Between 26 and 27 June, polling organisation YouGov undertook a survey of over two thousand adults in the UK. The main question put to them was whether or not Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn should resign his post. And while the country was definitely split over this issue, which was unsurprising given the media hostility towards Corbyn in recent days, over half of Labour voters still backed Corbyn.
Looking only at the interviewees who planned to vote Labour at the next election, 54% gave their backing to Corbyn, saying that he shouldn’t resign. Only 35% said he should.
Considering that a YouGov poll on David Cameron from the same period had 45% of Tory voters saying he was right to resign after the EU referendum, we can see that both the Conservative and Labour parties are split where their leaders are concerned. But still, Corbyn had 10% less opposition from Labour voters than Cameron had from Conservative voters.
Not all good news
While the polling sample of the general public – including supporters from all main political parties – was clearly split over Corbyn, the Labour leader’s opponents definitely had the edge overall. But that is taking into account that 61% of people who voted Tory in 2015 wanted him to resign (as might be expected), along with 64% of UKIP voters and 58% of Lib Dem voters.
The Labour leader was also less popular with interviewees as they got older. For example, he enjoyed 42% of support from 18-to-24-year-olds, against 29% who thought he should resign. But in the 65+ group, 64% wanted him to resign, against only 20% who wanted him to stay in his post.
And considering that the anti-Corbyn coup plotters in the Labour party have sought to blame their leader for Brexit, he was actually more popular with remain voters than leave voters. 38% of the former said he shouldn’t resign, while only 24% of the latter thought he should stay on as Labour leader.
A split electorate and a defiant Labour leader
According to the YouGov poll on Corbyn’s leadership, the country is definitely split. But given that the country is currently divided along both political and EU referendum lines, that is no surprise.
While Corbyn clearly has an uphill battle to fight within a Labour party that never really got behind him in the first place, he also has a very firm base of support. Over 237,000 supporters have now signed a petition of confidence in him, and thousands more have gathered around the country in recent days to make their support known.
Corbyn can also stand on his record, having won with the greatest landslide of any Labour leader in history, doubled the membership of the party, overseen a solid performance in the local elections, and pulled ahead in the polls.
And now, Corbyn also has the YouGov poll behind him, showing that over half of the citizens planning to vote Labour in the next election think he should stay on as the party’s leader. With both voters and members standing behind him, all the naysaying in the world from his parliamentary opponents is unlikely to unseat him.
For Canary readers who are current or potential Labour supporters, you can sign this petition to back Jeremy Corbyn (if you haven’t already).
Momentum has also called on Labour supporters and members to:
- Contact their MPs to express their support.
- Thank their unions for continuing to back Corbyn.
- Express themselves on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #OurPartyOurLeader and #KeepCorbyn.
- Join its group and the Labour party to make their voices heard.
Featured image via Bob Peters/Flickr
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