Labour councillors are backing Yvette

Published: 22 July 2015 at 12:08

Richard Carr

Poll has Cooper as preferred choice for party leader, but support for Corbyn grows

The latest poll of Labour councillors suggests Yvette Cooper is now narrowly favoured as party leader, with support for Jeremy Corbyn growing.

Anglia Ruskin’s Labour History Research Unit (LHRU) conducted the survey of Labour councillors across the UK between 16 July and 20 July, 294 of whom took part. These councillors were based in the 125 Parliamentary constituencies Labour won by the narrowest margin and the 125 constituencies they lost by the narrowest margin. They were asked to indicate how they would vote using Labour’s Alternative Vote method.

The results show Cooper would take 52.1% of the vote in a tight final run-off with Andy Burnham, who polled the highest score (30.95%) in the opening round. Liz Kendall, who was named the candidate most feared by the Conservatives in a poll previously conducted by the LHRU in June, was eliminated in the first round with 13.95% of the vote.

Jeremy Corbyn was eliminated in the second round of voting having polled 25.17% in the first round, but saw his share of the initial vote rise by 6% compared to the last LHRU poll in June.

Tom Watson is the preferred candidate for the party’s Deputy Leader, winning the final round of polling with 61.62% in a head-to-head with Caroline Flint. Watson was also the strongest supported candidate throughout, polling 42% in the opening round.

Historian Dr Richard Carr, of the LHRU, said:
“This poll confirms that Jeremy Corbyn is making strides on Andy Burnham in terms of being the candidate of the left. When you add in the ‘Tories for Corbyn’ factor and the negative coverage of his stance on the welfare bill, the bookies favourite looks in a worse position than a month ago.

“More worryingly for Burnham, we have Corbyn’s second preference votes splitting evenly between him and Yvette Cooper too. If Yvette can continue to hold enough second preference Kendall voters, we may be in for a mini-Cooper shock.”