Monday, August 10, 2015

Corbyn for glory : YouGov poll suggests the left's candidate will win outright in the first round

In a contested Labour leadership election, the last person to win on the first round without requiring any help from lower preferences was Tony Blair, when he defeated John Prescott and Margaret Beckett in 1994.  It seems rather fitting that a YouGov poll is suggesting that the next person to do it may be the arch-nemesis of the Blairites.

Labour leadership election first round (YouGov) :

Jeremy Corbyn 53% (+10)
Andy Burnham 21% (-5)
Yvette Cooper 18% (-2)
Liz Kendall 8% (-3)

This is only the second bona fide public poll of the campaign.  The first, which stunned us all by projecting a narrow 53-47 victory for Corbyn in the final run-off, was compared at the time to YouGov's famous poll on the penultimate weekend of the referendum campaign.  Like that poll, the big imponderable was how the electorate would react to the discovery that the unthinkable might be about to happen - would they be emboldened, or would they pull back from the brink?  Sadly for us, it turned out to be the latter in the referendum, but this time it appears the opposite has happened.  The momentum behind Corbyn looks unstoppable.  He can even afford to slip back a few points in the closing weeks of the campaign, because he should get enough transfers to win if he has at least 45% of the first preference vote (and probably even if he has a little less than that).

The only way he is going to lose is if YouGov have their methodology catastrophically wrong, much more so than even at the general election.  That's certainly possible, because internal party elections are much tougher to poll accurately.  But it has to be said that almost every scrap of information has been pointing in the same direction - with the possible exception of the betting odds, which have been bouncing around unpredictably, although I expect they'll now fall firmly into line with the polls.


  1. Mac Diarmid LiberalAugust 10, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    Mein Gott und Himmel the Scottish Nat sis have discovered polls. Ve invented polls and vhen they vhent wrang ve invented the results. Get out chaps and enjoy life. Try train spotting post privitisation.

    1. You were on here spouting gibberish all night. How many people do you think you've won over?

      Coolheads Prevail

    2. It's spelt privatisation. Get out chap and find a dictionary.

  2. Should you ever find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, smallness or insecurities, remember things could be worse. You could be one of them.


  3. The Blairite faction don't seem to be as ruthlessly well-organised as they used to be.

    Andy Burnham's abstention on the Welfare Bill seems to have done him lasting damage with the grassroots.

    It's certainly going to be interesting to see Jeremy Corbyn try to put together a frontbench and shadow cabinet.

  4. What a wonderful time to be a conservative - Labour surrendering the centre ground and revisiting policies that kept them out of power for 18 years. Corbyn will wreck labour, in England at least, taking any successor(s) probably 2 terms, at least, to clean up the mess and make the party electable again. That means no more labour governments until 2030, at the earliest.

    And with the SNP set to implode in the next few months re indyref2, it's a good time to be a unionist as well. I expect sparks to fly at the autumn conference. We may even get a Russian politics style punch up? Jim Sillars vs John Swinney? Salmond vs Sturgeon?

    Nah - Salmond would only set aboot someone if he didn't get served his black pudding on time.

    1. "Corbyn will wreck labour, in England..." Thus making them unelectable. Thus making voting for Labour in Scotland even more pointless than it already is. Another win-win for the independence movement in Scotland.

    2. I really can't see how a Corbyn win would be a good thing for the SNP. At the moment the SNP have all the cards. They're miles ahead in the polling and coming off the back of an almost unbelievable result in the general election. Anything that changes the narrative has to be a bad thing in that context and there's no question Corbyn has tapped into the left-leaning, Guardian reading, anti-austerity sentiment that has been firmly with the SNP over the last year.

      At best we'll have a kind of "vote Labour in England but back the SNP in Scotland" scenario coming from left-wing activists, but that can hardly survive long-term given one of Corbyn's key aims (arguably the single biggest aim) will be to win back Scotland for Labour. I also think Labour under Corbyn could do far better in a general election than people think. It isn't the 1980s anymore and the volatility in the last two elections with the Lib Dems, SNP, UKIP and the Greens shows you we aren't playing by the same rules. There's an appetite for anti-mainstream politics in a way that there just wasn't in the 1980s.

    3. Not if Corbyn has the effect of breaking the SNP's stride and slowing their momentum in the interim period, allowing other problems to catch up with and do for them later on. This is turning into a very long game of political chess and anything that holds off or damages your opponent even temporarily has to be a welcome thing.

      In any case, the nationalists have to convince people that indy Scotland would be better than tory administered Britain, despite there being plenty of evidence to suggest that austerity would get worse, not better. Good luck with that.

    4. People forget that, in the 1980s, Mrs Thatcher was the anti-mainstream candidate. From 1945 until 1979 we'd used a socialist model that very nearly bankrupted the country. Thatcher challenged this consensus, even within her own party, and won.

      Now the SNP, Greens and Corbynistas want to take us back to the pre 1979 era of industrial unrest, inflation and economic stagnation. The English wont allow it - even Ed Miliband was too lefty for them. But I can see Corbyn being popular in Wales and Scotland. In the latter, he will be just one factor amongst many that are shaping up quite nicely to do for the SNP in the next few years. The other main one is the impending split within the SNP between the moderates and the militants.

    5. Thatcher entered government just as N Sea oil revenues were flooding into the Treasury. She would have bankrupted the country without it.
      Why would Corbyn be popular in Scotland ? No Scottish Labour leadership candidate in Scotland backs his brand of politics. You appear to surmise the SNP won in Scotland with similar policies, when all serious reviews into the election dispute than analysis.
      There would not appear to be any kind of split within the SNP.
      I would expect the recently launched SIP to be either an MI5 front, or a bogus Brit Nat front.

    6. I am thankful for all those difficult people in my life. They have shown me exactly who I do not want to be.

  5. The Lab party is not united behind Corbyn, he would need to clean out the dross, then get the constituency parties to put up candidates more like him to carry anything through.
    Then there are the Tories, he has no plan to keep them out forever, and the House of Lords remains.
    In Scotland, as pointed out, the Labs supported the Blairite types.
    The SNP party is behind Nicola Sturgeon, she is popular and the majority of the country supports her and the SNP.
    We know where the cuts are coming from, Osborne, and he and the Tories are going to be there for some time yet, then again in the future.