PUBLISHED: 09:28, Sun, Mar 1, 2020 | UPDATED: 10:11, Sun, Mar 1, 2020
John McDonnell appeared to admit his supported candidate to take over from Jeremy Corbyn at the helm of the Labour Party, Rebecca Long-Bailey, would not win the contest. Confronted with the latest survey showing shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer leading in the first ballot, Mr McDonnell conceded the nominations Sir Keir received from Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) signalled the strong "support" he secured. Speaking to Sky News, the shadow Chancellor said: "Members will make their decision.
"We'll see what comes out in the final vote. Keir got the most CLP nominations, that's usually a reflection of the support.
"But we'll see there's a few weeks to go yet."
A Sky News survey of 1,323 Labour Party members and other eligible voters found 53 percent of respondents would give their first preference vote to Keir Starmer in contrast to only 31 percent backing Rebecca Long-Bailey. The poll, conducted between February 20 and 25, also found 16 percent of those polled would vote for Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.
Mr McDonnell continued: "Nothing's gone wrong. Anyone of those candidates would make a good leader of the Labour Party, that's what's great.
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McDonnell appeared to suggest Long-Bailey could lose to Starmer (Image: SKY NEWS•GETTY)
McDonnell bemoaned the length of the contest so far (Image: SKY NEWS)
"This is the new generation. I think this is one of the best teams you'll see going into politics now."
He added: "I still hope Rebecca wins. I think there's a good chance she will, we still have a long way to go in the election campaign."
"It's becoming a bit interminable, I have to say. It's been going on for quite a bit."
Rebecca Long-Bailey has been serving as the MP for Salford and Eccles since 2015 and has built a reputation as a strong supporter of Jeremy Corbyn.
Political experts have suggested Ms Long-Bailey is effectively running as a continuity candidate due to her manifesto picking up many of the policies Mr