Conservatives fear 'Kendall-Flint quake'

Published: 9 July 2015 at 10:44

Liz Kendall (courtesy of rwendland)

New survey by Labour History Research Unit shows that Liz has Tories in a tizz

A new poll shows that Liz Kendall and Caroline Flint are the candidates that Conservative councillors most fear in the forthcoming elections for Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

The survey, carried out by the Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin University, polled 405 councillors (155 Conservative, 214 Labour and 36 SNP) in key marginal constituencies across the UK. The full survey data is available below.

Kendall is seen as the biggest threat by 38.1% of Conservative councillors in key marginals, compared to 31.3% who most fear Andy Burnham, 21.1% Yvette Cooper and 9.5% Jeremy Corbyn.

However, Kendall proves to be the least popular candidate amongst the Labour councillors who responded, with 35.7% indicating Burnham would receive their first preference vote compared to 30.1% for Cooper, 18.9% for Corbyn and 15.3% for Kendall.

Tom Watson's status as frontrunner for the Deputy Leadership is borne out by the survey, with 40.7% of Labour councillors indicating he would receive their first preference vote.

However, 36.2% of Conservatives believe their party should 'most fear' Flint as Deputy Leader, compared to only 20.5% who view Watson as the danger.

When Conservative councillors were asked to name their own party's top priority, 43.1% said reducing the deficit, while 23.5% chose reforming the European Union. Boris Johnson (27.2%) is the most popular choice to succeed David Cameron as leader, followed by George Osborne (25.8%) and Theresa May (20.5%).

The survey also found that almost half (48.1%) of Labour councillors back a 50p top rate of income tax, while almost a quarter (22.8%) in favour of 60p or more.

Historian Dr Richard Carr, of Anglia Ruskin's Labour History Research Unit, said: "Most Labour activists we surveyed concede that the party needs to change but, despite this, 'Continuity Miliband' appears to be the order of the day. Half the Labour base remains in favour of a 50p top rate of tax and many want 60p or more.

"But whilst our data says that betting on an Andy Burnham-Tom Watson ticket might be the smart money, it is Liz Kendall who looks the smartest candidate.

"With almost four in 10 Tory activists in key marginals dubbing her the biggest threat to the Conservatives in 2020, Labour's biggest chance of power seems to lie in making Liz leader."