How valid are the findings now?
A fair amount has happened in the LAB leadership race since the YouGov members’ poll which was carried out over Christmas. The big number that people recall is that after six rounds of lower preference distribution Starmer was beating RLB by 61% to 39%. The first preferences were:
- Stamer 31%
- Long-Bailey 20%
- Phillips 11%
- Cooper 7%
- Lewis 7%
- Thornberry 6%
- Nandy 5%
Since then Cooper has not entered the race and Lewis failed to make the cut amongst MPs. We are now in the constituency and affiliates nomination stage and it is clear that not all the five survivors will make it to the postal ballot in March. If it comes down to three then second preferences will be key and I’d suggest that the Christmas holiday lower preference polling when there were six choices will be far less relevant. What has happened since and is yet to happen will have an impact.
There’s been the surprising trade union support for Nandy with the possibility that she could meet the threshold on this round without having to worry about the branches. Another factor is that the electorate is changing. The Sun is reporting that 60k new members have been added since the general election.
At the moment I’d rate Starmer as a 50% chance somewhat lower than current betting odds and Nandy at least level-pegging with RLB.