One in four Labour voters back a split if party loses election

The poll, by ORB, asked voters over the passed week whether “Labour should formally split and a group should breakaway and form a new party if it does not win power at this election”. 

Of the 500 respondents who voted Labour in 2015, a quarter supported the idea, 39 per cent said they were against it. 

Similar support was found for a proposal for Labour and the Liberal Democrats to merge if the Tories win the election, as the polls indicate will happen. 

The findings illuminate the dilemma for moderate Labour figures. It is telling that more than a quarter of the party’s 2015 support now backs a split. 

But equally more supporters oppose the move, meaning any breakaway group could simply serve to further fracture the Left-wing vote, handing the Tories a political advantage. 

Some fear a repeat of the fate of the Social Democratic Party, which was formed in 1981 by four senior Labour moderates who had become disillusioned with the party’s Leftist leadership.