POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn's Backers Are Way More Likely To Think The World Is Run By A Secretive Elite

27/08/2015 10:46 BST | Updated 27/08/2015 10:59 BST

Jeremy Corbyn supporters are far more likely to believe the world is run by a "secretive elite" than the general population, a poll has found.

The poll of people voting in the Labour leadership election found 28% of them agree with that statement, compared to 13% of the general public and just 7% of those backing Blairite Liz Kendall in the race.

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YouGov, which carried out the survey, said the results showed Corbyn's backers were "are united by personality and attitude as much as their policy positions".

The poll also showed they were more likely to see themselves as "not liking being told what do", unafraid of change and sympathetic to the line "you may say I'm a dreamer," from John Lennon's hymn to idealism 'Imagine'.

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The results

"At first, the loose positivity of being a ‘dreamer’ seems to clash with the almost militant-sounding statements that the ‘world is controlled by a secretive elite’ and ‘I don’t like being told what to do,’" wrote Freddie Sayers, editor-in-chief of YouGov.

"But in the context of a perceived political elite who have defined a permissible ‘centre ground’ and who reject as extremist any ideas outside it, it makes perfect sense. It's not necessarily about specific policies - they are intuitively more attracted to non-conformist alternatives and Jeremy Corbyn appeals to their broader world view."

The polling also showed stark contrasts between Corbyn backers and the public on issues such as whether to nationalise utilities and railways, bomb Islamic State and redistribute wealth.

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The stark contrast between Corbyn backers and the general public

Sayers added: "The fact Jeremy Corbyn has been so dismissed by the establishment has helped him to acquire the enviable mantle of the ‘change candidate’.

"In specific policy terms, it is true that Corbynites are on the fringe rather than the mainstream; but in terms of mood and personality, they represent a longing for an alternative that has an appeal far beyond the Left of the Labour Party."

The surey was conducted in the first week of August, before the registration deadline and before 200,000 people registered as supporters to vote in the leadership election, taking the total to 600,000.

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