Voters abandon ‘shambles’ Labour – with Jeremy Corbyn their top reason

YouGov survey finds 20 per cent drop in Labour support among those polled in 2016


Voters who earlier this year said they would back Labour but have changed their minds say the party is ‘a shambles’, with Jeremy Corbyn the single biggest reason for their switch.

YouGov contacted 1,000 people who said they would vote Labour when polled earlier in 2016, and found 200 had decided not to vote Labour. These 200 were invited to write a sentence or two about why.

Of these, 29 per cent said ‘I don’t like Jeremy Corbyn as leader’ – the largest single reason by a margin of 11 per cent.

Labour's lost voters-01

Next down on the list was that ‘Labour are a shambles’ (18 per cent), followed by ‘No confidence in Labour at the moment’ (12 per cent) and ‘Labour are too divided’ (ten per cent).

Seven per cent blamed Labour’s handling of Brexit and/or the EU referendum, while ten per cent said they did not know how to vote.

YouGov created a ‘world cloud’ using respondents’ answers based on frequency of words used:

word cloud 2-01

Still, the results give ammunition to both sides of the party.

Supporters of Corbyn can blame MPs’ resignations, vote of no-confidence and leadership challenge for the impression of Labour as a ‘shambles’ and ‘divided’.

Corbyn’s critics will say that 29 per cent blaming his leadership for their changed minds adds to evidence Corbyn is more popular among party members than with the general public.

Ballot papers went out yesterday for the Labour Party leadership election.

Jeremy Corbyn’s support inside the party is likely to see him defeat challenger Owen Smith and be re-elected as leader in time for party conference in September.

Smith was endorsed this week by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

Trade union endorsements are split between the two candidates, but among the biggest unions, Corbyn is backed by Unite and Unison, while Smith is backed by GMB and USDAW.

See: Jeremy Corbyn is behind Theresa May among Labour supporters

See: Diane Abbott: Jeremy Corbyn’s vision can win a general election


Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

14 Responses to “Voters abandon ‘shambles’ Labour – with Jeremy Corbyn their top reason”

  1. David Seymour

    Actually, it is 20 per cent who have dropped support (200 out of 1,000) not 29 per cent. Still highly significant.

  2. Alasdair Macdonald

    For some years I have signed up to be polled by several companies. From this experience, it is clear that a great deal of polling is commissioned to get the kind of answer which the commissioner wants. The tone of this article and the general hostility shown to Mr Corbyn’s campaign by this website, suggests that the result quoted is such a poll.

  3. Imran Khan

    Alasdair. I am sure you have a point. It’s just that I’m not sure what it is. Could you enlighten us?

  4. Steve Mizzy

    Did LFF commission YouGov to carry out the poll?

    Nothing to suggest it did, so you have to accept it at face value I’d have thought. Like all polls you cannot read too much into them singly. Taken together, with other polls showing similar levels of dissatisfaction with Corbyn and declining support for him, its probably fair to say that a bit of a trend is developing.

  5. wg

    What scared off the voters before Corbyn came along?

    Just vote for Owen Smith, and we can return to the days of unicorns and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.

  6. CR

    There will be even further problems if Owen Smith’s policy of staying in the EU and ignoring the people’s decision is given any force at all. We will lose out big-time to UKIP !!!!

  7. Mark

    I have stopped supporting Labour but it is nothing to do with Corbyn. I’m sick of the red Tories, and I see plenty of them, using social media to abuse anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Most are too tight up attacking each other than they are of fighting the Tories.

  8. Alasdair Macdonald

    Mr Khan,
    Invoking the principle of charity I shall take your question as it reads. I thought my point was clear, but, since you have not understood it I apologise. Public opinion surveys can be designed in such ways as the phrasing of questions, false dichotomies, omitting aspects of the issue, produce results, which, if used selectively and out of context, can be presented as seemingly objective evidence in support of a particular position. I felt this was the case here. In addition, a survey of article on the site which relate mainly to Mr Corbyn shows that most are hostile to him.
    I think that Mr Corbyn and the Labour Party face serious issues of credibility with much of the electorate. However, while the poll quoted might indicate that, I felt that it lacked nuance.
    I hope that helps.

  9. Sam

    People should always remember Harold Wilson’s prescient words about politics & 7 days when reading polls.
    The ‘shambles’ has been created by the Blairites who seek to blame Corbyn for their underhand tactics.

    As for Sadiq Khan endorsing Owen Smith who hasn’t a hope in hell of winning anything and who the Blaitites seemingly delude themselves that Britain’s 90% right-wing media will somehow give a smooth ride- this seems like a clever move by Khan to endorse a non-winnable candidate so that he can, like a hero on a white charger step in as Labour leader and take the top role. In that, he is as deluded as Boris Johnson was.

  10. gabriel pepper

    LLF is biased against JC. JC would make a great and very believable PM. JC can take down DC and TM only by upsetting the people. TM will be upsetting the people, by destroying the NHS, by turfing onto the streets anyone under the age of 21, by fracking everywhere causing very serious problems of seismology and massive environmental damage, by presiding over rapidly increasing dissent as the crappy Housing Bill becomes a reality, by presiding over a massive recession, and many more things. Once the reality hits that the UK really is deep up shit creek without a paddle, the people will be scratching their heads, and will follow JC. As the JC revolution grows, how long will maniac TM hang on? How much filth will we have to see before the British people stand up? How much crap will the British Working Class have to tolerate? So I dont believe these polls tell us very much.

  11. Trevor

    Labour has 600,000 members mostly from when Corbyn took over. Is that the vote of no-confidence? cf Tories have 150,000.

  12. George H

    Trevor, trouble is although we now have 600,000 members only 16,000 could be bothered to turnout to vote at the CLP nomination meetings for JC.

  13. Nigel Grant

    Hello George,
    I think you need to be made aware of the underhand tactics of the right wing within the Labour Party. I wanted to cast a vote for Corbyn at my local CLP nomination meeting and even went along and stood outside in silent protest. I was told that the nomination meeting only involved CLP officers who would vote on behalf of every member in the constituency. Therefore approximately 60 – 80 Labour Party were disenfranchised. Corbyn would have received the nomination but because the meeting was so controlled by Progress members Owen Smith got the nomination. This was not an isolated experience. Many Corbyn supporters have been excluded from voting in the Leadership election. I for one will not remain silent.

  14. Derek Emery

    To bring this up to date here is the latest YouGov poll ‘Corbyn loses support among Labour party membership’

Leave a Reply