The Corbyn polling could be the 2015 version of what happened to Hilary Benn in 2007

July 30th, 2015

Don’t attach too much credence to numbers at this stage

There have been only two Labour elections in recent times where there has been polling and we are able to look back and compare the survey numbers with the actual votes received.

In 2010, as I’ve reported before, the final YouGov members’ survey taken after the voting had started showed EdM with a 4% lead in this part of the electoral college. David actually won this segment by 8.8%.

Three years earlier when the party elected Gordon Brown leader without him having the inconvenience of facing another candidate all the focus was on the deputy battle.

The deputy leader polls throughout, as shown above, all had the son of that great Labour icon, Tony Benn, the then international development secretary Hilary. The Benn name resonated very strongly with the party members and in each of the three polls he came top.

    Notice how in the first two polls Benn chalked up three times the members’ first preferences that he eventually received and twice as many in the final survey.

    What members were telling pollsters beforehand was very different from hat they actually did

There’s another interesting comparison with Corbyn. Benn had a great struggle securing enough MP nominations to get on the ballot.

We are now 45 days from the election. There is a lot of time for the mood to change. Things can be very different when those eligible to vote are faced with the actual ballot paper.

Mike Smithson