It looks like nothing can stop the Corbyn surge. It just took Scotland by storm. The Labour leader has leapt 62 points in personal approval ratings in a year, according to YouGov. Theresa May, meanwhile, has plummeted by 62:
— Adam Payne (@adampayne26) October 8, 2017
This is significant in the battle for Downing Street. In Scotland, Labour was the dominant power until it lost most of its seats to the SNP. So the country is key to the party winning the next election.
Now on +20, Corbyn is the most popular politician in Scotland, according to the poll. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson trails on +17, while SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has neutral approval ratings. May has nosedived to -49.
Corbyn’s popularity isn’t all that surprising, considering his progressive credentials. In Scotland, SNP supporters are actually more left-wing than their Labour counterparts, according to a study by Strathclyde University. And more broadly, Scottish people are well to the left of the rest of Britain on a variety of issues, according to YouGov.
‘Labour Party members are not passive onlookers’
The results may boost Scottish Labour leadership candidate Richard Leonard. The MSP for Central Scotland is up against Anas Sarwar, who signed a letter in 2016 calling for Corbyn to resign because he didn’t provide an “effective opposition”.
By contrast, Leonard signed a letter defending him:
Labour Party members are not passive onlookers to be used and exploited at election time, only to be ignored thereafter – they are the lifeblood of our party, we are nothing without them… we therefore want to make it clear that we wish to uphold the democratic rights of Labour Party members and support the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
There has been a dramatic shift in opinion towards Corbyn in Scotland. The poll suggests a Scottish Labour united behind his platform could flank the SNP from the left at the next general election. On top of her -49 approval ratings, this is bad news for May and her party.
– Read both the Scottish Labour leadership candidates’ pitches to voters in full here.
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