Labour would surge clear of Tories under Boris Johnson if Jeremy Corbyn replaced as leader, poll indicates
Findings come as new PM appears to give ruling party a boost, with four separate polls giving Conservatives a lead over Labour
The finding comes as four separate polls – the first surveys of the new Tory administration – gave Mr Johnson a lead over Labour, and speculation of an early general election continued to mount.
Pollsters YouGov found the Conservatives 10 points ahead of Mr Corbyn’s party, while Deltapoll’s results suggested a 5-point lead, and a third by ComRes indicated a much narrower lead of one point.
The Deltapoll for The Mail on Sunday placed Mr Johnson’s party on 30 per cent while Labour were in a second place on 25 per cent, and the Liberal Democrats on 18 per cent. It showed the Brexit Party losing ground, on 14 per cent.
But if Labour was to drop Mr Corbyn as leader, the poll added the party would shoot into the lead at 34 per cent, with the Tories on 28 per cent, and the Lib Dems under new leader Jo Swinson on 13 per cent.
The poll also indicted a majority – 55 per cent – of the British public believed a general election was likely in 2019.
Mr Corbyn has recently been on the defensive, fighting off accusations of the party’s poor handling of antisemitism allegations, and its Brexit stance that led a dire performance at the European elections earlier this year.
Though many Labour activists will point to Theresa May‘s historic highs in the polls in the early days of her premiership that receded during the 2017 snap general election campaign.
Speaking on Sunday, the Labour leader insisted he was “not in the slightest” worried about taking on Mr Johnson at an early general election, and hinted he would table a motion of no confidence after the summer recess.
Mr Johnson has ruled out a public vote before the October Brexit deadline, but speculation is rife that Mr Johnson’s hardline rhetoric on a no-deal scenario could result in such a motion toppling his government in autumn.
Writing in The Mail on Sunday, polling expert professor John Curtice said there is “good reason to believe that either the pressures or the temptation to hold an election will prove too great between now and Christmas”.
But he added: “The party whose leadership he has just acquired is in a weak electoral position. Recently, the polls have on average suggested that just one in four voters would back the Conservatives in an immediate general election.
“The party’s electoral difficulties will be underlined if, as widely anticipate, it loses the Brecon and Radnorshire constituency in Thursday’s by-election.
“Yet Labour is in no better a position. It too has been running at just a quarter of the vote. The party’s current leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is currently deeply unpopular.”