Jeremy Corbyn's rivals were forced to protest that the left-winger has not won the Labour leadership contest yet as the four hopefuls battled it out on live TV today (1 September 2015). Liz Kendall issued the reminder as Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy asked Corbyn's opponents what they would do under his leadership. "I will always be loyal to the Labour Party. But the fundamentals don't change – we lost the election because people didn't trust us on the economy or with their taxes, and because we didn't have a positive vision of a better life that most people could feel part of. We have won when people have trusted us on the economy and we have a vision for the future," Kendall argued.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, claimed that there was still a long way to go until Ed Miliband's successor is announced on 12 September. She added: "There are an awful lot of people who haven't voted yet. I think there are some people who haven't got their ballot yet." But the former work and pensions secretary said it was not her style to vote against the party.
Cooper also attacked Corbyn's "quantitative easing [QE] for people" policy during the hustings. The 46 year old claimed the move would see the Bank of England printing money and cause inflation in the economy. But Corbyn hit back and said the financial measure would be similar to Public Finance Initiatives (PFI), which use money from the public sector. However, Cooper dubbed the QE policy as "PFI on steroids".
The exchange comes with less than two weeks to go before the election reaches a conclusion. Corbyn struggled to get enough signatures from Labour MPs to get on the ballot, but he has since become the unlikely frontrunner in the race. The latest YouGov poll, which was commissioned by The Times and questioned more than 1,000 Labour supporters, put him 37 points ahead of Burnham (57% vs 20%, respectively) on first-preference votes. The Islington North MP, who has been in parliament since 1983, was also able to secure the most nominations among local Labour parties and win support from some of the biggest unions in the UK, including Unite and Unison.
The election will be first time Labour selects a leader under its "one member, one vote" rules, which were introduced in 2014 under Ed Miliband's leadership. The party revealed that more than 610,000 signed up to vote in the election, but the numbers were reduced to 554,000 over fears of duplication along with left- and right-wing entryism.