Tuesday 21 November 2017

Poll shows Corbyn has 20-point lead in Labour leadership race

Jeremy Corbyn is on course to take Labour's top job after storming 20 points ahead of his rivals, according to private polling. Photo: PA
Jeremy Corbyn is on course to take Labour's top job after storming 20 points ahead of his rivals, according to private polling. Photo: PA
Jeremy Corbyn

Michael Wilkinson in London

The divisive British Labour candidate Jeremy Corbyn has taken a new 20-point lead over his rivals in the party's leadership contest.

The oldguard leftwinger has widened the gap with the other candidates, according to private polling seen by a British tabloid.

The poll also pushes Andy Burnham into third place, leaving only Yvette Cooper with any prospect of dethroning Mr Corbyn once second preference votes have been counted.

Mr Corbyn is on 42pc, significantly ahead of Ms Cooper on 22.6pc, Mr Burnham on 20pc and Liz Kendall on 14pc.

After second preferences have been counted, Mr Corbyn is left just two points ahead of Ms Cooper, on 51pc and 49pc respectively.

It is not known which polling company carried out the poll or which campaign it was commissioned by.

Meanwhile, bookmaker Paddy Power has cut the price for Mr Corbyn to become the next Labour leader from 11/4 to 6/4.

He is now at his shortest price since betting began and has seen over 50pc of all stakes with the bookmaker over the last two weeks.

A spokesman for Andy Burnham's campaign said: "This does not reflect what we are seeing from phonebanks or what we have seen in other public polls, where Andy is ahead of Yvette with both members and voters."

Ms Kendall's campaign also dismissed the results. A spokesman said: "A poll is something done by a recognised company with data published for all to see. This isn't a poll, it's just spin, and rather desperate stuff at that."

Ballot papers for the contest will be sent out on August 14 and the winner will be announced on September 12.

Ms Cooper urged Labour "to change the world" rather than resort to "becoming a protest movement" in an interview.

She said: "I don't think we want to go back to the 1980s and just be a protest movement. Today's four- and five-year-olds could have to spend their childhood under a Tory government if we are not determined and ready to win again.


"Of course, there is a lot of soul-searching across the party."

Ms Cooper put Mr Corbyn's popularity down to a "frustration and anger" at the prospect of five years of a Tory government.

But she warned: "We must channel that anger into defeating the Tories. It is no use just shouting from the sidelines. It is no use being angry about the world. We have got to change the world."

Mr Corbyn and Ms Kendall took part in a Mumsnet web chat yesterday. It also emerged Mr Corbyn was "embarrassed" by a number of the mothers who use the website suggesting he was "very sexy".

Senior Labour MPs have become concerned that hard-left supporters have been joining the party in droves so that they can place a vote for Mr Corbyn.

The Islington MP has the support of a number of unions who are encouraging their members to back him.

Asked why his union was supporting him, Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: "What we want is a society that we could all be proud to live in, and we want to be able to have money in our pockets, enjoy our lives, and what not, and not have all these austerity policies attacking ordinary working people.

"And Jeremy Corbyn is actually at the front of the debate around anti-austerity, and whether there's an alternative to austerity, which there must be."

He denied that the union was being "cynical" by asking members to vote for Mr Corbyn.

Irish Independent

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