Does the Electorate Support Jeremy Corbyn?

Jeremy CorbynSeriously, it might seem pie in the sky – after all if Miliband was too radical or too left-wing for the electorate in the recent General Election then why oh why would an arguably more radical and left-wing candidate help Labour fair any better next time round.

Now, let’s no get mistaken – there’s evidence to suggest that a number of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies seem to be widely disliked by the public but there’s actually quite a few core policies that he’s championing that you probably won’t hear from many, or any, politicians on all sides of the political spectrum.

Re-nationalisation

A centre piece of Labour politics since it’s inception, commitment to public ownership of all key infrastructure went out of the window as Tony Blair and New Labour came into the picture.

Jeremy Corbyn thinks this is a mistake and is committed to a program of re-nationalisation of key parts of our society.  Surely a policy of a bygone era – even for those on the left of the spectrum.

What do the electorate think?

When asked the question, should the railways be renationalised the public gave this answer:

60% supported renationalising the railways.

20% opposed renationalising the railways.

Just the lefties I hear you say?

Let’s have a look.  Our representative examples of the right wing of politics – the Conservatives and the United Kingdom Independence Party show:

42% of Conservatives supported renationalising the railways

42% of Conservatives opposed renationalising the railways

70% of UKIP supported renationalising the railways

22% of UKIP opposed renationalising the railways

Higher Taxes For The Rich

Controversial – when does progressive become counter aspiration and success?  It’s a widely debated point.  The general consensus with the Labour Party at the moment is that there is a case for looking at raising the top rate of tax to 50% – Corbyn’s plans go much further, although he won’t actually put an amount on how much he’d like to raise tax on the wealthiest people in the UK.

How about if we take something totally radical – very, very left-wing some may say.  Something similar to a policy proposed by Francois Hollande across the channel…

Like a new 75% ‘super rate’ of tax on incomes greater than £1 million per year.  Electoral suicide?  Maybe not.

56% supported a new 75% ‘super’ tax on those that earn more than £1 million per year

31% opposed a new 75% ‘super’ tax on those that earn more than £1 million per year

Scrapping Trident

Britain’s nuclear deterrent is another widely debated topic – particularly opposed by self-titled ‘progressive’ parties such as the Scottish National Party, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru.

Corbyn wants a world without nuclear weapons – and isn’t afraid for us to jump in first in throwing them away.  What about the electorate?

64% support scrapping the Trident nuclear missile system

21% oppose scrapping the Trident nuclear missile system

Rent Caps on Private Sector Landlords

Well there’s no doubt Thatcher would be mortified to hear of any such proposals being within a million miles of the House of Commons.  Seen as necessary by some on the left, whilst seen as unnecessary interference in the free market by some on the right.

Has the rental market gone out of control – in some ways undoubtedly.  But do the public really want government to step in and legislate?

56% support imposing rent controls on private sector landlords

31% oppose imposing rent controls on private sector landlords

Living Wage

Forgot George Osborne’s con.  When is the living wage not a living wage?  When it’s a Tory living wage.  That aside, let’s talk for the moment about the real living wage – as set by the Living Wage Foundation.  Many people on the left see this as the only way workers will get a fair days pay for a fair days work – on the right it’s seen as anti-business and distorting the labour market.  But what do the public think?

60% support the introduction of a genuine mandatory living wage

31% oppose the introduction of a genuine mandatory living wage

Tuition Fees

Miliband wanted to cut them to £6,000 a year, Corbyn wants done with them all together – in addition to reintroducing maintenance grants for the poorest students.

The thought of tuition fees being axed completely was beyond thinkable – therefore the pollsters haven’t asked – but there is general support for cutting tuition fees:

49% support cutting tuition fees

31% oppose cutting tuition fees

Iraq War

Weapons of Mass Destruction or not, the Iraq War was nothing if not controversial.  Corbyn highlights it as the worst part of Tony Blair’s legacy.  Do the public agree?

37% still support the action taken in the Iraq War

43% did not, or no longer, support the action taken in the Iraq War

Bombing Syria

Now, we’ve known Assad was a bad man for a very long time.  Whether we should have got rid of him sooner is debatable.  As evidence of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad authorising and using chemical weapons against civilians has come to light, the case has been made for the UK to conduct strategic airstrikes against Syria.  What do the public think?

60% support airstrikes against Syria

24% oppose airstrikes against Syria

So…. seems like Jeremy Corbyn might not be as crazy as we first think?  Well forgive me, but if recent times have shown me anything it’s not to rely on opinion polls.  Although it does give some indication that some of Corbyn’s policies, labelled by the media and others as ‘radical’ actually may enjoy a substantial degree, maybe even in some cases a majority, of support from the electorate as well as cross-party.

Corbyn is without doubt far from universally popular – these are just some of his ideas.  However, it seems that maybe he might not be quite as unpopular as we may first think.  Either that or the pollsters have screwed up again.

Only time will tell….

Sources: YouGov/Comres.