- The Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has taken a large early lead in the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as party leader.
- The first poll of the race shows Starmer winning by a large margin in the final round of the contest, ahead of Corbyn’s preferred successor the Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey.
- Starmer is ahead of his rivals in all regions of the UK and among all age groups and classes.
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The Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer is on course for an “emphatic victory” over his nearest rival in the race to replace Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, according to the first poll of the Labour leadership race.
The YouGov poll of Labour Party members found that Starmer is the first choice among party members in all regions of the UK and among all age groups and social classes.
The poll showed Starmer winning by 61% to 31% in the final round of the contest, ahead of the leading left-wing candidate Rebecca Long Bailey.
The Labour MP Jess Phillips was the third most popular potential candidate in the race, according to the poll, but has yet to declare whether she will stand.
The race has yet to formally begin and the early frontrunners in two out of the last three Labour leadership contests ultimately went on to lose.
The former foreign secretary David Miliband and the former Culture Secretary Andy Burnham both ultimately lost out to more left-wing challengers in 2010 and 2015, despite taking early leads.
Starmer is determined to avoid a similar fate and has promised not to shift the party to the right if elected leader.
However, he will face a strong challenge from Long Bailey, who is the preferred successor of Corbyn and his allies.
The Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and the Labour MPs Lisa Nandy and Clive Lewis have also announced their intention to enter the race.
Professor Tim Bale of Queen Mary University of London, who commissioned the poll, said that the winner was unlikely to come from the left of the party and suggested that Starmer was on course for an “emphatic victory.”
“This is not shaping up to be a 2015-style Labour leadership contest,” he said.
“Unless potential candidates drop out before the start of voting, it may take a few rounds to decide the winner this time around.
“But it doesn’t look at the moment as if the winner will come from the left of the party. Right now anyway, Keir Starmer looks to be heading for a fairly emphatic victory.”