More than half of Labour members still want Jeremy Corbyn to lead party into next election

Posted On: 
22nd July 2019

More than half of Labour members still want Jeremy Corbyn to lead the party into the next general election despite rows over the party's approach to Brexit and anti-semitism, a new poll has found.

The poll came as the Labour leader vowed to make his party "the strongest anti-racist force in our country".
Credit: 
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The YouGov study for The Times found that despite a sharp drop in confidence in Mr Corbyn's leadership, most grassroots activists still believe he is the right man for the job.

However, the level of his support within the party has fallen sharply since March last year.

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At that time, 74% of members told the pollster that Mr Corbyn should lead Labour into the next election. That number has now dropped to 56%.

Meanwhile 27% of members agreed that Mr Corbyn should "step down now" - up from 12% in March 2018. 

Some 12% said he should resign "before the next general election", a slight rise on the 10% recorded a year ago.

And 56% of Labour members now believe Mr Corbyn is "doing well" - down from 80% in March last year.

ANTI-SEMITISM AND BREXIT

While 47% of members believed Mr Corbyn had responded either "very well" or "fairly well" to the party's anti-semitism crisis, 48% said he had fared either "fairly badly" or "very badly".

That finding came as Labour unveiled a new batch of "education materials" on anti-semitism ahead of a crucial Shadow Cabinet meeting on the issue on Monday.

While the Labour leader said the scale of the problem has been over-stated by "some of the media", he acknowledged that his party was "not immune" from anti-Jewish abuse as he unveiled the new guidance. 

Mr Corbyn said: "The worst cases of anti-semitism in our party have included Holocaust denial, crude Jewish-banker stereotypes, conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11 or every war on the Rothschild family."

He urged members to "engage with the materials we are producing" to allow the party to be "the strongest anti-racist force in our country".

Meanwhile on Brexit, the YouGov poll found that just 42% of members believe Mr Corbyn has handled Labour's position in the EU either "very" or "fairly" well. By contrast, 56% of members said Mr Corbyn had dealt with Brexit "very badly" or "fairly badly".

However, more than 80% of members still think the Labour leader has the "right priorities for the country".

YouGov surveyed 1,100 Labour party members for its online poll.