- Voters are more likely to vote for Labour led by Corbyn than led by Tony Blair, Ed Miliband, Yvette Cooper, or Sadiq Khan according to a Business Insider poll.
- Tony Blair is the most toxic potential leader of the party with 61% saying they would not even consider voting Labour if he returned.
- Cooper is the least toxic, with fewer voters saying she would be a deal-breaker for their vote.
- Findings come as Blair considers a return to frontline British politics.
LONDON — More people would consider voting for the Labour Party under its current leader Jeremy Corbyn than they would if the party were led by Tony Blair, an exclusive Business Insider / GfK poll has found.
Tony Blair has recently made a high-profile return to British politics, saying that he wants to “get [my] hands dirty” in the battle for Brexit and Labour’s future.
However, our poll found that Blair is now a significantly more toxic figure than Corbyn.
We asked voters whether they would consider voting for Labour were it led by either Corbyn, Blair, Miliband, London mayor Sadiq Khan or rumoured future leadership candidate Cooper.
Blair was the most toxic of all the potential Labour leaders polled, with 61% saying they would not even consider voting for Labour were the party led by him, compared to just 23% who said they would.
Corbyn, by contrast, was the most popular candidate listed, with 31% saying they would consider voting Labour under his leadership as opposed to 53% who would not.
Business Insider / GfK poll of alternative Labour leaders.
The poll found that Corbyn was more popular than either Miliband, Cooper or Khan. However, fewer respondents said that Cooper and Khan would be a deal-breaker for their vote than Corbyn, suggesting they have potential to change public perceptions of the party.
“Yvette Cooper’s numbers are interesting,” GfK Research Director Keiran Pedley said. “She is clearly the least toxic of the Labour politicians we tested but it is fair to say that she remains something of an unknown quantity for now among the British public, therefore voters are hardly clamouring for her to lead the Labour Party yet.”
The findings suggest that simply changing leaders would not cause an immediate improvement in Labour’s fortunes and could even make Labour’s position worse.
It also suggests that Blair, who has stated that he wants British voters to change their minds about leaving the European Union, could harm his own cause.
“These results cast doubt on how successful any political comeback by Tony Blair would be,” Pedley said.
“Much has been written on Corbyn’s unpopularity but these results suggest that Tony Blair is even more unpopular with the public. His biggest problem in terms of political credibility is that he no longer has an obvious constituency in British politics.
“He is even divisive among Labour voters.”
Ratings boost for Corbyn
Corbyn’s personal ratings have also had a bump since the start of the general election campaign, according to the poll.
Corbyn has a net approval of -30, an improvement of 11 points since March. However, he still trails his rivals by some distance. Prime minister Theresa May is way ahead with a rating of 16%.
Our poll also found that Brexit has galvanised support for May’s party at the same time that it has split Labour’s base.
It found that Labour leads the Conservatives by 6 points among Remain voters, while the Conservatives lead Labour among Leave voters by a whopping 48 points.
Overall the Conservatives are 20 points ahead of Labour on 48%, up 7 points since March, with Labour unchanged on 28%. The Lib Dems are trailing far behind on 7% with UKIP crashing down to just 5%. The Greens are down three points to 3%.
GfK surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,952 British adults online between May 3 and May 14.
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