Around 65% of people who have been accepted as new members of the Labour Party support Jeremy Corbyn, according to early sampling cited by the Huffington Post.
Among the roughly 140,000 whose membership applications were successful, at least 90,000 intend to support the under-pressure leader in the upcoming leadership election.
This compares to just 50,000 who will vote for challenger Owen Smith.
Interestingly, 40,000 applicants were turned down because they were “unsuitable” while a further 10,000 will be considered by the National Executive Committee (NEC) — the party’s chief administrative body. Around 183,000 people applied for membership in total.
This is yet more fantastic news for Corbyn who is looking like the overwhelming favourite to win the September contest and remain leader of Britain’s deeply divided opposition party.
The veteran socialist was already more popular with pre-existing members, according to recent polls, and now it seems that he is more popular than Smith among new members, too. This news comes as Corbyn continues to address huge crowds at rallies nationwide.
The Labour leader appeared in Liverpool on Monday evening.
Corbyn is fighting for his leadership after a parliamentary coup was launched against him in June. Smith, who describes himself as being from the “soft left” and claims he can make Labour a viable electoral force again, was chosen as the “unity candidate” to challenge Corbyn after former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle triggered a leadership challenge.
Labour experienced a huge surge in membership after opening the leadership contest up to anyone who was willing to pay £25 to participate. Incredibly, the party membership is now over half a million, Corbyn said at his campaign launch last month.
The majority of applications who were turned down missed out because of their previous support for a rival political party, their absence from the electoral register, or because of missed payments, according to the Huffington Post.
These numbers mean that nearly 600,000 people are likely to vote in the Labour leadership election: 388,000 pre-January members, 140,000 new members, and 70,000 trade union affiliates.
Just over 60% of trade union affiliates backed Corbyn in the 2015 leadership contest and the majority are likely to support him again this time around.
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