Jeremy Corbyn set to boost mandate as Labour leader, poll suggests

Posted On: 
31st August 2016

Jeremy Corbyn could romp to victory in the Labour leadership race with an even bigger vote share than he secured last year, a new poll has suggested.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
PA Images

A massive 62% of those eligible to vote in the contest are backing the incumbent, with just 38% set to cast ballots for challenger Owen Smith, according to a YouGov poll for The Times.

The survey, which is the first published of those entitled to vote, shows Mr Corbyn on course to improve on his initial leadership race if undecideds are excluded. Last year he won 59% of support in the first round of voting against three other candidates.

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He boasts strong backing from registered supporters, newer members and most union affiliates, the poll suggests, outweighing lower support from longstanding party members.

The poll shows members who joined before May last year back Mr Smith by 68% to 32%. But the numbers are more than reversed among newer members.

Meanwhile, 48% of respondents said they were in favour of forcing all sitting MPs to face constituency ballots before being allowed to stand again.

And 29% of those backing Mr Smith warned they would leave the party if the incumbent wins the race, while 36% of Mr Corbyn’s supporters would do the same if he loses.

Only 5% of pro-Corbyn voters said the ‘traingate’ affair led them to hold a more negative view of him.

The incident saw the leftwinger embarrassed after CCTV footage showed he walked past empty seats on what he described as a “ram-packed” train.

Voting began in the contest last week, with the winner set to be announced on 24 September ahead of the Labour conference.