Post-plot polls show 60% think Labour divided and 62% think contest would be a distraction

The damage inflicted by Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt on Labour's electoral chances by their botched coup attempt are laid bare in the latest polls out today.

The damage inflicted by Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt on Labour’s electoral chances by their botched coup attempt this week have been laid bare in the first post-coup polls out today.

A YouGov poll for the Sun found that 28 per cent of the public had less confidence in the Labour party than before the coup, and a ComRes poll for the Daily Politics revealed three-fifths thought the events showed Labour to be the most divided party – more than 3½ times the figure for the Conservatives and six times that for the Liberal Democrats.

YouGov’s figures also showed that 62 per cent of voters think a leadership contest would be a “distraction from the serious issues that the country currently faces” – with only 29 per cent thinking it a good idea.

On Gordon Brown specifically, ComRes found that his overall approval rating was -11 per cent, with only half of respondents believing Labour “would have greater appeal with voters if Gordon Brown stood aside to allow someone else to lead the Party into the next election”.

Compared to before the coup, YouGov’s headline voting figures show a 1 per cent drop in Labour support, from 31 per cent to 30 per cent, with the Conservatives up 2 to 42 per cent. However, 16 per cent of voters now say that Gordon Brown remaining leader would make them more likely to vote Labour – compared to only 14 per cent 24 hours before.

Finally, if the Prime Minister did stand down, voters are as divided and uncertain as they were before the plot as to which of his Ministerial colleagues would make them more likely to vote Labour. YouGov found that the figures remain unchanged: David Miliband (8 per cent), Jack Straw (5%), Alan Johnson (4%), Harriet Harman (2%), Ed Balls (2%), Ed Miliband (1%), Andy Burnham (1%).

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