Jeremy Corbyn would win a second Labour leadership contest with even more support, poll finds

The leader's critics have made no impact on his popularity 

Jon Stone@joncstone
Tuesday 17 May 2016 10:26
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Labour members would overwhelmingly reject any attempt by the party’s MPs to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader, a new poll suggests.

The YouGov survey for The Times newspaper found that a significant 64 per cent of members would vote for Mr Corbyn in a leadership ballot triggered by an attempted coup.

Just a third, 33 per cent, say they would not vote for him.

The findings mean it would be effectively impossible to topple the Labour leader under current circumstances were he to make it on the ballot paper.

The findings represent an increase in support for Mr Corbyn among full party members compared to when he was elected in September 2015 on 49.5 per cent of first preference votes.

The increase may be down to a significant increase in membership since he was elected leader.

At that time he was elected by Labour’s wider measure of membership including affiliates and supporters with 59.5 per cent of first preference votes.

Support for Mr Corbyn among the party has grown and solidified since he came to office. A survey in February found that he was approved of by 72 per cent of Labour members with just 17 per cent disapproving.

Former leader Tony Blair reportedly warned at the end of last year that it would be impossible to keep Mr Corbyn off the ballot paper.

There is also no consensus among Mr Corbyn's critics about who should replace him. The latest YouGov survey found that 19 per cent would vote for Dan Jarvis, 17 per cent for Andy Burnham, 13 per cent Yvette Cooper and 5 per cent Chuka Umunna.

Mr Corbyn sought to address his critics at the annual conference of New Labour pressure group Progress on Saturday.

He told conference attendees in a speech that Labour needed to win power in order to affect change, conceding that the party’s result in this month’s local elections was not strong enough.

The latest phone poll by the ICM firm for the Guardian newspaper shows Labour trailing the Tories by two points, on 34 per cent to 36 per cent.

This result would suggest Labour having climbed by four points since the general election and the Tories having fallen by one point.

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