- YouGov online poll: Conservatives 40 / Labour 29
- Corbyn’s personal ratings are still abysmal
- Asked who’d be a better PM, more people said don’t know (31%) than Corbyn (19%)
Whoever wins the upcoming Labour leadership contest will be tasked with rescuing a party headed for electoral disaster. YouGov’s latest opinion poll gave the Conservatives a huge 11-point lead over Labour (40% > 29%), with the gulf between the two parties 3-points larger than YouGov’s last survey.
The results, based on responses from 1660 adults, make terrible reading for current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Asked who would be the best prime minister, just 19% of respondents said Corbyn, while 50% said Theresa May. Almost a third said they didn’t know — putting ‘Don’t Know’ in second-place ahead of the under-pressure Labour leader. Corbyn is coming third in a two-horse race.
Here is what YouGov’s latest poll means for Business Insider’s voter intention poll tracker. As the annotations illustrate, the Tories have enjoyed a honeymoon period since mid-July.
As Business Insider has pointed out before, history tells us opposition parties should be performing much better at this stage in the electoral cycle. Even Ed Miliband’s Labour, which went on to lose the 2015 general election, had a 6-point lead over the Tories at this stage, according to an Ipsos MORI poll published on August 25, 2011.
Corbyn’s dire ratings will give further ammunition to his critics and supporters of leadership rival Owen Smith. One of the main arguments his critics put forward for why he should be replaced as leader is he could never win a general election, which is reinforced by the graphic below:
As much as some of Corbyn’s supporters want to ignore polling data or question its reliability, evidence tells us that there is a direct link between the approval ratings of party leaders and how they perform in general elections.
Michael Foot, for example, is the only former Labour leader from recent times whose personal ratings were as bad as Corbyn’s are now. He led the party to a crushing defeat at the 1983 election. Tony Blair, on the other hand, enjoyed sky-high approval ratings before leading Labour to a landslide victory in 1997.
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