If Corbyn had more success at PMQs he might improve his poor personal ratings
Today PMQs returns after the summer recess, Jeremy Corbyn has been doing PMQs for nearly a year, and if anything his performances have become worse. His strategy of asking questions sent in from the public just doesn’t work at PMQs.
Today he could put the government on the rack on any number of issues, the junior doctors’ strike or the NHS funding problems, or Number 10 informing the country that what Brexit Secretary David Davis told the House of Commons on Monday wasn’t government policy, but Corbyn’s crowdsourced questions don’t achieve that.
I think the nadir for Corbyn was the PMQs after the country voted to Leave the European Union, David Cameron had announced his resignation, Cameron’s political career was at its lowest point, yet Cameron gave Corbyn a verbal kicking, telling Corbyn he should resign, “For heaven’s sake man, go’ whilst Tory MPs cheered and Labour MPs sat quietly.
It isn’t just me who thinks Jeremy Corbyn is performing badly in the Commons, Ipsos Mori recently polled MPs, they found
Theresa May (25%) and David Cameron (26%) have been voted the most impressive parliamentarians by their fellow MPs. The Prime Minister and her predecessor top the leader board in an annual Ipsos MORI survey which asks MPs to name the parliamentarian they find the most impressive.
This follows a general trend seen over the course of the survey of MPs naming their current party leader as the most impressive parliamentarian.
However, in contrast, mentions of the Labour party leader by Labour MPs have been in decline in recent years, and Jeremy Corbyn receives a record low number of mentions this year, with just one mention from a Conservative MP. Amongst Labour MPs Hilary Benn is named the most impressive parliamentarian, mentioned by 10%. Angela Eagle receives the same proportion of mentions, closely followed by Owen Smith and Yvette Cooper, both of whom receive 7% of mentions.
During PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn often displays the anguish of a man with a bumblebee trapped under his foreskin, if he changed his approach at PMQs he and his parliamentary colleagues might start smiling and have something to cheer about whilst making Corbyn look like a Prime Minister in waiting as he effectively holds the government to account.