Keir Starmer emerges as favourite for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership job as poll of party activists shows him winning across all regions and age groups
- Keir Starmer would beat Rebecca Long-Bailey in a run-off, a YouGov poll shows
- The centrist shadow Brexit secretary has yet to declare whether he will run
- Mr Corbyn is standing down after leading Labour to its worst defeat since 1935
Sir Keir Starmer is the early front-runner to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, according to the first major poll of the contest.
The centrist shadow Brexit secretary would beat Rebecca Long Bailey by 61 per cent to 39 per cent in a run-off, according to the YouGov survey.
The poll, reported by the Guardian, shows Mr Starmer in the lead in every UK region and age group.
Mr Starmer has yet to say whether he will run, while Ms Long-Bailey – seen as the preferred choice of Mr Corbyn’s allies – has said she is considering it.
Survey: This chart shows potential support for Labour leadership candidates, with Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey the two early front-runners
New leader? Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) is the early front-runner to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, according to the first major poll of the looming party contest
The poll of 1,059 Labour party members put Mr Starmer on 31 per cent of first choice votes, with Ms Long-Bailey on 20 per cent.
Jess Phillips, the outspoken MP for Birmingham Yardley who has yet to declare her intentions, is in third place in the poll with 11 per cent.
Clive Lewis and Yvette Cooper are next on seven per cent, with Emily Thornberry on six and Lisa Nandy on five.
With less popular candidates eliminated, a final run-off would see Mr Starmer beat Ms Long-Bailey in the last round, according to the survey.
The election process will be officially launched next week as Labour picks up the pieces from its worst general election defeat since 1935.
Labour dropped to 202 seats and suffered a succession of historic defeats in its former working-class heartlands in the north of England.
In one particularly symbolic blow, the Conservatives won the County Durham seat of Sedgefield – formerly held by Tony Blair who led Labour to three election victories.
Rebecca Long-Bailey (pictured) – seen as the preferred choice of Mr Corbyn’s allies – has said she is considering a bid for the Labour leadership
So far, only Ms Thornberry and Mr Lewis have formally announced they will run to succeed Mr Corbyn.
According to the survey, Mr Starmer is backed as first choice by 34 per cent of Remainers in the survey, but only supported by 17 per cent of Leavers.
Ms Long-Bailey is rated first choice by 19 per cent of Labour members who voted Remain, but scores 31 per cent of those who voted Leave.
Most Labour members are Remainers, although some of Mr Corbyn’s allies have blamed the party’s shift towards a pro-Remain position for its election defeat.
After initially ruling out a second Brexit referendum, Mr Corbyn eventually promised to support one – but refused to say how he would vote.
Ms Long-Bailey has blamed the party’s ‘compromise solution’ on Brexit, as well as a lack of trust among voters, for its election defeat.
The survey was commissioned from YouGov by the Party Members Project, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.