A leadership team of Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman is best placed to win the next election for Labour a new YouGov poll of over 2000 voters shows today.
Fourteen per cent of all voters said that electing Harman as Deputy to Gordon Brown would make them more likely to vote Labour at the next General Election, beating Hilary Benn and Peter Hain into second place (both on 10%). None of the other candidates got out of single figures.
Importantly for Labour MPs in crucial marginal seats, Harman’s appeal also outstripped all the other deputy leadership candidates with two key groups: swing voters and women voters.
Harman is the choice of swing voters, with 18% saying that they are more likely to vote Labour with her as Deputy to Gordon Brown. Overall, a third more swing voters say she would make them more likely to vote Labour than the next placed candidate (Hilary Benn).
Harman also topped the poll of women voters – a crucial target audience for Labour. Seventeen per cent of women voters said that electing her alongside Gordon Brown would make them more likely to vote Labour, with Hilary Benn the only other candidate to reach double digits.
Focussing on female swing voters, the pattern is even clearer. Twenty two per cent of female swing voters said that electing Harman would make them more likely to vote Labour, putting her top and 10 points clear of Hilary Benn in second place. Again, none of the other candidates got out of single figures.
The other woman in the race – Hazel Blears – scored just 7% with all women and 3% with female swing voters, showing that Harman’s strong showing with women is not just because she is a woman, but a result of her strong personal appeal.
Swing voters are also crucial. Labour’s majority hinges on 66 seats where they hold leads of less than 12%, including 43 seats which would be lost on a swing of less than 2.5%.
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Fieldwork was carried out online between 1st and 3rd May. Total sample size was 2396 adults, of whom 1217 were women and 476 were swing voters. Swing voters were picked out by first asking for voting intention, then asking “What are the chances that you will end up deciding to vote for a different party in the next general election which is likely to be in a couple of years time?” People who said a “high chance” or a “fair chance” were considered swing voters. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
The full question wording when comparing deputy leadership candidates was:
Q1. Tony Blair has said he will stand down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, and Gordon Brown is widely expected to take over.
Assuming Gordon Brown does become leader, we want to know which DEPUTY you think would be best alongside him.
Which of the pairings do you think would make you MORE likely to vote Labour? [Please tick all that apply]
A poll carried out in November 2006 also showed Harman made people more likely to vote Labour. However the wording of the questions was slightly different so direct comparisons cannot be made.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Yougov plc