The challenge facing Jeremy Corbyn to boost Labour’s fortunes ahead of two by-election was underlined today when a new poll claimed the party’s supporters are unhappy with his performance.
A small majority of Labour voters were dissatisfied rather than satisfied with the leader, according to the survey, which will prompt heightened debate about how the party can win back votes in its heartlands.
The Ipsos Mori research also showed Theresa May continuing to post strong approval ratings with Tory voters and the wider public – although yesterday she was embarrassed by a failure to answer a series of basic questions on nuclear power and the local hospital when she visited the Copeland by-election.
Corbyn, who has been elected Labour leader twice in the last 18 months with two overwhelming mandates, still has a long way to go to convince left-leaning voters, the poll said.
Some 50 per cent of Labour supporters are dissatisfied with his performance compared to 41 per cent who are satisfied.
Overall Corbyn posted a 24 per cent approval rating among all voters, down two percentage points, compared to 62 per cent, up one, who are dissatisfied. It means he has a net satisfaction score of -38 per cent.
Although supporters of Corbyn may be disappointed in the results they can point to by-election wins in Tooting and Oldham West and Royton under his leadership.
May’s honeymoon period seems to continue with 53 per cent of the public satisfied with her performance up eight. One in three (36 per cent) said they were dissatisfied with her, down three, giving her a net satisfaction score of +17 per cent.
“The historical contrasts look good for Theresa May, but much more alarming for Jeremy Corbyn,” said Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos Mori.
“The prime minister is enjoying a better honeymoon at this stage then her two immediate predecessors, David Cameron and Gordon Brown. However, Corbyn’s ratings as a Labour opposition leader almost 18 months in are closer to Michael Foot’s.”