The unpopularity of Labour MPs could save Jeremy Corbyn

"The behaviour of Labour MPs over the past week appears to have damaged, rather than helped their chances"
"The behaviour of Labour MPs over the past week appears to have damaged, rather than helped their chances"
Adam Bienkov By

For Labour plotters looking to unseat Jeremy Corbyn, there are some encouraging signs in a new poll released last night.

The YouGov poll for the Times found that support for Corbyn among Labour party members has dropped dramatically since the start of the European referendum campaign.

Just 51% of members now think he is doing well as leader, down from 72% in May, while 48% think he is doing badly. More worryingly for Corbyn, a majority now think he should stand down before the general election. Forty-four per cent say he should step down immediately with a further 10% saying he should go before the nation next goes to the polls.

The switch follows a huge drop in the number of Labour members who believe he can become prime minister. Just 35% now think it is likely that he will win the next general election with 57% thinking it is unlikely. Most worrying for Corbyn is a finding that 47% of members would not vote for him in another leadership election.

The collapse in support appears to have been caused by his lacklustre performance in the EU referendum campaign, with a majority of members now saying he did a bad job.

So does this mean that the Labour leader is on his way out? Well not quite. Unfortunately for Labour MPs, while their members may not be impressed with Corbyn's performance, they're even less impressed with the performance of his rivals.

The behaviour of Labour MPs over the past week appears to have damaged, rather than helped their chances. Overall, 60% of Labour members think their MPs were wrong to resign from the Shadow Cabinet in an attempt to force him to resign.

More importantly, when asked how they would vote in a battle between Corbyn and his likely challenger Angela Eagle, Corbyn has a 10 point lead. Against his deputy Tom Watson, he has an 11 point lead. Against current rising star Dan Jarvis, he has a 17 point lead. When asked to choose between a larger list of candidates, Corbyn has a 26 point lead over his nearest rival Andy Burnham.

So while today's poll does suggest that Corbyn is beatable, it also suggests that none of the people who are in a position to do that beating, are up to the job.

Adam Bienkov is the deputy editor of Politics.co.uk

The opinions in politics.co.uk's Comment and Analysis section are those of the author and are no reflection of the views of the website or its owners

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