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Ever since the first LAB leadership YouGov poll came out the result has never really been in doubt

March 31st, 2020
What the polls were showing for the final preferences

Ever since that first YouGov labour leadership poll come out at the start of the year there has never been any real question that the next LAB leader would be the former DPP, Sir Keir Starmer. His margin in that first poll came as quite a shock it will be recalled, because the assumption was that at the candidate favoured by the current leadership, Rebecca long Bailey, would secure the backing of the same groups in the party that were behind Corbyn’s 2015 and 2016 leadership elections.

That didn’t happen and all the indications were that many Momentum members were not going with with long RLB but were supporting Starmer. The detail from several of the polls indicated that the overwhelming issue for large numbers of those taking part in the election was which candidate would most likely lead the party to victory at the next general election.

It should be noted in the polling list above that the first Survation poll used a very different sampling approach than the one in the firm’s February survey.

In many ways this contest was decided on December 12th in the North West Durham parliamentary constituency where the then favoured contender of the Corbynistas, Laura Pidcock, lost her 18.3% majority to the the Tories. Without Pidcock there was no obvious figure to lead for left other than RLB.

Looking back over the campaign Long Bailey has done better than many expected and has improved markedly, The big problem is that she has faced Starmer who is a very different proposition having entered politics already a Knight and having been in the high-profile role of director of public prosecutions. He was a big beast right from the start.

A big interest for me when the results are announced on Saturday morning will be how good the pollsters were and will YouGov maintained its incredible record since of of getting right every membership leadership of every party.

YouGov’s biggest failure, if that is the right term to use, was actually last July with the CON leadership contest when the final lead it was reporting for Boris was 15% higher than that which he actually achieved.

Mike Smithson