A poll came out yesterday which was the basis for this story in the Independent “Jeremy Corbyn ‘loses fifth of Labour voters'”. The poll found that 20% of people who voted Labour in 2015 said they were less likely to vote Labour again with Corbyn as leader. So is it fair to say that a fifth of Labour voters have already abandoned the party? Of course not!
The question asked if they would be more or less likely to vote Labour with Corbyn as leader. If you say less though, it doesn’t mean you will change the way you vote, you could just have changed from ‘absolutely will vote for them’ to ‘almost certainly will vote for them’. If the Indy’s headline was fair, then so is mine because 8% of Conservative voters said Corbyn being leader made them more likely to vote Labour. I could also have made the title “Over a third of SNP voters now support Labour”, or “More than a quarter of remaining Lib Dems to vote Labour with Corbyn”. All bollocks of course, but no more so than the Indy’s headline.
The poll did ask one interesting question though. It asked if Labour under Corbyn was more or less electable. Even after the battering Corbyn has received this week, 41% said more. Still a long way to go, but not as apocalyptic as advertised.