That didn’t take long. Jeremy Corbyn’s honeymoon with Labour faithful has already turned sour with almost three in four voters now thinking he looks anything like prime minister material.
A survey of 2,000 people conducted by The Independent newspaper found that Mr Corbyn’s election as Labour leader has made one in five people who voted for his party at the May general election more likely to vote Conservative next time. Some 37 per cent of Labour voters say they are less likely to back the party at the next election.
The survey, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, found only 28 per cent of people agree with the statement “Jeremy Corbyn looks like a prime minister-in-waiting”, while 72 per cent disagree.
The ORB findings will embolden Labour MPs already lamenting a poor performance by Mr Corbyn in his first week as leader. Critics are already plotting how to remove the veteran left-winger, with some saying they will move against him if Labour fails to win the London mayoral election next May, according to the newspaper.
Even those groups Mr Corbyn is championing doubt the prospect of him ever leading the country. A majority (67 per cent) of those in the bottom DE social group do not see him as prime ministerial. Nor do 68 per cent of public sector workers. People who voted Labour in May are divided: 53 per cent see him as a prime minister-in-waiting, while 47 per cent do not.
Tim Farron, the new Liberal Democrat leader, believes Labour’s radical shift to the left will benefit his party. Mr Farron is understood to be ready to open his party’s conference by accusing Mr Corbyn of taking Labour back to the 1980s. “Labour seems to be suffering a collective bout of nostalgia,” he is expected to say. “They remember the camaraderie of belonging to a crowd of zealous, committed, energetic people. But I remember that there wasn’t a single minute in the whole of the 1980s when the Tories were not in power.”
Mr Farron told The Independent that Labour’s hard left turn had created “a very large potential vacated space in the British political landscape” that the Lib Dems intended to fill. “We are people who are economically competent and economically literate but don’t think shrinking the state is aspiration,” he said.
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