The YouGov survey of party members for Sky News shows the shadow Brexit secretary on 53%, suggesting he is set to win the race in the first round of voting.
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is considered to be the “continuity Jeremy Corbyn” candidate, is trailing on a distant second on 31%. Campaigning Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has convinced just 16% of members, according to the research.
Under the alternative vote system, if a candidate secures more than 50% of the vote they will be crowned winner. If they fail to reach that bar, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and their second preference votes are distributed to the remaining candidates.
Speaking to HuffPost UK this week, Starmer urged Labour members to hand him a “big” victory so he could unify the party in the wake of December’s bruising election defeat. He said: “Whoever wins, in a sense, the bigger the win the better, so they can get that unity.”
EXC - Sky News / YouGov Labour members / affiliates / supporters poll— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) February 26, 2020
Keir Starmer wins outright in first round, according to new poll
Keir Starmer 53%
Rebecca Long Bailey 31%
Lisa Nandy 16%
1,323 members of the selectorate from Feb 20 to 25
In the deputy leadership race, frontrunner and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner appears to have maintain her commanding lead with 47% of members getting behind her.
Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon trails on 19%, followed by Rosena Allin-Khan on 13%, Dawn Butler on 12% and Ian Murray, whose campaign is endorsed by former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, is on just 9%.
It suggests that Rayner will win the contest on the second round of voting.
Sky News / Labour selectorate poll— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) February 26, 2020
Angela Rayner wins deputy leadership in second round
Angela Rayner 47
The poll would suggest Starmer and Rayner will easily secure victory on April 4, with ballot papers sent out to party members likely to be cast in the coming days.
The poll was of 1,323 Labour members and supporters and conducted between February 20 and 25
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.