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64% say Jeremy Corbyn's Labour is divided, according to opinion poll

Published 18/10/2015

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell during debate in the Commons on the Charter of Budget Responsibility
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell during debate in the Commons on the Charter of Budget Responsibility

Nearly two-thirds of the public view Labour as divided following Jeremy Corbyn's first month as leader, according to a poll.

Research by ComRes for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror also gave David Cameron and George Osborne a commanding 19-point advantage over Mr Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell on economic competence.

The findings come after a difficult week for the fledgling Labour leadership which saw Mr McDonnell perform an embarrassing U-turn after initially suggesting he would support the Government's new fiscal rules.

Furious MPs branded the change "shambolic", and 21 abstained from the key Commons vote on Wednesday - gifting the Conservatives a comfortable majority.

Mr Corbyn has also been openly at odds with members of his shadow cabinet over his opposition to renewing Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent.

The poll found 64% thought the party was divided, with just 16% describing it as united.

The Tories, who have been facing their own splits over the looming EU referendum, were regarded as united by 43% and divided by 35%.

Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were viewed as more trustworthy with the economy by 48%, while 29% opted for Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell.

Some 56% believed that Labour would borrow more money than the Conservatives if they were in power.

Just under half - 45% - agreed that a Labour government would lead to economic chaos. The equivalent figure in January 2011, when Ed Miliband was leader, was 42%.

However, people generally believed Labour was right to oppose austerity, by a margin of 40% to 32%.

Overall the Conservatives were ahead of Labour on voting intention by 42% to 29%.

The research also suggested London mayor Boris Johnson has a narrow advantage over Mr Osborne as the public's choice to succeed Mr Cameron as prime minister.

Some 39% said the mayor of London would make a better premier, against 33% who backed Mr Osborne.

But the Chancellor leads by 48% to 34% among Conservative voters, while much of Mr Johnson's support comes from Labour and Ukip voters.

:: ComRes interviewed 2,051 British adults online on October 14 and 15. Data was weighted to be demographically representative of all British adults and by past vote recall.

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