Will Jeremy Corbyn still be Labour leader by the end of 2016?

Will Labour send Corbyn packing by the end of 2016? (Source: Getty)

Chris Rumfitt, founder and chief executive of Field Consulting, says No.

Thursday 5 May is the day on which the scales will fall from the eyes of Labour members. It is then that Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity will be tested properly for the first time, with elections in Scotland, London and for local councils across England.

While the polls show Corbyn is doing worse than almost any other Opposition leader ever, party members seem blind to the evidence, and have convinced themselves that the double-digit Tory leads are wrong.

But it will be hard for them to be blind to the inevitable SNP landslide in Scotland, and the likely loss of hundreds of council seats in England.

The London mayoral race might offer some succour. But even there, a victory for Sadiq Khan would trigger a by-election in his marginal Tooting constituency – one Labour could well lose.

The vast majority of Labour MPs would ditch Corbyn tomorrow if they thought their local membership would let them. By the end of 2016, they just might.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos Mori, says Yes.

At least, that’s what the British public think. It’s certainly not for an opinion pollster to predict. Just over half (53 per cent) of Britons tell us it is likely that Jeremy Corbyn will still be leading the Labour Party at the end of next year, while 41 per cent are pessimistic about his chances.

These figures reflect the unusual extent to which Corbyn has been dividing opinion since he was elected in September last year. On the one hand, people think he is more honest than most, authentic, and he appeals particularly to the young. But on the other hand, David Cameron is still seen as more prime ministerial.

The Labour Party is viewed as being more divided, and behind on the economy, while Corbyn’s satisfaction ratings are among the worst we’ve seen for a new party leader.

In any case, there are many tests to come, including local, London and Scottish elections, as well as a potential EU referendum. And the state of other political parties will also play a role as well – so it is far too early to say.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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