Starmer set to win leadership race outright, new YouGov poll suggests

Sienna Rodgers

Labour leadership candidate Keir Starmer and deputy contender Angela Rayner are on course to win their respective contests comfortably, a new YouGov poll for Sky News suggests.

In the first poll to include affiliates and registered supporters as well as party members, Starmer looks set to become Labour’s next leader on the basis of first preferences, while Rayner is close to doing so with 47% of first preferences.

Sky News / YouGov poll


Round one (Starmer wins)

Keir Starmer 53%
Rebecca Long-Bailey 31%
Lisa Nandy 16%

Round two

Keir Starmer 66%
Rebecca Long-Bailey 34%

Deputy leadership:

Round one

Angela Rayner 47%
Richard Burgon 19%
Rosena Allin-Khan 13%
Dawn Butler 12%
Ian Murray 9%

Round two (Rayner wins)

Angela Rayner 52%
Richard Burgon 19%
Rosena Allin-Khan 16%
Dawn Butler 13%

Round three

Angela Rayner 58%
Richard Burgon 23%
Rosena Allin-Khan 19%

Round four

Angela Rayner 73%
Richard Burgon 27%

1,323 members of the selectorate from February 20th to 25th.

Under Labour’s preferential voting system used for leadership elections, participants are asked to rank the candidates in order of preference – using as few as one or as many as three in the leadership race.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of first preferences, the one with the least votes is eliminated and their votes are redistributed according to the second preferences indicated. Rounds of counting continue until the first contender achieves the ‘50% + 1’ threshold and wins.

The fresh YouGov poll projects that Starmer – already considered the frontrunner – will win the main leadership contest on first preferences alone, winning 53% in the first round of counting, with Long-Bailey trailing behind on 31% and Nandy on 16%.

It also shows that Starmer leads among both party members who joined before Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and those who signed up after the 2019 general election, but not with members who joined between those dates.

The research findings indicate that the Shadow Brexit Secretary is doing slightly better than in January, when the last poll was conducted. The news comes ahead of the Sky News leadership hustings, set to be broadcast from 8pm on Thursday.

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