September 24, 2015 / 2:37 PM / in 4 years

Poll shows few Britons see Corbyn as capable leader

The new leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn gestures as he aknowledges applause after addressing the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton in southern England, September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Almost two-thirds of Britons do not see Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the opposition Labour party, as a capable leader but consider him to be more honest and in touch with ordinary people, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.

The poll by Ipsos Mori showed 32 percent of 1,255 adults questioned between Sept. 19 and Sept. 23 said Corbyn, a hard-left party veteran, was a capable leader, against 62 percent who said the same about British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Fewer people were satisfied with Corbyn than they were with former Labour party leader Ed Miliband when he first took office with a 41 percent positive rating in October 2010. Only 33 percent of people said they are satisfied with Corbyn.

But Corbyn, who has never held a position in the cabinet prior to becoming party leader, was viewed by 54 percent of people as more honest than most politicians, compared with 30 percent of people for Cameron.

Cameron was also ranked lower in terms of the common touch. Sixty-four percent of people said he was “out of touch with ordinary people”, against 39 percent for Corbyn.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal as a different type of politician is clear – the best ratings on honesty, a stronger personality than Ed Miliband, and he’s seen to be leading a party concerned about those most in need,” said Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI.

“But David Cameron still dominates on key prime ministerial attributes such as being capable and good in a crisis, and the sharp rise in perceptions of Labour as divided should worry the party.”

The poll also showed that Cameron’s ruling Conservative party is seen as more fit to govern than Labour by the British public - 56 percent compared to 35 percent.

Reporting by Angus Berwick, editing by Elizabeth Piper

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