What do the public think of Jeremy Corbyn?

If you are on social media, then it’s clear, Jeremy Corbyn will win the Labour leadership in a landslide and then go on to win the keys to Downing Street in 2020. On social media though, it was also clear that in May, Ed Miliband would be entering Downing Street after Labour became the largest party in Parliament. It didn’t quite work out that way. So away from Twitter, what do people actually think of the man?

In the run-up to the last election, there were numerous polls each week on where the parties stood. They didn’t turn out to be very accurate, but millions of words were written about what the polls said. Given that, there have been surprisingly few polls done about how the Labour leadership contenders are viewed among the wider public. The ones that have been done have shown mixed results for Corbyn fans.

First there was a poll carried out by Survation which showed that Corbyn was most popular of the four leadership contenders amongst those polled and scored highest when asked which candidate would make them more likely to vote Labour. This poll was released just after a string of New Labour’s men of yesterday lined up to warn of Corbyn’s ‘unelectability’.

The Survation poll was follwed up a day later by a Comres poll that contradicted the first. In this one, respondents were asked if Corbyn would worsen or improve Labour’s chances. 31% said worsen vs 21% improve. Less positive then.

How much weight should we place on these polls however. My personal experience of people ‘offline’ is that the majority of people I interact with on a day to day basis have either never or only vaguely heard of any of the Labour leadership candidates, and those that do don’t really care enough to have a firm view. Amongst my friends and colleagues I am a bit of an oddity, the sort of person who would pick three pointless answers on politics in the final round of Pointless. My experience is that most people just aren’t paying attention. From this I conclude that the 2020 election is still very much up for grabs, but Corbyn (or another candidate if he doesn’t win) will need to grab people early and hang onto them with a consistent message.

What do people in your circles think of Corbyn. Is it the same as mine or have your detected a more widespread whiff of Corbyn-mania then me?

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3 thoughts on “What do the public think of Jeremy Corbyn?

  1. Most people are on their summer holidays and are more interested in topping up their tan in Turkey.

    The split I have is between the young and the old. The “I remember the 70s” crowd don’t actually remember the 70s as well as they think and can only think of three day weeks and power cuts. The young say “Tony who?” and “yeah student grants sound great”

    The old will die off and the young multiply. It’s an inevitable progression.

  2. It strikes me that poll results are rather predictable.

    The Survation poll puts him top because of the amount of publicity that has been generated – it’s a name-recognition poll. To that extent it’s been quite laughable how the ABC candidates have been trying to persuade people that Corbyn is campaigning on personality rather than policies, when their campaigns have been policy-free and obsessed about Corbyn.

    In the same way, the Comres poll is just a received-information poll. There is so much noise about Corbyn being unelectable than asking that kind of question leads to an inevitable answer.

    What with the idiotic leading-question Cruddas poll recently, you’d think that the pollsters, and the journalists, could do a little better.

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