Voters just don't like Jeremy Corbyn

Voters just don't like Jeremy Corbyn

Yesterday, ICM released the full data for their recent Sun poll, which was published on Sunday – the day after Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected to the Labour leadership with a greater mandate than last year.  And things don’t just look bad for the Labour Party and its leader, they look terrible.  Don’t just take our word for it, however; in an introductory comment to the results of the poll, Martin Boon, Director at ICM, says that Jeremy Corbyn is ‘on the cusp of electoral Armageddon.  Rarely can there have been such a dis-connect between the acclaim of his supporters and the derision of the public’.  And the polls overwhelmingly support this conclusion: not only that Corbyn is wildly popular among the Labour selectorate, but that he is also widely disliked among the electorate as a whole.  Here’s what you need to know from this poll:

The Polling Digest 4-poll rolling average gives the Conservatives a 9-point lead over Labour

The Polling Digest 4-poll rolling average gives the Conservatives a 9-point lead over Labour

1.       Labour fall to their lowest polling result since 2009.  This ICM poll gives the Tories an enormous lead of 15-points – their second-highest lead since Theresa May’s coronation as leader of the party.  They get 41% of the vote, with Labour on 26%.  The Liberal Democrats notch up 8%, with UKIP and the Greens on 14% and 4%, respectively; these results are pretty average for these other parties.  These poll results mean that the gap between the Conservatives and Labour is now larger than the gap between Labour and UKIP.

2.       Labour secure convincing wins among younger voters, with the Conservatives taking older voters.  49% of 18-24s intend to vote Labour, with 19% plumping for the Tories.  In the 25-34 group, Labour chalks up a win, too: 40% versus 32% for the Conservatives.  But with voters older than this, the Conservatives lead: by 11 points in the 35-64 range, 27 points in the 65-74 range, and 57 points in the 75+ age category.  But while this looks generally balanced – the young going for Labour and the old going for the Tories – there are two reasons why the Conservative Party has an advantage here: firstly, their leads are higher in the age groups they win, and secondly, the age groups they win tend to turn out to vote much more than the age groups who prefer Labour.

3.       10% of voters would trust Jeremy Corbyn most with the nation’s safety and security.  Theresa May, the Prime Minister, gets 45%, while Tim Farron and Nicola Sturgeon each manage 3% and 10%, respectively.  The only voter category where Theresa May does not beat Jeremy Corbyn is among 18-24s (where they tie on 22%) and those intending to vote Labour (33% for Corbyn versus 19% for May).

4.       More voters agree than disagree that Jeremy Corbyn does not pay enough attention to the issues that voters think are important.  43% of respondents think that Corbyn’s focus is not sufficiently on the important issues, while 24% think he pays the right amount of attention to voters’ important issues.  When the Don’t Knows (33%) are stripped out, 64% of those polled said Corbyn doesn’t pay enough attention to the issues they think are important.

5.       40% of voters think Jeremy Corbyn will make Labour too left wing.  21% disagree, while 40% don’t know.  While this is clearly a bad result for the Labour leader, the high Don’t Know response suggests that voters do not think primarily in terms of left and right.

6.       Corbyn’s ‘kinder, gentler politics’ slogan isn’t sinking in, either.  When asked if the Labour leader will off this new type of politics, 38% disagreed, with 29% agreeing.  33% said they don’t know.

7.       Many of Corbyn’s possible policy offerings are very unpopular…  Here are the responses to voters’ preferences for some of the Labour leader’s policy ideas:


Should not

Don’t Know

Scrap Trident




Allow more Syrian refugees into Britain




Abolish benefits cap




Re-nationalise railways




Withdraw Britain from NATO




Encourage/allow NI to leave UK and join the Irish Republic




8.       …Except for one.  Jeremy Corbyn’s signalling for a railway nationalisation programme is quite popular.  47% think the government should take the rail into public hands, with 25% disagreeing and 29% saying they don’t know.  This gives his policy a net backing by the electorate of +22.

9.       Only 43% of those voters currently intending to vote Labour think the party will win the next General Election.  Given such poor expectations among planned Labour voters, it is natural, of course, that the response from the electorate-at-large is even worse: only 16% of all voters think the party is on course to win the next election.  20% of all those polled said the next time Labour would be in government is in 2020, while 13% said they won’t see a Labour government until 2030.

10.   But while Jeremy Corbyn is polling terribly, there doesn’t seem to be a clear replacement for him.  ICM asked its respondents who they thought should take over from Corbyn, and a huge 71% said they didn’t know.  Chukka Umunna polled the highest, at 8%, with Angela Eagle on 5%, Dan Jarvis on 4% and Tristram Hunt on 3%.

Well, this can only be seen as a catastrophically bad poll for Labour.  Not only is the party doing terribly in the polls, but the leader’s personal ratings are enormously poor.  The narrative, however, among the Labour leader’s supporters is that biased media coverage has dented the party leader’s genuine popularity.  But this poll shows as clear as day that both the leader and his policies are very much disliked.  

ICM's Polling Bombshell

ICM's Polling Bombshell

Labour's Leavers

Labour's Leavers