Jeremy Corbyn's tenure as leader of the Labour Party might not be over, despite the coup against him brewing amongst some MPs. His grassroots supporters have begun to take to social media en masse in an effort to defend the man they see as unfairly under attack from the Blairite right wing of his party.

The starting gun on a coup was fired in the small hours of this morning, when Corbyn sacked Hilary Benn as shadow foreign minister. Soon after, Heidi Alexander resigned as shadow health secretary, amid a whispering campaign from other dissatisfied backbenchers.

However, the party membership who catapulted the left-wing outsider to power with nearly 60% of the vote during the leadership campaign nine months ago, seems to be rallying around their man.

A petition to give "a vote of confidence in Jeremy Corbyn" on the campaign site 38 degrees has reached 171,000 signatories in around 24 hours, while social media is alive with spirited defences.

According to Dakota Rose, who started the petition, "people don't want [Corbyn] to resign despite how they voted in the referendum", while signatories are leaving supportive messages like "the people chose Jeremy Corbyn, it should be their choice. Jeremy is our only hope for the future".

Twitter, meanwhile, is full of angry Corbyn supporters criticising Labour MPs for their apparent lack of loyalty and respect for the wishes of the membership.

The rebellious Labour MPs seem to be hoping that the membership's view of their leader is souring. Some strategists have pointed to data that could suggest people do not believe Corbyn threw the full weight of his support behind the Rremain campaign as a potential signal that his popularity is sinking, but so far no polling exists to back this idea up.