The Labour Party risks “annihilation” if Jeremy Corbyn wins the party’s leadership contest, former prime minister Tony Blair has warned.
In an impassioned letter printed in the Guardian, Mr Blair said the party was walking “over the cliff’s edge”.
A Yougov poll for the Times this week showed Mr Corbyn was 32 points ahead of his nearest rival Andy Burnham.
In the 24 hours before registration to vote closed Wednesday, Labour received more than 160,000 applications.
Voting for the contest starts on Friday and the result will be declared on 12 September.
Writing in the Guardian, Mr Blair said: “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,” he wrote.
“But please understand the danger we are in.
“The party is walking eyes shut, 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.”