Boris Johnson is biggest threat to Corbyn and the country, say LabourList readers

Boris Johnson represents the biggest threat – both to Labour’s electoral chances and to the country, according to LabourList readers in our latest survey.

With Theresa May set to reveal her departure date next month, the Conservative Party is expected to hold a leadership contest over the summer. Asked which of the potential candidates would be most difficult for Jeremy Corbyn to beat in a general election, 45.2% of our readers picked Johnson.

Given the opportunity to choose just one candidate, a huge 72% of 4,478 respondents then named the former Foreign Secretary as the possible Tory leadership contender who “would be most damaging to the country as Prime Minister”.

Esther McVey, best known among Labour activists as a strong supporter of Tory welfare reforms, was the second most commonly chosen option – but paled in comparison to Johnson’s numbers with 6.8% of readers opting for the Universal Credit proponent.

The latest survey also asked readers whether they intended to vote Labour in the European elections on Thursday. Almost 63% said ‘Yes’, while over 30% replied that they did not plan to vote Labour.

Almost 63% voting for Labour in the European elections on Thursday, while over 30% do not plan to vote Labour. Last week’s survey found a similar result, with 28% favouring a Remain-backing party over Labour.

But we also asked readers whether they planned to vote Labour at the next general election – and a significantly higher figure of 75% said ‘Yes’.

The discrepancy shows that people are making a distinction between European and general elections, which could suggest that the protest votes by Remainers expected to be cast on Thursday would not all be carried over to a Westminster election.

Contributing factors may include the difference in voting systems, with European elections using a proportional system thought to favour third parties, and the perceived importance of the respective elections, as general elections can lead to a change of UK government as opposed to a bigger grouping in the European parliament.

LabourList readers back the “radical policies” recently promoted by Corbyn-supporting group Momentum, the survey also found.

Asked about the policies newly endorsed by Momentum, the majority of survey respondents were in favour of all three being adopted by the Labour Party.

A ‘green new deal‘, which could fairly be described as the closest to current party policy, was most popular with an overwhelming 89% backing it. Labour has so far committed to a creating a net zero carbon emission economy before 2050, whereas the GND motion brings this forward to 2030.

The survey results also revealed sizeable support among readers for a pledge to close all immigration detention centres in the UK. Labour has only promised to shutting down the most notorious centres, Yarl’s Wood and Brook House, but nearly 63% of respondents said the party should extend the policy.

In a previous LabourList survey, readers overwhelmingly expressed support for keeping freedom of movement after Brexit. In its 2017 manifesto, Labour stated: “Freedom of movement will end when we leave the EU.” But Corbyn told Andrew Marr on Sunday that it would be up for negotiation when deciding the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

The idea of a four-day working week won the lowest level of support of the three proposals, yet still a majority of readers – almost 58% – thought Labour should back the policy.

1. Are you voting Labour in the European elections?

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  1. Yes – and I voted Labour in 2017 – 60.4% (2,703)
  2. No – and I voted Labour in 2017 – 26.7% (1,196)
  3. Don’t know or N/A – 6.6% (296)
  4. No – and I didn’t vote Labour in 2017 – 3.9% (174)
  5. Yes – and I didn’t vote Labour in 2017 – 2.4% (109)

2. Are you planning to vote Labour in the next general election?

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  1. Yes – and I voted Labour in 2017 – 73% (3,267)
  2. Don’t know or N/A – 13.7% (614)
  3. No – and I voted Labour in 2017 – 8.4% (375)
  4. No – and I didn’t vote Labour in 2017 – 2.9% (128)
  5. Yes – and I didn’t vote Labour in 2017 – 2.1% (94)

Momentum has started campaigning for Labour to adopt “radical policies”. The group has endorsed policies on work, immigration and the environment…

3. Do you agree that Labour should support a four-day working week?

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  1. Yes – 57.8% (2,588)
  2. No – 21.8% (977)
  3. Don’t know – 20.4% (913)

4. Do you agree that Labour should pledge to close all immigration detention centres?

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  1. Yes – 62.8% (2,814)
  2. No – 19.1% (891)
  3. Don’t know – 17.3% (773)

5. Do you agree that Labour should back a ‘green new deal’, and commit to zero carbon emissions by 2030?

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  1. Yes – 89% (3,987)
  2. No – 6% (270)
  3. Don’t know – 4.9% (221)

The Conservative Party is expected to hold a leadership contest over the summer…

6. Which of the following potential candidates do you think would be most difficult for Jeremy Corbyn to beat in a general election?

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  1. Boris Johnson – 45.2% (2,024)
  2. Rory Stewart – 7.6% (341)
  3. Amber Rudd – 7.1% (316)
  4. Michael Gove – 7% (314)
  5. Jeremy Hunt – 6.7% (302)
  6. Sajid Javid – 5.9% (262)
  7. Justine Greening – 3.3% (146)
  8. Dominic Raab – 3.1% (137)
  9. Johnny Mercer – 2.3% (101)
  10. Penny Mordaunt – 2.2% (99)
  11. David Davis – 1.9% (86)
  12. Tom Tugendhat – 1.8% (81)
  13. Andrea Leadsom – 1.7% (75)
  14. Matt Hancock – 1.4% (62)
  15. Esther McVey – 1.2% (52)
  16. Gavin Williamson – 0.8% (34)
  17. Liz Truss – 0.6% (29)
  18. Steve Baker – 0.4% (17)

7. Which of the following possible Tory leadership candidates would be most damaging to the country as Prime Minister?

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  1. Boris Johnson – 72% (3,222)
  2. Esther McVey – 6.8% (304)
  3. Michael Gove – 3.2% (143)
  4. Dominic Raab – 2.6% (118)
  5. Gavin Williamson – 2.6% (116)
  6. Jeremy Hunt – 2.6% (115)
  7. Steve Baker – 2.1% (93)
  8. Andrea Leadsom – 2% (91)
  9. Liz Truss – 1.3% (57)
  10. David Davis – 1.1% (50)
  11. Sajid Javid – 1.1% (49)
  12. Amber Rudd – 1.1% (48)
  13. Rory Stewart – 0.4% (19)
  14. Johnny Mercer – 0.3% (15)
  15. Matt Hancock – 0.3% (13)
  16. Justine Greening – 0.3% (12)
  17. Penny Mordaunt – 0.2% (10)
  18. Tom Tugendhat – 0.1% (3)

The survey was open from 3.30pm on Saturday 18th May until 3.30pm on Monday 20th May. Thank you to all 4,478 readers who took part.

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