Jeremy Corbyn has done little to boost Labour’s popularity and faces an uphill struggle to convince voters that he would be a better prime minister than David Cameron, according to a new Opinium/Observer poll.
The survey taken during Corbyn’s first week as Labour leader found almost twice as many voters choosing Cameron (41%) over Corbyn (22%) as the best occupant of No 10.
While 89% of Tory voters said Cameron would be the best PM, only 58% of Labour backers said they thought Corbyn would do the job best, suggesting serious doubts within Labour ranks about their newly elected leader.
When asked a separate question – if they could imagine Corbyn as prime minister – 32% of likely voters said they could. However, 57% said they could not, including nearly a quarter (23%) of Labour voters.
The poll showed that, while enthusiasm for Corbyn and interest in his election as leader may have had a small positive effect on Labour’s ratings, there has been no huge bounce.
The Tories remain well ahead on 37%, with Labour on 32%, Ukip on 14% and the Liberal Democrats, who are gathering this weekend in Bournemouth for the first time since their disastrous general election result, on 6%.
The figures are similar to the final share of the vote in May’s general election when the Tories secured 36.9%, Labour 30.4%, Ukip 12.6% and the Lib Dems 7.9%.
Some encouragement for Labour can be found, however, by comparing today’s poll with a post-general election poll conducted by Opinium at the beginning of June – well before Corbyn’s campaign to be leader had come to the notice of the public. This put the Tories on 39%, Labour on 30%, Ukip on 12% and the Lib Dems on 7% – meaning that Labour has cut the Tory lead from 9 points to 5.
While Corbyn supporters will argue he has not yet had time to prove himself, the fact he is not seen as a future prime minister will be a worry to the party after the Ed Miliband era. Miliband’s personal ratings tended to lag way behind those for his party and he struggled to ever overtake Cameron.
This article was written by Toby Helm Political editor, for theguardian.com on Saturday 19th September 2015 20.01 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010