Keir Starmer on the brink: Could Andy Burnham be next Labour leader as support plummets?

Andy Burnham is re-elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester

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Andy Burnham, 52, raked in a massive 67.3 percent of votes in the mayoral election last month, a landslide victory which has seen him become the favourite to take over as Labour Party leader, even though he’s not in the Commons. Now, polling by Ipsos MORI has shown the public have greater faith in his potential as prime minister than current Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer.

Ipsos MORI’s June 2021 Political Monitor interviewed 1,002 adults across Great Britain by phone, from May 28 to June 3, and all data is weighted.

The poll asked voters if they thought various leaders “have what it takes to be a good Prime Minister”.

Some 47 percent agree that Mr Burnham has what it takes, compared to just 24 percent in Sir Keir’s camp.

And of Labour voters, 59 percent think Mr Burnham has what it takes compared to 48 percent for Sir Keir.

Boris Johnson raked in 45 percent, showing his support since the last general election is holding strong.

While Mr Burnham’s profile is on the rise, he said recently he planned on focusing on his mayoral role first and foremost.

After his election victory, he pointed out that he had already unsuccessfully run for the job of Labour leader twice.

He said: “I’m not just going to put myself forward unless they [Labour] needed me one day in the future, but we’re not at that day.”

The Labour mayor said his three priorities were “better jobs, better homes and better transport” as he called on the government to “level up” in the north of England.

He said: “Where the government gets it right and treats us fairly I will work with them but where they don’t I will challenge them as forcefully as I can. Greater Manchester expects nothing less.”

Mr Burnham said his victory sent “a clear message to all Westminster parties… telling you to deliver more devolution”.

He said voters could “see how it makes politics work better for them and that is reflected in the council votes across Greater Manchester”.

“Don’t give us devolution and be surprised if we answer you back particularly if you do things here you would never dare to do in London,” he said.

While Mr Burnham might not have his eye on the Labour top job right now, the polling will make for uncomfortable reading for Sir Keir.

The Ipsos MORI poll showed just one in five Britons are satisfied with the job the Labour leader is doing, and net satisfaction ratings for Sir Keir are similar to those achieved by former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Sir Keir’s overall net rating has plummeted to -29, the same as the one Jeremy Corbyn received 14 months into his time as Labour leader.

However, Corbyn would later fall as low as -60 later in his leadership.

Ipsos MORI Director of Politics, Keiran Pedley, said: “These numbers lay bare just how far Keir Starmer’s poll ratings have fallen.

“From opening with the best satisfaction ratings for a Leader of the Opposition since Blair last June his numbers are now as bad as Jeremy Corbyn’s at the same point in his leadership.

“What we don’t know is whether Starmer’s numbers will continue to fall, as they did for Corbyn, or if the Labour leader will manage to rebound all the way to Number 10 in a similar fashion to how David Cameron once did.”

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