Jeremy Corbyn's lead could be even bigger than we thought, says pollster

YouGov says last-minute support influx is on balance good news for the left-winger

Jon Stone
Friday 14 August 2015 22:05
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Jeremy Corbyn is greeted by supporters as he arrives at a Labour party leadership rally
Jeremy Corbyn is greeted by supporters as he arrives at a Labour party leadership rally

Jeremy Corbyn’s lead over the other candidates for the Labour leadership could have grown even further after a last-minute influx of voters to the contest, a pollster has said.

YouGov, which carried out a poll earlier this month showing Mr Corbyn with a 32 point lead, said a new surge of electors that caused the Labour website to crash minutes before the deadline to sign up could be good news for the left-winger.

Mr Corbyn was especially popular amongst people who had joined the party since the election and a new analysis of the final size of the electoral – over 600,000 – appears to boost his support, they say.

“The effect is to lift Jeremy Corbyn’s support to 57 per cent, four points higher than we published on Tuesday,” wrote Peter Kellner, the president of YouGov, in The Times newspaper.

“I should stress that this is a purely arithmetical exercise. We don’t know whether the late sign-ups are especially pro-Corbyn — or have joined in large numbers with the aim of preventing the leftwinger from leading the party.”

299,755 people have signed up to vote as full members of the Labour party – an increased of 105,000 on the general election and the highest since Tony Blair’s heyday.

121,295 people have also applied through a separate scheme to support but not join the party, which will allow them to vote.

Unions and socialist societies have produced 189,703 affiliate members, who are also entitled to vote.

The poll is effectively a snapshot of the race as it stood at the time it was carried out earlier this month. Other factors like real shifts in support could have counteracted the effect described by YouGov.

Since the poll was conducted a series of Labour establishment figures have weighed in to condemn Mr Corbyn in an attempt to dent his support.

Tony Blair said the party would be “annihilated” under his leadership, Liz Kendall said it would spend years in the political wilderness, and Yvette Cooper dismissed Mr Corbyn’s programme as neither “radical” nor “credible”.

Voting in the contest starts this weekend with the result set to be announced at a special conference in September.

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