WATCH: Focus group rejects Labour leadership frontrunners

Elliot Chappell

A focus group has rejected the Labour leadership frontrunners, instead saying that they could see Lisa Nandy or Emily Thornberry winning their vote in an election.

Electors from the ex-Labour seat Birmingham Northfield who switched to Tory in December were questioned on their views on the candidates.

After watching video clips of the contenders, all of the participants said that they could see Nandy winning back their vote in the future.

Seven of the eight said the same for Thornberry, while two indicated that Keir Starmer could win their vote. None of the eight thought that Rebecca Long-Bailey could.

Members of the group said that Starmer came across as “corporate” and “boring”, and that he was a “bit like David Cameron”.

Asked what they thought about Long-Bailey, one person said “she was in Jeremy Corbyn’s pocket” and that the Salford MP is a “clone” of the current Labour leader.

Most of the group did not know who Nandy was, with one vaguely recognising that she’s from Wigan, but they reacted positively to a recording of her interview with Andrew Neil.

The participants of the focus group had all voted for the Conservatives in the last election, but said they were open to voting Labour again.

Speaking about why they voted for Boris Johnson, one said there is “something about him that I just trust, and I just like. And I can’t explain genuinely what it is”.

Others stated that he was a “likeable person” and that they are able to relate to him. Another said that he “draws you in” because he’s “passionate”.

Labour lost Birmingham Northfield in the general election last month for the first time since 1987, with the Tories taking the seat with a majority of 1,640.

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