Jeremy Corbyn the people's choice for Labour leader - poll


Jeremy Corbyn is the public choice for Labour leader, a new poll has indicated, in a further boost to the improbable front-runner.

With the first votes in the marathon contest due to be cast on Monday, Mr Corbyn led a Survation poll on which of the four contenders was the best choice for Labour leader.

Mr Corbyn was backed as the best Labour leader by 28% of a panel of 1,000, ahead of Andy Burnham on 25%, Yvette Cooper on 15% and Liz Kendall on 12%. 

Mr Corbyn's campaign team said the study of the electorate as a whole smashed claims from his opponents that Labour would face years in the wilderness if he emerged as the winner.

A spokeswoman said: "The national Survation poll and the YouGov poll of Londoners both point to an emerging, clear fact - that Jeremy Corbyn reaches voters beyond Labour's existing vote, and that he has a strong electability-factor based on his ability to take on David Cameron and stand up for ordinary people.

"These polls show the value of leadership - straight-talking politics that give people hope and a real sense that winning with a better kind of politics is possible."

Other polls of Labour members, affiliates and supporters - the more than 600,000 people who will choose the successor to Ed Miliband - have handed Mr Corbyn a big lead ahead of the September 12 declaration.

A YouGov poll of Londoners has suggested Mr Corbyn's national lead is replicated in the capital.

The left winger's rivals have insisted he has no chance of winning the 2020 election, with each of them claiming they are the party's best chance of bouncing back from the devastating defeat in May.

But Mr Corbyn was declared the most likeable and the most trustworthy by the Survation panel, and the candidate best placed to hold David Cameron's government to account as Leader of the Opposition- by a margin of 31% to 27% over Mr Burnham.

Survation showed all its participants a one minute video of each candidate before asking a series of questions about their attributes and chances for political success.

Mr Corbyn and Mr Burnham were effectively tied on who would be the best Prime Minister and who would be most likely to win a general election for Labour.

Asked which candidate has the best ideas for the future of the UK, 28% said Mr Corbyn to 19% for Mr Burnham and 13% each for Ms Cooper and Ms Kendall. 

Amid growing concern from Labour MPs that Mr Corbyn is on the brink of unlikely victory, former prime minister Gordon Brown is expected to intervene in a speech on Sunday.

Mr Brown is thought likely to endorse Ms Cooper for the leadership, amid calls for all three of Mr Corbyn's opponents to urge their supporters to vote tactically with the second and third preferences.

Under the alternative vote rules, the last placed candidate will have preference votes re-allocated to their rivals. 

Tactical voting would be rendered irrelevant if Mr Corbyn wins more than 50% of first preference votes - which a YouGov poll earlier this week suggested he was on course to do.