NEWS

Ken Loach Denies Jeremy Corbyn Is Unpopular Despite Polls And Labour Membership Demographics

There's a lot that says otherwise.

22/02/2017 10:50

Ken Loach has denied Jeremy Corbyn is losing popularity and blamed the Labour leader’s continuing political woes on his own MPs, despite continuing negative polls.

Speaking to James O’Brien on LBC on Tuesday, the veteran filmmaker said the party’s leadership has been “left stranded” by the internal wrangling of MPs.

He said: “They don’t promote the policies so the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell is left stranded and I think that’s the problem.

Dave J Hogan via Getty Images
Ken Loach and Jeremy Corbyn attend the 'I, Daniel Blake' People's Premiere last October.

“The culpability is with those MPs who refuse to serve and refuse to promote the very policies people need.

He added: “The problem lies with the Labour MPs who don’t represent the party membership that voted 60% or more for Jeremy Corbyn and have done their best to undermine him.”

O’Brien then raised the issue of Corbyn’s falling popularity, saying: “And yet a lot of people are beginning to fall out of love with Jeremy Corbyn, you’re clearly not one of them?”

Loach replied: “What evidence do you have for this?”

O’Brien said: “Well, journalists like Owen Jones who were very much signed up for the Corbyn project to start with are now responding to the electoral failure but also the absence of leadership on issues like the [EU] referendum, by saying ‘this can’t go on’.”

Loach disagreed and returned to his point that Labour MPs are “refusing to put out what the members want and what the leadership is asking”.

Corbyn continues to perform badly in the polls with a recent YouGov survey saying only 15% of the public believe he would make a good PM compared to 49% who backed Theresa May.

Even worse for Corbyn, his approval rating recently slid into net-negative for every demographic including the working class, traditionally Labour’s heartland, and those aged 18-24.

Google
Corbyn's approval polling last week

Labour as a whole are also performing badly and MPs this week challenged him over an ICM/Guardian poll giving the Conservatives an 18-point lead.

The survey found that the Tories were on 44%, up two points, while Labour were on 26%, down one. UKIP were on 13% and the Liberal Democrats on 8%.

When challenged by former Shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie to explain the huge poll lead, Corbyn replied: “Of course I understand what’s going on and the problems we have had in the media.”

Loach’s argument that Labour MPs are failing to put forward what the party’s membership want also runs into trouble when looking at the demographics of the hundreds of thousands who have joined since Corbyn became leader.

Last year an internal analysis of the party’s rising membership found a disproportionate number were “high-status city dwellers” pursuing well-paid jobs, not the working class voters traditionally represented by Labour.

In fact Labour is now the third most popular party amongst working class voters, behind Ukip and the Tories for what could be the first time in its history.

“This poses a profound challenge for Labour whose membership is increasingly unrepresentative of the country as a whole. This has got worse in recent months, with new members more likely to come from cities, often home owners in well-paid jobs. With five times more members in Islington than a town like Wigan, there is a risk that Labour’s perspective will be skewed away from the needs and aspirations of people in towns across the country.”

Unfortunately for Nuttall, his recent scandal surrounding comments made online about the Hillsborough disaster mean his chances of victory may have been scuppered. 

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS