The Labour MPs with no confidence in Corbyn just got dealt a devastating blow

Labour MPs, many of whom are currently trying to find a strong candidate to stand against Jeremy Corbyn in the party’s upcoming leadership election, just received some very bad news. Ironically, it seems the attempted coup against the incumbent has shored up support for him dramatically, according to a new YouGov poll, leaving the MPs eager to oust him increasingly uncertain of success.

The YouGov poll of Labour party members was commissioned by The Times (paywall). It posed a series of questions to the members about Corbyn and his potential opponents in the leadership contest, the result of which will be announced in September.

Corbyn’s two leadership rivals at the time of the poll were Wallasey MP Angela Eagle and Pontypridd MP Owen Smith. But the poll suggests both these candidates would currently be crushed in a ballot against the Labour leader. The Times found, as reported by The Guardian, that:

  • Corbyn would beat Eagle on a ballot by 24 points
  • Corbyn would beat Smith on a ballot by 22 points
  • If all three were on the ballot, Corbyn would have an 18 point lead on the combined total of the two other candidates

Given that in the poll Eagle garnered more first preference votes than Smith, but Corbyn’s lead over Smith is slightly smaller than his lead over Eagle, it does not provide any real idea of which candidate would be better suited to stand against Corbyn. In fact, the poll suggests neither of them have a realistic chance of winning the contest.

Following the polls findings being made public, Eagle excused herself from the leadership race. So, at present, Smith – who lags 22 points behind Corbyn – is the only rival candidate in the contest.

The poll compares its new data with that of a previous survey undertaken when the Labour coup had just begun. And it has found that Corbyn’s popularity has considerably increased since that point:

  • 44% of members said they would definitely vote for Corbyn in a leadership contest, up from 36% in the previous poll.
  • 57% of members said they would definitely or probably vote for Corbyn in a leadership contest, up from 50% in the previous poll.
  • 47% of members said Corbyn should lead the party into the next general election, up from 41% in the previous poll.

Corbyn’s net approval rating has also increased from +3 to +14 since the coup began.

Read on...

The reason for this sudden surge in Corbyn’s popularity is not covered in the poll, but it could be due to a number of developments. Corbyn has been a lifelong peace advocate, and over the last few weeks we have seen the release of the Chilcot report on the Iraq war and the parliamentary vote on the replacement of the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system. With Corbyn’s deep seated, and well informed, anti-militarisation platform, these have been moments where his principled stance was able to shine.

The members’ shift could also be linked to the behaviour of Labour MPs. The coup itself was seen by many as an affront to the party membership, signalling that the 172 MPs who systematically resigned in the pre-planned challenge to the Labour leader believe their opinion to be more important than that of the members.

And now that a leadership contest is on the cards, because Corbyn didn’t resign as Labour MPs had hoped he would, the party is plunging to unbelievable depths to ensure that as many members, or potential voters, are denied access to the contest as possible.

No matter where members stand on Corbyn, this behaviour by MPs threatens the very core of what it means to be a party supporter, and the influence that has traditionally been wielded by such supporters. As shadow chancellor John McDonnell recently said:

This coup isn’t about Jeremy Corbyn. This coup isn’t about him, this is about you…This is the 1% telling the 99% to ‘get back in your place’.

Unfortunately for Labour MPs, if this poll is anything to go by, that ‘place’ is not one in which Labour members are willing to be.

This article was updated at 18.05 on 19/07. The changes acknowledge the announcement of Angela Eagle’s withdrawal from the contest.

Get involved!

Watch Maxine Peake’s video on Jeremy Corbyn.

Support The Canary so we can continue bringing you important news.

Featured image via Youtube / Wikimedia.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed