LONDON — London mayor Sadiq Khan would be best placed to replace Jeremy Corbyn as the next leader of the Labour Party, according to new research conducted by YouGov.
Corbyn was re-elected Labour leader in September but speculation regarding his future continues to swirl as the party struggles in the polls.
With this in mind, YouGov put the names of a number of high-profile Labour politicians to 3,333 Brits and asked them a) whether they have heard of each politician and b) whether they liked or disliked each politician.
The results indicate that Khan was the highest-scoring Labour politician when likability and awareness were combined, with MPs Dan Jarvis, Hilary Benn, Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy close behind.
YouGov started by asking respondents how aware they were of twenty Labour politicians. Unsurprisingly, current leader Corbyn and his predecessor Ed Miliband were the most well-known, while Khan was the third most with 74% of respondents claiming to have heard of him. Just 34% had heard of Tom Watson, despite him being the deputy leader of the Labour Party.
Respondents were then asked whether they liked or disliked the listed Labour figures.
Khan scored highly here too along with MPs Jarvis, Starmer, Nandy, and Benn. The most disliked Labour figures were Corbyn and shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, which illustrates the disconnect between the Labour leadership and the general public, despite passionate grassroots support for the left-wing duo.
Not one Labour figure received a positive score in net terms. This isn’t a good sign for the party when it continues to trail the Conservatives by double-figure margins in opinion polls.
YouGov then combined these two measures to produce a chart suggesting which Labour figures are best-placed to succeed Corbyn when he ceases to be party leader. As the below graphic shows, the current mayor of London is in the strongest position
Khan became the first Muslim mayor of a European capital city when he defeated Tory Zac Goldsmith to win the London mayoral election last year. He is generally regarded as being closer to the centre of the party and has been a vocal critic of Corbyn in the past.
However, as YouGov points out, he is very unlikely to step down from City Hall before the next mayoral election in 2020, meaning the likes of Benn, Jarvis and Starmer are more likely candidates in the event that Corbyn goes.
You can see the results in full here.
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