Poll: Voters ‘unconvinced’ by Labour leadership options

Few Labour voters see Angela Eagle as potential PM. Picture: Getty
Few Labour voters see Angela Eagle as potential PM. Picture: Getty
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Labour’s crisis is laid bare in a poll that shows a majority of Britons believe the party needs a new leader before the next general election and remain unconvinced by both Jeremy Corbyn and his challenger Angela Eagle.

Two thirds (66 per cent) believe Labour needs to change its leader before the 2020 general election, up from 42 per cent in October, in a sign of growing discontent with Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

That includes a majority of Labour voters, with 54 per cent backing a change against 41 per cent who want Mr Corbyn to remain in place, according to the Ipsos Mori poll.

To compound matters for the party, only 23 per cent think the current leader has what it takes to be prime minister, with even less (21 per cent) agreeing Ms Eagle would make a good PM.

The poll was done before former shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith joined the leadership race.

Both candidates featured in the poll had negative overall ratings for whether they would be a good PM, with 68 per cent of respondents believing Mr Corbyn would not and 40 per cent saying Ms Eagle would not.

The figures pale in comparison to new Prime Minister Theresa May, with 55 per cent thinking she has what it takes and 27 per cent disagreeing.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos Mori, said: “Jeremy Corbyn faces an uphill battle to persuade the public he has what it takes to be a good PM.

“His ratings are similar to Ed Miliband’s a year before the 2015 general election, and are a long way behind Theresa May.

“Current Labour supporters are split down the middle in their views, although just over half of them think the party should change its leader before the next election. At this stage his challenger Angela Eagle also shows little sign of breaking through with the public.”

Ipsos Mori interviewed a representative sample of 1,021 adults across the UK by telephone between July 9 and 11.

A YouGov poll of 777 Unite members, carried out between 30 June and 1 July, found 65 per cent of them felt Corbyn was doing badly as Labour leader and 79 per cent thought it unlikely he would ever become prime minister.

Thirty-five per cent believed he should remain leader into the next general election. Asked who they thought should replace Corbyn, a third were unsure.

Eagle was the most popular choice, with 15 per cent of the votes, followed by Andy Burnham, Hilary Benn and David Miliband.