A YouGov poll finds that a third of Labour members would quit after the leadership election should their preferred candidate lose.
Of the 857 members polled, 33% said they would leave the Labour party if they did not agree with its choice of new leader.
29% of Owen Smith’s supporters said they would leave the party if he lost, as did 36% of Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters.
39% of members thought the party likely to split after the leadership campaign. 32% said they would leave Labour to join a Corbyn-lead new party should he lose; and 18% said they would leave to join a Corbyn-opposing new party, should Smith lose.
A YouGov poll published earlier this month found levels of support for a Labour splinter party at about 14%, regardless of whether it supported Corbyn or Smith. Support for the remaining Labour party was found to be at 20%.
Anthony Wells at YouGov wrote:
“This underlines the advantage of being the faction that keeps control of Labour. There is something more than ideology or leadership appeal here – if the pro-Corbyn faction are left in control of the Labour party they get 21% compared to the rebels on 13%; if Corbyn’s opponents win control of the Labour party they get 19% compared to the Corbyn faction’s 14%”.
Today’s poll put Corbyn 24 points ahead of Smith: with the current Labour leader on 62% to 38%.
Corbyn received just under 60% of the vote when he was elected to the job in September 2015.