- Jeremy Corbyn is the most polarising of the potential leadership candidates when it comes to public perceptions of their electability. He has the highest proportion of people saying he would improve Labour’s chances of winning the next election (21%), but also the highest proportion saying he would worsen them (31%). This is also the case among Labour voters (33% improve vs 21% worsen).
- Andy Burnham is the only leadership candidate to have marginally more of the British public say he would improve (19%) than worsen (14%) Labour’s chances of winning.
- Of the eight politicians tested, David Miliband has the highest proportion of people saying he would improve Labour’s chances (34%). He also has the best net rating, with 23% saying he worsen Labour’s chances. Just 2% of Britons say they don’t know who he is.
- Of the leadership candidates, Jeremy Corbyn has the lowest proportion of the public saying they do not know who he is (15%), Liz Kendall has the highest (24%).
- Each of Labour’s previous three leaders have more than half of the public saying they would worsen Labour’s chances at the next election.
- More than twice as many British adults think that Corbyn as Prime Minister would make the state of the British economy worse than better (36% to 14%).
- Three times as many think he would make Britain’s standing around the world worse than better (37% to 11%).
- In terms of the expected effect of Corbyn as Prime Minister, more people say he would make each of the factors tested worse than better, with the exception of the quality of service from Britain’s trains and railways (23% better, 22% worse).
- Despite being credited with being “authentic” more Britons think he would make public trust in politicians worse than better (27% to 20%).
- More Labour voters think that Corbyn would make each of the factors better than worse, with the exception of Britain’s standing around the world where they are split (22% better, 18% worse).
- The Conservatives hold an eleven point lead over Labour.
Findings in detail:
Q: If each of the following people were leader of the Labour Party, do you they would improve, worsen or make no difference to Labour’s current chances of winning the next General Election?
|Improve||Worsen||Would make no difference||Don’t know who this person is||Unsure||NET (Improve minus worsen)|
Base: GB adults (n=2,035).
- Echoing the public overall and of the candidates, Corbyn has the highest proportion of Labour voters saying that he would improve the party’s chances at the next election (33%) and the highest proportion saying he would worsen them (21%). Burnham has the best net score among Labour supporters with 27% saying improve and 10% worsen (+17).
- 40% of Labour voters say that David Miliband would improve the party’s election chances, compared to 17% who say he would worsen them.
- Looking beyond Labour voters, Andy Burnham appears to have the broadest appeal.
- He has the highest proportion of Conservative voters saying that he would improve Labour’s chances of election victory (17%, vs 14% for Cooper and Kendall, and 10% for Corbyn).
- Burnham also has a similar proportion of UKIP voters saying he would improve Labour’s chances (15%) as Corbyn (14%) and Cooper (12%) do.
- Half of people saying they would currently vote Conservative think that Jeremy Corbyn would worsen Labour’s chances of winning the next election (50%).
Q: Do you think that each of the following would be better, worse or about the same as they are currently if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister?
|Better||Worse||About the same||Don’t know|
|The state of the British economy||14%||36%||22%||27%|
|The Labour Party’s popularity with the electorate||21%||32%||20%||27%|
|Britain’s standing around the world||11%||37%||25%||28%|
|The personal finances of ordinary Britons||18%||31%||24%||27%|
|Public trust in politicians||20%||27%||28%||25%|
|Divisions within British society||17%||33%||23%||27%|
|Job opportunities for most British people||20%||28%||25%||27%|
|The overall quality of service from Britain’s trains and railways||23%||22%||26%||29%|
Base: GB adults (n=2,035)
- There is little to suggest that Jeremy Corbyn can attract UKIP voters: at least twice as many people who currently say they would vote for UKIP think he would make each of the factors tested worse than better, with the exception of the quality of service from Britain’s railways (20% better, 27% worse).
- Three in ten (30%) Labour supporters think that if Corbyn were Prime Minister, the state of the British economy would be better, compared to 15% who think it would be worse.
- However, two thirds of Conservative supporters (66%) say that the economy would be worse under Corbyn (3% say it would be better), as do 36% of Lib Dem supporters (12% say better) and 45% of UKIP supporters (better: 9%).
- Just 13% of working class (DE) Britons think that the state of the economy would be better if Corbyn were Prime Minister – 31% say that it would be worse.
- 36% of people who voted UKIP at the last election think that Corbyn would make public trust in politicians worse, compared to 11% who think he would make it better.
The Conservatives currently hold an eleven point lead over Labour with 40% of the potential vote to Labour’s 29%. UKIP remain in third with 13%.
Voting intention figures are calculated using the new ComRes Voter Turnout Model. Polling has traditionally established who is likely to vote at an election by asking respondents to rate their own likelihood to turnout at election time. ComRes concluded that a major reason for the polls underestimating the size of the Conservative lead at the 2015 General Election was that some groups of voters, such as those who are younger and less affluent, overstated their likelihood more than others.
In addition to respondents’ “self-assessed” likelihood to vote on a scale from 1-10, the new ComRes Voter Turnout Model also takes historical election data on turnout among different social classes and age groups, and assigns each respondent a probability of turning out to vote based on their age and social grade.