LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn is now less popular than Theresa May with pretty much every section of British society, new research by YouGov shows.
The under-pressure Labour leader has long trailed the prime minister in public approval, but his personal ratings have this week hit a new low.
The results of YouGov’s latest poll suggest that the Islington North MP is failing to persuade the wider public that he is prime ministerial material, with just 14% of respondents saying he would make a better leader than May.
By contrast nearly half of respondents (47%) said they thought May makes the best prime minister, with 39% opting for ‘don’t know’.
A breakdown of the figures makes even grimmer reading for Corbyn. The Labour leader is second-best to May across the board: young and old, men and women, north and south. Pretty much every category.
As the table shows, the only groups of people that prefer Corbyn over the Tory leader are those who intend to vote Labour at the next election and those who backed Labour in 2015 — but evem these figures aren’t exactly brilliant for Corbyn. Just 29% of respondents who voted Labour at the last election intend to do so at the next one. That’s a huge decrease in support. Worst of all, not even half of respondents who intend to stick with Labour think he’d be a better prime minister than May. He’s struggling to persuade those who want to vote for his party, nevermind the general public.
Brexit continues to remain a problem for Corbyn and his party. A report published by affiliated think tank The Fabian Society this week found that Labour’s message on Brexit — arguably the biggest issue faced by Britain this century — was “muffled and inconsistent”. It added that Corbyn’s Labour is stranded in the middle of a social divide, unable to appeal to either Remain or Leave voters. As the table above shows, the Labour leader is less popular than May with both Leave and Remain voters.
It’s at this end of the table where Labour voters may want to shield their eyes. The prime minister leads Corbyn in every single category, including 18-24-year-olds, who were once regarded as the lifeblood of the Corbyn movement. Among the elderly the Labour leader is severely unpopular, with just 8% of those aged 65+ intending to vote for him, compared to 65% who plan to vote for May. This is very bad news, given how elderly people have long been the most likely people to go out and vote on election day.
Corbyn’s struggle to present himself as an attractive alternative to the current prime minister continues against a backdrop of less-than-impressive polling for the party as a whole. This particular YouGov survey gave the Tories a 13-point lead over Labour. Corbyn’s party is estimated to need a lead of at least 12.5% in order to form a majority government at the next election, because of the way their vote is distributed across the UK.
This new poll suggests Labour are further away from achieving that target than ever before.
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