Keir Starmer more favoured in the north of England than Rebecca Long-Bailey

PUBLISHED: 09:07 03 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:07 03 February 2020

Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey speaks to supporters at a campaign event in Hackney, London. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey speaks to supporters at a campaign event in Hackney, London. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

A new poll appears to have demolished the argument that Labour needs a leader in the north to reconnect with its heartlands.

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A new poll conducted by Ipsos MORI asked voters around the UK about their views on the Labour leadership contenders.

The polling found Keir Starmer ahead in nearly every region where voters were asked for their opinions, and most notably was ahead of the other favourite Rebecca Long-Bailey by a considerable amount.

In the north of England Sir Keir was ahead with 14 favourability points, followed by Lisa Nandy with 7 points, with Rebecca Long-Bailey on minus 12 points, and Emily Thornberry on minus 18 points.

The only area where Starmer was beaten was Scotland where Nandy is ahead with just one point.

However Ipsos MORI points out few Britons claim to know much about any of the Labour leadership contenders.

Ipsos MORI Research Director Gideon Skinner said: "While it is Labour members who have the vote on the Labour leadership contenders, that doesn't mean that the views of the wider public have no relevance in the debate.

"These figures show that all the candidates still have some way to go to build up a public profile, although Keir Starmer is starting in the strongest position (particularly among Remainers and 2019 Labour voters).

"Whoever wins, it will be important to quickly build a more positive public profile, so that as voters become more aware of them, their first impressions are positive.

"They will also have to overcome a situation where the Conservative Party is currently viewed more favourably than Labour, and where Boris Johnson has better ratings than any of them at the moment, even while there are concerns about the direction the country is moving in."

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