Wednesday, July 29, 2015

With Burnham in danger of early elimination, Corbyn should now be considered the slight favourite

As you may have seen by now, there's yet another spate of reports in the press about a private poll for the Labour leadership contest, but this time with specific figures -

First preferences :

Jeremy Corbyn 42%
Yvette Cooper 22.6%
Andy Burnham 20%
Liz Kendall 14%

Final run-off :

Jeremy Corbyn 51%
Yvette Cooper 49%

I don't think we need to scratch our heads too much about the origin of this poll - the only candidate who benefits from it being leaked is Yvette Cooper, so it probably came from her team.  It's quite amusing to see that she is also the only candidate whose share of the vote is given to one decimal place, which suggests that the person who leaked the poll was rather more interested in her than in anyone else!

A number of commentators have pointed out that it's extremely unsatisfactory that we don't know which company carried out this poll or what the sample size was, but in fact what would interest me most is the fieldwork dates.  If it was wholly or mostly conducted after the publication of the YouGov poll, that would mean there's no longer any reason to suppose that Corbyn's initial support contained a significant number of people who merely wanted to "shake things up", and who are horrified by the thought of him actually winning.  Assuming his huge lead on first preferences has indeed survived the fallout from YouGov, it's very hard to see why it won't survive the next few weeks as well, because clearly the people planning to vote for him do genuinely want him to win.  If anything, his position may become even stronger as the result of a bandwagon effect - it's easy to imagine people being inspired to pay £3 to vote for Corbyn now that they seriously believe he can become leader, but who is going to care enough about stopping him that they will go out of their way to vote for a dismal candidate like Burnham?  Anyone who does care that much is probably already a party member, and is therefore already factored into the figures.

Given that it's impossible to win the leadership without being in the final run-off, and given that Burnham and Cooper each seem to have a roughly 50/50 chance of failing to make the run-off, it strikes me that Jeremy Corbyn should really now be considered the favourite to win, albeit still an odds-against favourite.  I'm surprised that the bookies are still marginally giving the edge to Burnham, but that may not be the case for much longer.

13 comments:

  1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-less-electable-than-under-ed-miliband-and-needs-radical-rethink-to-regain-power-10420140.html

    "The party has gone backwards in Scotland. Only 18 per cent of Scots regard Labour as more electable now, with 82 per cent saying it is less electable. Only the South-west and Eastern regions give a worst post-election verdict on Labour."

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  2. I think it's best to have a healthy dose of scepticism when it comes to leaked internal polls.

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    1. Yes, but Corbyn's lead is supported by the other leaked internal poll, and the YouGov from a few days ago. I'm not sure why Burnham is still the bookies' favourite (just) - there doesn't seem to be a scrap of evidence that he's ahead. You decided who you're voting for yet?

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    2. I don't doubt that Corbyn is ahead, I was thinking more along the lines of who is coming in second place. As for who I'm voting for, still undecided. I'm more torn on this one than any political decision I've ever made. Though I'm leaning towards Burnham.

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    3. Really, it's quite heartening to see that there seems to be more support for the signpost rather than the weathercocks. Just goes to show the lack of principles shown by the party for the last couple of decades wasn't necessarily across the board. Many had to leave, like me, because we couldn't stomach what the party had become, though I think my departure was ahead of the trend. It seems those that hung in there, plus optimistic returners, might have their faith restored after all :)

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    4. Ins't it just a classic case of ignoring the real issue of un-electability in favour of some notion of ideological purity and the capacity to blame someone else for the party's defeat, coupled with the desire to defeat internal enemies. The real problems for Labour have only just begun because whichever candidate wins the divisions in the party will persist and probably become worse. The electorate isn't hungering for leftist ideological purity and those who comfort themselves that at least the party will reflect their own political positions are deluding themselves into believing that the electorate will undergo the conversion to Corbynite socialism that they favour. This I suppose is always the problem for the Left, it's messianic and faith driven. If you want to see where Left politics takes you check out the fate of the SSP. Labour should take a leaf out of the SNP's book, construct an appeal that's broad based and underpinned by effective management. That's something none of the present candidates offer but, oh well, who cares, Labour are in a jam and the way out isn't coming soon.

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    5. Sure they're unelectable if they stick to their founding principles... or possibly, this might just be right wing propaganda that the party have been fooled by for too long. Either way, personally I prefer that there be an actual choice for the people down South, instead of what's on offer right now.

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  3. All I can say is that it's a shame this isn't being conducted under FPTP rules!

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    1. Yes, John Reid and David Blunkett really should be asked how they can bear to be in a party that doesn't use "one person, one vote". Whatever happened to "the British way"? And think of how many cute kittens we could save if Labour weren't squandering SEVENTY-NINE BILLION POUNDS on pointless AV counting machines.

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  4. The Corbynator is coming to get you.

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  5. Tom Watson, the former deputy chair of the Labour party, warned that Corbyn may struggle to enforce discipline in light of his record as a rebel in the House of Commons against successive leaderships. Watson told the Huffington Post: “It would certainly be a difficult thing for him to try and command discipline within parts of the parliamentary Labour party with that voting record, but, you know, members are aware of this. It’s their choice.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/30/communication-workers-union-backs-corbyn-as-antidote-to-blairite-virus

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  6. ClixSense is an high paying work from home website.

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