- Jeremy Corbyn viewed as the “best PM” by voters according to new poll.
- Prime minister Theresa May previously had leads of up to 39% on this measure.
- Labour maintains a lead in all post-election polls.
- Fears of a Labour victory are preventing Tory MPs from moving against May.
LONDON — When Jeremy Corbyn described his front bench as a “government in waiting” this week in the House of Commons, he was greeted with theatrical laughter from the masses of Conservative MPs opposite.
However, privately they are no longer laughing.
As a new poll finds today, the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next prime minister of Great Britain is now very much a real one and it’s a prospect Tory MPs are all too aware of.
The YouGov poll for the Times finds that, for the first time ever, the British people now believe Jeremy Corbyn would make a better prime minister than Theresa May.
35% say that the Labour leader would make the “best PM” as opposed to 34% who pick May.
When don’t knows are excluded, Corbyn leads by 51% to 49%.
YouGov / Times poll: Who would make the best PM:
- Jeremy Corbyn: 51%
- Theresa May: 49%
- (Once don’t knows are excluded)
It is a remarkable turnaround for Corbyn, given that at the start of the election campaign May had a 39% lead over Corbyn on who would make the best PM.
It is also the first time since that a leader of the Labour party has taken a lead on this measure since 2007, when Gordon Brown first became prime minister.
It follows a series of post-election polls that have found leads for Corbyn’s Labour party of up to six points over May’s Conservatives.
The surge in support for Corbyn and Labour has unnerved Conservative MPs and is the driving factor in May’s continued survival as prime minister despite losing her party’s majority in the general election.
The fear among Tory MPs, particularly those in marginal seats, is that changing leader now would inevitably force a second general election which Labour would be ideally placed to win.
As one Conservative MP told Business Insider last week when asked about the prospect of a second general election: “
“I never want to hear those four little words ‘Corbyn is prime minister'”.
Before the general election campaign, supporters of the Labour leader would often be mocked for claiming that the Conservative party and wider “establishment” were scared of Jeremy Corbyn.
Back then it seemed genuinely laughable to Tory MPs and their supporters that they should be scared of a Labour leader who was apparently driving his party to oblivion.
With Corbyn now the public favourite to be prime minister, it no longer seems like such a good joke.
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