New poll of Labour members puts Rebecca Long-Bailey as leadership favourite

PUBLISHED: 08:06 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:06 16 January 2020

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn alongside Rebecca Long-Bailey. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn alongside Rebecca Long-Bailey. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

A new poll of Labour members has found Rebecca Long-Bailey is the most likely successor to Jeremy Corbyn.

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Despite no major speeches or public appearances, the shadow business secretary appears to have clawed back ground on Sir Keir Starmer, after the first poll of Labour members put him narrowly ahead.

Long-Bailey would win 42% of first preference votes to the shadow Brexit secretary's 37%, according to a survey by Survation - the second carried out so far in the leadership race.

The pollsters asked readers of Labour List, a website focused on the Labour Party, for their preferences and then weighted the results to reflect the membership.

According to the Survation results, Jess Phillips would get 9% of first preferences, Lisa Nandy 7% and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry just 1%.

The final ballot is carried out using a preferential system, with members able to order the candidates in a list from one to five.

If no candidate wins 50% of the vote during the first round of counting, the last place contender is eliminated and their second preference votes are re-distributed.

This process goes on until one of the candidates secures a majority.

Sir Keir, who has pitched his campaign to the left, would pick up a high proportion of second preference votes from his rivals Phillips and Nandy if they go out - 60% and 63% respectively - but it would not be enough to beat Long-Bailey even after they are taken into account, according to the poll results.

The former director of public prosecutions at the Crown Prosecution Service would lose to his rival 51% to 49%, based on current standings.

But more than a third of those surveyed said they had not decided who they would vote for in the leadership bout and only 22% said they were sure they would not change their mind in the remaining 11 weeks of the contest.

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