Liz Kendall and Caroline Flint are the team to fear, say Conservative councillors

A new survey of Conservative councillors lists Liz Kendall and Caroline Flint as the candidates they most fear - but a survey of their Labour counterparts show the two going down to heavy defeats.

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A new poll of Conservative councillors finds that Liz Kendall and Caroline Flint are the candidates most feared by that party.  

The survey, which was conducted by the Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin, will provide a boost to both campaigns, while highlighting the challenge ahead if either are to triumph.

38 per cent of Conservative councillors in marginal seats described Kendall as "the biggest threat" in their seats, against 31 per cent for Andy Burnham, 21 per cent for Yvette Cooper and nine per cent for Jeremy Corbyn.  In the deputy race, 36 per cent believe that Flint is the candidate they should "most fear", compared with 22 per cent for Ben Bradshaw, 20 per cent for Tom Watson, and 12 per cent for Stella Creasy. No respondents opted for Angela Eagle as the candidate to fear. 

But an equivalent survey of Labour councillors showed the mountain that both must climb if they are to win the backing of their own parties. Tom Watson is in a commanding position in the deputy race, with 40 per cent of the vote. Flint is a distant second with 27 per cent, Creasy is third with 18 per cent, Eagle fourth with eight per cent, Bradshaw is fifth with seven per cent.

Kendall's position is even worse. She is in fourth place with 15 per cent, behind Corbyn on nineteen per cent, Cooper on 30 per cent and Burnham on 36 per cent. 

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.