Fraser Nelson

Jeremy Corbyn’s poll ratings are bad, but not disastrous. Why pretend otherwise?

Jeremy Corbyn's poll ratings are bad, but not disastrous. Why pretend otherwise?
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Like most political journalists, I regard Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party as an unalloyed disaster. But it is, perhaps, time to admit that this view is not so widely shared amongst the public.

"Almost a third of Labour supporters do not think that Jeremy Corbyn will lead Labour into the next election," says today's Observer. The more striking finding is that most Labour supporters (56pc) do think that Corbyn will stay until 2020. He may be hated by Labour MPs, but his approval rating is high amongst Labour members - even amongst those who voted for Andy Burnham. It's a thing. Even if Labour MPs were to break the habit of a lifetime and defenestrate their leader, the Labour Party membership would likely return him (or someone like him) if given the chance.

Corbyn's personal approval ratings may well soon plunge - but, for now, they're not so far from the Prime Minister's.

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 09.43.23 Ladbrokes has the Tories as 4/11 odds-on to win, but Labour at 9/4.  That's about a 30pc chance. Remember, a week before the election, Populus gave Cameron a 0.5pc chance of winning a majority. A reminder that we should be very careful before saying such-and-such a political outcome is unthinkable: the unexpected has been happening rather a lot recently.

Given Corbyn's abysmal parliamentary performance, the striking thing about him is his lack of electoral unpopularity. The Opinium/Observer poll gives the Tories an eight-point lead: high, but not impenetrably so.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.