Jeremy Corbyn
The socialist firebrand is surging ahead of the pack with 43% of the party's members supporting him Getty

Left-wing firebrand Jeremy Corbyn is on course to become the next Labour leader as the Islington North MP holds a 17 point lead over his rivals, according to a shocking new poll.

The sensational survey put Corbyn on 43%, Andy Burnham on 26%, Yvette Cooper on 20% and Liz Kendall on 11% on first preference votes.

The research, which was conducted by YouGov for The Times, will likely worry Labour insiders who fear that Corbyn will take their further to the left after Ed Miliband's devastating general election performance.

The poll is also bad news for the so called "Blairite" right-wing of the party as the data suggests that Kendall will be eliminated in the first round of voting in the leadership ballot.

A source close to one of the Labour leadership campaigns told IBTimes UK on 15 July that their private data suggested Burnham is ahead, with Cooper a close second, Corbyn "some way behind" in third place and Kendall trailing the pack.

But Corbyn is also narrowly leading the pack in local party nominations, with 74 backing the socialist against 73 constituency parties picking Burnham, according to The New Statesman.

The 66-year-old veteran parliamentarian only got on the leadership ballot after Burnham lent him some of his MPs, a move of generosity which could come back to bite the former health secretary.

Meanwhile, divisions have begun to form inside the party after 48 MPs rebelled against Harriet Harman's order to abstain from voting on the government's welfare bill.

The MPs, including high-profile politicians like David Lammy and Sadiq Khan, defied the interim leader and backed an amendment tabled by Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman.

David Blunkett, a former Labour home secretary, warned that his party was "in emotional trauma" and also told BBC's Today programme that he thought Labour was in "bewilderment over where to go from here" after the vote.