Woe for Starmer as Tories take 15-point lead and voters back Burnham

More elections woe for Keir Starmer as new poll gives Boris Johnson’s Tories a 15-point lead over Labour – with almost half of party’s voters saying Andy Burnham would be a BETTER leader

  • YouGov gave the Conservatives a 15-point advantage over the opposition 
  • Came after Labour imploded in a round of bitter recrimination over poor results
  • Almost half of Labour 2019 voters thought Burnham would be a better leader

Boris Johnson’s Tories widened their lead over Labour today to pile more woe on Keir Starmer in the wake of election failures and party infighting.

A YouGov poll today gave the Conservatives a 15-point advantage over the opposition after winning the Hartlepool by-election and major mayoral races in the Tees Valley and West Midlands. 

Those results saw Labour implode in a round of bitter recrimination that included an attempt to reduce the influence of Sir Keir’s deputy Angela Rayner in a botched reshuffle. 

The Tories were up two points in the poll to 45 per cent, while Labour has dropped three points to  30 per cent.

And in a more worrying sign for the Labour leader, YouGov also found that almost half (47 per cent) of those who voted Labour in 2019 thought Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham would be better at his job.

Their view was echoed by 32 per cent of the population as a whole. 

However, in a blow for the Labour left, while 35 per cent of Labour voters thought Jeremy Corbyn would be doing a better job than Sir Keir, just 15 per cent of the general public agreed. He was less popular with the public than former prime minister Tony Blair.

Poor lection results saw Labour implode in a round of bitter recrimination that included an attempt to reduce the influence of Sir Keir’s deputy Angela Rayner in a botched reshuffle.

In a more worrying sign for the Labour leader, YouGov also found that almost half (47 per cent) of those who voted Labour in 2019 thought Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham would be better at his job.

It came as Angela Rayner attempted to calm Labour’s explosive civil war today, warning that the party will be out of power until it stops looking like ‘bald men fighting over combs’.

The deputy leader attempted to draw a line under a factional row with leader Keir Starmer that reopened the wounds between the moderate and Left wings of the party.

She insisted that while he ‘cheeses me off sometimes’ they had a good relationship, after a week of headlines about party infighting. 

Sir Keir tried to sack Ms Rayner last week in the wake of the party’s poor ‘Super Thursday’ election results before backing down and offering her a more high-profile job in the face of backbench fury. 

Ms Rayner today blamed the row in the wake of the loss of the Hartlepool by-election on a small group of people ‘in a power struggle’ and insisted that while she and Sir Keir were ‘ying and yang’ they had a ‘really good relationship’.  

Speaking to Politico’s Westminster Insider podcast she also admitted that the party had lost in Hartlepool ‘before we even picked a candidate’.

And in perhaps the most eyebrow-raising part of the show the 42-year-old grandmother and former single mum admitted that if she was a teenager again she might vote for Boris Johnson because he is ‘a bit spicy’ and ‘authentic’.

Mr Burnham, who was  overwhelmingly returned as Greater Manchester mayor last week, has made little secret of his desire to return to national politics as Labour leader.

He was health secretary under Gordon Brown but quit as an MP during ht eJeremy Corbyn administration. 

He led attacks on the Government last year over funding for local people and firms during localised lockdowns in Manchester and Liverpool, earning himself the nickname the ‘King of the North’.

After winning re-election last week he told a conference organised by a Jewish charity he still has ambitions on a national stage.

According to the Jewish Telegraph he said: ‘I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have aspirations [to lead the party].

‘One day, if it became possible, but I’m not sitting here plotting a way to do so. I wouldn’t say never.’

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