Most Labour Party members now think they will win the next general election under Jeremy Corbyn – as his job approval rises by 11 points on November
For those in the Labour Party who disapprove of Jeremy Corbyn, May's round of elections was supposed to be the perfect opportunity for a coup. If Labour lost enough seats, or failed to match previous leaders' local election gains when in opposition, the hope of his detractors was that Corbyn's leadership would begin to look untenable as Labour's path to victory in 2020 was derailed. Analysts have insisted this was in fact the story – no new opposition party has lost seats in local elections since 1985; they lost 18 on May 5th – however it failed to cut through and, with expectations lowered after last year's defeat, holding on now seems inevitable.
Boosted by Sadiq Khan's win in London, new YouGov research for the Times reveals Labour members thought the party did well across the board on May 5th (except in Scotland). In the Welsh Parliament, local council and London Mayoral and Assembly elections majorities of Labour members say the party did well rather than badly.
67% say they did well overall. When we asked a similar question to the general public on May 6th, just 18% said Labour had done well – and this only rose to 27% among Labour voters as opposed to members.
Jeremy Corbyn's position looks increasingly secure. Shortly after his landslide election in September 2015 46% of Labour members thought it was likely Labour could win the next general election with Corbyn at the helm, however a sizeable 43% thought it was not. Now the majority of the Labour selectorate (53%) think it's likely Corbyn could win for Labour while 39% think it it's not.
The Labour leader's net approval rating among Labour members has risen 11 points on November. Then 66% thought he was doing well in the role and 32% thought he was doing badly – now the figures are 72% and 27% respectively.
Despite the renewed confidence in Labour under Corbyn, winning elections is still considered his weak point. Asked to choose three positive attributes for Corbyn, 87% choose 'principled', 86% choose 'honest' and 35% choose 'likely to lead Labour to victory at the next general election'. When asked to choose three negative attributes, 'likely to lead Labour to defeat' comes top with 22%, just ahead of 'divisive' with 21%.