Brexit news: Keir Starmer faces byelection horror show – Opposition in chaos | UK | New
Ahead of the by-elections in Chesham and Amersham, and Batley and Spen, the approval of Sir Keir by Leave voters in his own party remains low. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Chris Curtis, senior research director at Opinium, revealed that Sir Keir’s high approval rating last year was now “gone”. With the two seats voting for Brexit and Sir Keir falling short of the Prime Minister’s popularity, the pollster warned Labor could be exposed to more electoral heartache.
Mr Curtis said: “All you have to do is try to round up a few other Party voters and start winning back some of those Red Wall seats.
“Although as it is, he’s not doing a very good job.
“So in our last poll, only 17% of Leave voters approved of the job he was doing, compared to 36% of Remain voters.”
Last month Labor lost Hartlepool to the Tories for the first time in 62 years, which was only the second time a ruling party has won an opposition seat in a by-election.
Following the by-election result, Sir Keir’s approval rating fell within his party, while Boris Johnson’s remained high.
The Prime Minister has benefited from the rapid deployment of the vaccine, while the public has also recognized the difficult decisions the government has had to make during the pandemic.
Mr Curtis added: “So if we look at people who voted Labor in the last election, only 44% approve of the job he does, while 27% say they neither approve nor disapprove when only 29% approve of the work he does, which are not good numbers.
“These are not good levels of confidence in your own leadership.
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The seat is being targeted by the Tories as part of their second wave of push on Red Wall seats.
Ahead of the election, former shadow cabinet member Diane Abbott said the Labor leader should step down if he loses his seat.
After Hartlepool’s humiliating loss, Ms Abbott warned it would be “curtains” for Sir Keir if he lost a second seat.
Ms Abbott also said the party’s left wing could back Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham for a leadership bid.
She told the Guardian: “Support from the large ethnic minority electorate may allow the party to retain the seat and Starmer to hang on as Labor leader.
“But if Labor loses again, surely that must be curtains for him.
“And then the time for Andy Burnham may have come.”
Although a Labor stronghold, in 2019 Batley and Spen were won by a majority of just 3,525 votes.
Hartlepool, who is now Tory, was won by a wider majority of 3,596 in the last general election, a worrying sign for Sir Keir.