Jeremy Corbyn wins beard of the year... but loses momentum in the polls

Written by Sebastian Whale on 9 December 2016 in Diary

New polling gives the Tories a 17-point lead over Labour.

Jeremy Corbyn has proven his election-winning credentials by sweeping to victory in the Parliamentary Beard of the Year contest.

The Labour leader won more than half the vote with 63.78% as he secured his seventh win in the annual event.

Trailing in his wake was Labour MP Chris Elmore in second on 20.22%, while Labour peer Toby Harris came third with 6.4%. This marked the strongest ever showing by a member of the House of Lords in the contest... something he was keen to share on Twitter.

Beard Liberation Front Organiser Keith Flett said: “We congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on his victory. His beard has demonstrated a sustainability and resilience over decades of being an MP.”

Also shortlisted were Labour MPs Chris Elmore, Paul Flynn, Kelvin Hopkins and John Spellar, Tories Michael Gove and Stephen Crabb, and crossbench peer Lord Hylton.

The results marked a welcome boost for Corbyn after Labour slumped to fourth place in the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election last night.

His party also fell to a fresh low of 17-points behind the Conservatives in the latest YouGov poll.

Labour are languishing on 25%, while 42% of voters said they would back the Tories if an election was held tomorrow.

The figures mark the party’s worst position in a YouGov survey since September 2009, when Gordon Brown was prime minister.

May also continues to lead her rival as the public's favoured choice for best Prime Minister, with 49% of people preferring her to Corbyn.

The Labour leader is backed by only 16% of voters, while more than a third (35%) say they can't choose between them.

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