Jeremy Corbyn has won – but this poll shows the scale of Labour’s challenge

The party looks divided against Theresa May's Tories, finds ComRes poll


Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as Labour Party leader with an increased mandate. He has called for party unity in taking on the Conservative government.

New polling taken in the days before the result (September 21 and 22) by ComRes sums up the scale of he challenge for Labour.

Here are its findings:

  • Labour is seen as divided. Three quarters of those polled (74 per cent) say the Labour Party is now more divided than at any other time they can remember.
  • Some Labour voters are worried about entryism. One in three (35 per cent) of people who voted Labour in 2015 say they share former party leader Neil Kinnock’s concern about a hard-left takeover of the party, though more (36 per cent) say they do not. This follows two TV documentaries on the subject aired last week.
  • The Tories have a clear message. Nearly two thirds (65 per cent) say they know what the Conservative Party stands for, compared to just 45 per cent who say they know what Labour stands for. Sixty-three per cent said they know what UKIP stands for.
  • Theresa May is seen as a winner… Two thirds (65 per cent) think the Tories under May are more likely to win the next general election, compared to 16 per cent who think Labour under Corbyn will win.
  • …even by some Labour voters. More current Labour voters think the Tories will win a general election than think Labour will, by 42 per cent to 37 per cent.
  • She is seen as more of a unifier post-Brexit vote than Corbyn. Theresa May was said to be a better person to unite the country after the EU referendum than Jeremy Corbyn, by 56 per cent to 19 per cent.
  • And her ‘reformist’ PR is working. More than half (52 per cent) say Theresa May understands what ordinary people care about, compared to 14 per cent who said her predecessor, David Cameron, understood better.

Labour clearly has a mountain to climb in changing the image of the party and taking apart Theresa May’s clever positioning.

Meanwhile, ComRes also found half the public (50 per cent) think the government should start the process of leaving the EU as soon as possible. This included 57 per cent of Conservative voters and 81 per cent of UKIP voters.

Thirty-seven per cent said the government should take more time before starting the process.

See: Jeremy Corbyn reclaims Labour leadership with increased mandate

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.