The Corbynite candidate is the top choice for only 27 per cent of the group’s members in a new YouGov survey,
Left-wing campaign group Momentum attracted a mixture of anger and ridicule when it announced that it would not ballot its membership on which candidate it should endorse in the Labour leadership contest. Instead, the group simply asked members to vote on whether to accept or reject an official resolution to support Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Our survey of Labour Party members – commissioned from YouGov by the Party Members Project run out of Queen Mary University of London and Sussex University – suggests critics of the decision have a point.
By no means all those Labour members who told us they also belonged to Momentum are fans of the woman who some have labelled the “continuity Corbyn” candidate. Indeed, not even a majority of them named her as their first choice when we presented them with a list of possible runners and riders. She is the frontrunner, but is still only the top candidate for 26.6 per cent of them.
True, Long-Bailey looks to be the overall winner among Momentum members, attracting twice as much support as Lisa Nandy (and getting on for twice as much support as Emily Thornberry) and five times as much support as either Keir Starmer or Jess Phillips. But the fact that, in our survey, Long-Bailey was the first choice of just a quarter of Momentum members suggests that those members deserved to be asked a genuine question, not just to confirm (or otherwise) the choice made by the organisation’s National Coordinating Group.
The ideal candidate
But that’s not all our survey reveals when it comes to how Labour members feel about the leadership contest. We also wanted to know which qualities in a leader party members valued most highly.
The results …read more
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