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Gay candidates trailing in Labour deputy leadership poll

Nick Duffy July 22, 2015

The Labour Party is on track to miss out on its first openly gay deputy – with a poll showing Angela Eagle and Ben Bradshaw both trailing behind other candidates.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman announced that she would stand down from the party leadership alongside former leader Ed Miliband, following a crushing defeat in May’s General Election.

Angela Eagle, one of the few out lesbians in Parliament, is running to replace Ms Harman, as is former Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw.

However, ahead of the vote in September, a YouGov poll has shown that the two out politicians are trailing their rivals in the contest.

The poll, conducted for the Times today, doesn’t look good for either of the candidates – with Ben Bradshaw on just 11 percent, and Angela Eagle on just 10 percent.

They are trailing behind Tom Watson on 42 percent, Stella Creasy on 21 percent, and Caroline Flint on 17 percent – and face an uphill battle to define their campaigns.

However, the political foreground is likely to be dominated by the main leadership contest, with the same poll showing a surprising result.

Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn has surged ahead among party voters, with 43 percent of first-preference votes. It puts him far in front of Andy Burnham on 26 percent, Yvette Cooper on 20 percent, and Liz Kendall on 11 percent.

Mr Corbyn was a very early supporter of gay rights votes in Parliament – consistently supporting equality a time when very few MPs were willing to do so.

However, some of the party’s MP have warned that his left-wing approach could put off voters – with a potential combination of Corbyn and Tom Watson in the leadership earning the moniker ‘Tom and Jerry’.

More: Angela Eagle, Ben Bradshaw, deputy, deputy leader, England, Gay, Labour, lesbian, LGBT, mp, poll, sexuality

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