Len McCluskey told the Daily Mirror on Monday that there is every chance that Jeremy Corbyn could step down before the next national election if the opinion polls do not change.
Head of Unite, the country’s biggest union and Labour’s largest financial backer, was quoted to say: “Let’s suppose we are not having a snap election. It buys into this question of what happens if we get to 2019 and opinion polls are still awful,”
“The truth is everybody would examine that situation, including Jeremy Corbyn and (Labour finance spokesman) John McDonnell … These two are not egomaniacs, they are not desperate to cling on to power for power’s sake.”
A recent survey by YouGov had the Labour party at the lowest in opinion polls since September 2009, seventeen percent lower than Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives.
McCluskey warned that the Labour party needed to sort out its immigration policy and “get its narrative right on free movement”, otherwise the party would lose voters to Ukip in parts of the UK.
“We need to expose what UKIP stand for, not just anti-foreign but anti-workers’ rights, their hidden agenda on the NHS and welfare state. But it will only work if ordinary people believe Labour is listening to their concerns and has solutions.” he said.
Despite the added pressure from McCluskey, senior figures behind the Labour leader have insisted that opinion polls will improve.
To be added to the ballot, candidates currently need support from fifteen percent of Labour MPs. This year, the vote is expected to be lowered to just 5 percent.
Richard Angell from the moderate Progress group has promised to fight this change.
“Our system requires the candidate to be prime minister to command overwhelming support on the treasury benches. The hard left’s amendment acknowledges that their candidate for leader will never command that kind of support.”