Over half of UK Labour voters in last election want Corbyn to quit: Poll

Over half of UK Labour voters in last election want Corbyn to quit: Poll

Second day of the Labour party annual conference in Brighton
Britain's Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves after an interview with the BBC, during the Labour Party annual conference in Brighton, Britain Sep 22, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)

BRIGHTON: More than half of voters who backed Britain's opposition Labour Party at a 2017 election think it is now time for leader Jeremy Corbyn to stand down, an opinion poll showed on Monday (Sep 23).

Corbyn is holding his party's annual conference in the English coastal resort of Brighton, seeking to showcase Labour's leftist policies and present himself as the only person who can resolve the impasse over Britain's planned exit from the European Union.

But the opening days of the conference have been overshadowed by internal splits - including over Brexit - that have raised questions over the strength of Corbyn's position.

The YouGov poll showed 54 per cent of those who backed Labour in 2017 think Corbyn should resign and be replaced with someone else, with 29 per cent saying he should stay and 17 per cent saying they did not know.

YouGov surveyed 1,650 adults on Sep 18 and 19, before the conference began.

READ: Torn by Brexit, Labour to vote on way out of the crisis

Among the wider electorate, the percentage who thought Corbyn should go was 58 per cent, while that stood at 34 per cent among those who said they were current Labour supporters.

The veteran Labour leader, who took control of the party in 2015, comfortably survived an attempt to oust him in 2016 thanks in part to a huge influx of grassroots members who backed his shift towards a more radical left-wing agenda.

Corbyn said on Sunday he intended to lead the party into the next general election, which is not scheduled until 2022, but is expected to be held later this year as Britain tries to resolve the deadlock over how or whether to leave the European Union.

READ: The party will decide our Brexit position, says UK Labour's Corbyn

Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson is promising Britain will leave the EU on Oct 31, with or without an exit deal, but opponents believe they have passed a law forbidding him to do so. The outcome of that impasse is uncertain.

The situation has put Corbyn's own Brexit policy under intense scrutiny.

He wants to request more negotiating time, win an election, negotiate a new deal and then put it to the public in a referendum which also offers voters the chance to remain in the EU. Corbyn has not said what he would campaign for in that referendum.

The YouGov survey showed that 69 per cent of the general population found this policy unclear or confusing. Among those who identified themselves as voting to stay inside the EU in 2016, 46 per cent opposed his Brexit policy.

Source: Reuters