In spite of many Labour members calling for a fresh election for the party’s Deputy Leader position, Tom Watson apparently feels entitled to continue his poor performance in the role.
An ‘old hand’ like Watson will definitely have his team conducting some kind of opinion polling among Labour members, so it may be that his failure to ‘refresh his mandate’ for his continued behaviour is because he’s aware of the extent to which any support among Labour members has fallen away.
Last year, many members – including this writer – voted for Watson as Deputy because of his apparently principled stand against the media owned by Rupert Murdoch and others over such issues as phone hacking. But a new online poll provides an indication of just how profoundly eroded that support now is.
After its first 24 hours, here are the current standings in response to the question, “For those who voted for Tom Watson in 2015, if there was a new deputy leader race, would you support him again?”
Based on vote counts in 2015, this would reduce Watson’s first-round 160,852 votes to 11,259 – putting him by far at the bottom of a poor list of candidates, way below even the 39,080 polled by the awful Ben Bradshaw and eliminating Watson in the first round.
This is a very basic poll and not scientific, but the results are so stark that there can be almost no doubt that Watson’s mandate for any action as deputy leader has evaporated – and that Jeremy Corbyn should have no qualms or hesitation about removing the whip from Watson – which he is perfectly entitled to do – in order to force a new election and allow the membership to elect a more constructive and supportive deputy.
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