Former Labour leader and three times prime minister Tony Blair has again come out strongly against leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn, warning that the party faces 'annihilation' if Corbyn becomes the next party leader.
His warning comes on the back of a fresh YouGov poll that shows Corbyn will finish 32 points ahead of his nearest rival and win the contest after the first round of voting. The left-wing Islington North MP has seen his popularity rising by 17 points since July.
The YouGov poll shows that Corbyn will win the leadership race with 53% of first-preference votes, thereby preventing the race from going to a second round.
There has also been a last money surge in new Labour party members signing up to vote before the cut-off time.
The Guardian says in the last 24 hours, trade unions have seen their numbers of signed-up supporters doubling to 190,000 and the total who paid the £3 to become registered supporters rising from 70,000 to 120,000.
The newspaper noted that the surge in union-related support is expected to help Corbyn in his leadership bid as most of the big unions have given him their backing.
The party had to extend its deadline by three hours after its website crashed with the rush of people trying to sign up at the last minute.
While Corbyn seems happy with the surge in party members and acknowledged the hard work put by the party's staff, the other three candidates, Andy Burham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall were not impressed. They have written to the party's general secretary Iain McNicol expressing concerns over the registration process.
Their complaints centre on the lack of data they are receiving on people who have recently jointed the party, BBC reports. They have been told that they will not be receiving lists of those who have just signed up as members for another 10 days, which they say means there will not be a level playing field as there are concerns that unions may pass on details of their affiliated supporters to Corbyn earlier.
In an article in the newspaper, Blair says: "It doesn't matter whether you're on the left, right or centre of the party, whether you used to support me or hate me. But please understand the danger we are in.
"The party is walking eyes hut, arms outstretched over the cliff's edge to the jagged rocks below. This is not a moment to refrain from disturbing the serenity of the walk on the basis it causes 'disunity'. It is a moment for a rugby tackle, if that were possible."
The Guardian says Blair's article "suggests there is mounting panic in the party establishment about the idea that Corbyn is heading for victory."
New Labour era being dismantled
A spokesman for Corbyn's campaign responded: "We are keeping our campaign positive and remain focused on our policies that offer the sound economic choice of investment and growth, not the poltiically driven agenda of austerity and cuts preventing economic recovery."
Michael Meacher, a former Labour minister and Corbyn supporter told the newspaper: "it is the biggest non-revolutionary upturning of the social order in modern British politics. The Blairite coup of the mid-1990s hijacked the party to the Tory ideology of 'leave it all to the markets and let the state get out of the way.'
"After 20 years of swashbuckling capitalism, the people of Britain have said enough, and Labour is finally regaining its real principles and values," he said, reminding Blairites that they have a duty to remain loyal to the party "just as the left has always done."