Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to crush Owen Smith in the party leadership contest, even though a bulk of those voting for him say he is unelectable as a prime minister and not competent as a leader, according to the latest poll.
A YouGov poll published by The Times on Wednesday morning confirmed what anti-Jeremy Corbyn Labour MPs had been dreading the most — Corbyn is winning the leadership race.
Corbyn is leading Smith by 62% to 38% among Labour members who are eligible to vote in the upcoming contest.
However, look beyond YouGov’s headline figures and you will find some really interesting data about how the people who plan to back Corbyn truly feel about his qualities.
As illustrated below, YouGov found that a massive 40% of members who plan to vote Corbyn do not believe he is competent, and nearly half (44%) do not think he is likely to lead Labour to victory at the 2020 general election.
These numbers are really telling.
Large numbers of Corbyn supporters are seemingly aware of his crucial shortcomings but are willing to vote for him anyway. Where Corbyn did score highly among his support was in the “principled” (97%) and “honest” (93%) categories. It is clear that electability is not the first that Corbyn’s supporters look for in an opposition leader — after all, nearly half want a leader who they do not believe can win the next election.
YouGov’s research also highlights one of the major problems facing former shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith. Despite repeatedly accusing Corbyn of being an ineffective opposition leader, Smith has failed to convince the party membership that he represents a credible alternative.
Just 30% of Labour members who intend to vote in the leadership election think Smith is competent, while only 12% believe he is capable of defeating the Tories in 2020. This compares to 35% of all eligible Labour voters who felt Corbyn could lead the party to victory at the next election.
Smith’s primary message has been that he would be a credible prime minister in waiting, but his campaign has seemingly failed in selling this to the party membership.
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