Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity plummets ahead of crucial May local elections – new poll
Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity has slumped amid tension over the Labour leader’s position on Syria and ahead of May’s crucial local elections, a new poll has revealed.
According to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer, Mr Corbyn’s personal approval rating has fallen by ten points, from -10 to -19.
But in a boost for the party, the survey puts Labour neck and neck with the Conservatives on 40% support, suggesting the Tories have lost their two-point poll lead recorded last month.
And a separate analysis suggests Labour is on course for a decisive victory at the council elections in May.
In the Opinium poll, Theresa May is firmly ahead of Mr Corbyn on who would make the best Prime Minister – on 36% compared to his 24%.
Asked who was more decisive, respondents favoured the Prime Minister over the Labour leader, putting them on 41% and 34% respectively.
The findings make tough reading for Mr Corbyn as he attempts to unite his party around his position on military intervention in Syria in the wake of a chemical attack in the region.
The Labour leader yesterday condemned the strikes carried out by the UK, alongside the US and France, as “legally questionable” and insisted they will not “save lives or bring about peace”.
But Mrs May said she had "no practicable alternative" than to order strikes on Syria's chemical weapons capabilities following the assault on civilians.
Labour backbencher John Woodcock has criticised Mr Corbyn’s position, calling on colleagues to support action against the Syrian regime and arguing that Britain had “a moral imperative” to deter the future use of chemical weapons.
Former Labour frontbencher Pat McFadden meanwhile told HuffPost UK: “I don’t have a problem in principle with trying to restate the red line on the use of chemical weapons.”
The row comes ahead of May’s crucial local elections, which look set to deliver a decisive victory for Labour, particularly in London.
According to experts Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, Mr Corbyn’s party could be on course to gain around 200 seats – most of which will be in the capital.
In an article for the Sunday Times, the pair add that the Conservatives look set to lose around 75 and the Liberal Democrats are expected to pick up around 20.