New research of over 11,000 British people reveals the new Labour leader is seen as twice as left-wing as Ed Miliband was
Jeremy Corbyn makes his first big speech today, using the Labour party conference in Brighton to persuade the wider electorate that they have nothing to fear – and that he shares their values. After questions over his stance on security issues and criticism for not singing the national anthem, the new Labour leader is expected to reassure: "Fair play for all, solidarity and not walking by on the other side of the street when people are in trouble. Respect for other's point of view. It is this sense of fair play, these shared majority British values, that are the fundamental reason why I love this country and its people."
YouGov has been tracking public perceptions of where the political leaders of the last 13 years stand on the left-right spectrum, revealing that Jeremy Corbyn is seen as to the left of any leader since 2002 and further away from the centre than Nigel Farage of UKIP.
With an average score of -80, where minus numbers are more left-wing and positive numbers are more right-wing, Jeremy Corbyn is seen as twice as left-wing as Ed Miliband was on average over his leadership (-40). At the end of his leadership Ed Miliband was seen as veering slightly to the left – in March he scored -40, which had moved to -48 shortly after the general election.
The latest research includes over 11,000 people, including nearly 2,000 people who were eligible to vote in the Labour leadership election. Members of the Labour "selectorate" say Mr Corbyn is only slightly less left-wing (scoring -78) than the general public do.
David Cameron is seen as having moved to the right since last summer, and is now one point to the right of Michael Howard, making the prime minister the most right-wing Conservative leader since 2002. With an average score of 53, he is only 9 points to the left of Nigel Farage (62 points).
The UKIP leader is seen as further to the right than the Green Party's Natalie Bennett (-54) and Nicola Sturgeon (-46 among Scottish adults) are to the left. The new Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron scores -20, further to the left than Nick Clegg, who scored -3 over the course of his leadership.
The new Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell had a similar message of reassurance yesterday, joking that he would come across more as a "boring local bank manager" than a radical left-wing economist. He insisted Labour were not 'deficit deniers', and said the party could balance the books through investment and ingenuity, rather than through spending cuts.