Britain: Labour establishment worried as left-wing MP takes lead in leadership contest

Jeremy Corbyn, centre, at a demonstration against Israel's war on Gaza.

Private polling shows veteran left-wing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, who takes a strong stand against austerity and has a history of backing supporting popular movements, ahead in the first round of voting, the New Statesman said on July 15.

The New Statesman said the success of Corbyn's campaign surprised observers. Corbyn collected 40 nominations from local parties, just eight less than the bookmakers' favourite, Andy Burnham.

The article said: “The surveys, conducted on behalf of Corbyn's opponents, are bleak news for Corbyn's rivals ... One survey has Corbyn ahead by more than 15 points. Another puts him in what one campaign staffer called 'a commanding position … he is on course to win'.

“It appears as if the Islington North MP's strength is largely coming from new and younger members. One CLP chair believes that 'more than two thirds' of new recruits since the election are supporters of Corbyn ...”

The article said the party establishment is working out how to prevent Corbyn, a radical outsider, from winning.