New research by Opinium illustrates exactly why Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is not a viable prime minister in waiting.
The polling firm’s latest publication, “Dead centre: redefining the centre of British politics”, shows 45% of Brits identify with the “centre,” more than any other political leaning.
In political terms, the “centre” is the ideological space occupied by people with moderate views who sit more or less equidistant between the left and right wing.
Just 10% of people described themselves as “left-wing.” However, over 62% said they felt Corbyn was a left-wing candidate (excluding don’t knows). The problem is clear: most people don’t feel that Corbyn represents them.
Here is a breakdown of the results in full. As the charts show, the British centre-ground is thriving. The “centre”, “centre-right”, and “centre-left” accounts for a massive 77% of people.
When you take a close look at how Brits feel about the political ideologies of party leaders it gets more interesting.
Just a tenth of Brits described themselves as left-wing but nearly two-thirds described Corbyn in these terms. Compare this to Tony Blair, who won three consecutive general elections as Labour leader. Just over 69% described Blair as centre, centre-right, or centre-left — he was an election-winning machine because he had huge appeal with the centre-ground.
The graphic below highlights how Corbyn and Blair’s were viewed completely differently by respondents, despite being leaders of the same political party. It’s also worth noting how Sadiq Khan, whose victory in this year’s London mayoral contest made him Labour’s most senior elected politician, resonates strongly with the British centre-ground.
Opinium’s findings chime with opinion poll data stretching back to mid-July which shows Corbyn is severely unpopular with the general public. The findings of a YouGov survey published last week gave prime minister Theresa May a 71-point lead over Corbyn in net approval ratings. As Business Insider has already noted, Corbyn’s polling figures are worse than every Labour leader who has proceeded him since the election of Margaret Thatcher.