find a leader acceptable to both members and its MPs could be doomed to failure. YouGov is comparing Corbyn’s current ratings to his ratings in a poll conducted between 27 and 30 June. The no confidence motion was passed on 28 June.
There has also been a sharp increase in the proportion of Labour members saying they would definitely vote for Corbyn in a leadership contest (from 36% three weeks ago to 44%), saying they would definitely or probably vote for him (from 50% to 57%) and saying he should lead the party into the next election (from 41% to 47%). Again, these figures suggest the no confidence motion has boosted Corbyn’s standing in the party.