Jeremy Corbyn wins

Jeremy Corbyn has, as expected, won the Labour leadership election. I say as expected but the reality is we didn’t actually have that much evidence to go on during the campaign – noise on Twitter and size of crowds at campaign meetings are bunk, the reports of what the campaigns canvassing operations found were very erratic and while we had concrete figures for local party nominations we didn’t know how good a guide that would be to how local members actually voted. The expectation that Jeremy Corbyn was going to win was based upon the polls, or more specifically, two YouGov polls, both conducted for the Times.

We only have to go back a few months to another election when there was a wide expectation of a particular result, based on what the polling evidence was telling us and it didn’t work out so well. Polling an internal party election is a very different challenge to polling a general election, in many ways a more difficult one – you have to track down respondents from a very small pool. The huge influx of new members and registered supporters made this election particularly tricky – YouGov had more demographic data about Labour party members than they did when they polled the 2010 leadership election, but that was only about half the electorate. The rest were an unknown quantity. Rationally I was confident in the polling showing Corbyn was ahead, not least because it showed Corbyn winning amongst every demographic group, but that didn’t stop the nagging fear that come Saturday Jeremy Corbyn would have trailled in last place and the whole of the media would have been following the wrong story based on wrong polls.

In the event, the YouGov poll actually seems to have matched up well against the final result, though there was a month between fieldwork and the end of the contest. The last poll was conducted back in August, and had figures of Corbyn 53%, Burnham 21%, Cooper 18%, Kendall 8%. This was before registration to take place in the election closed and a couple of days later when Labour released the final figures for the number of members, supporters and affiliates YouGov reweighted the figures to reflect the proper balance of the electorate. That took Corbyn’s share up to 57%. In the event Corbyn won with 59.5%

With the contest over, now we wait to see what the impact will be. I wrote at greater length here about what the polls could tell us about how well or badly Jeremy Corbyn will do (long and the short of it, as far as direct evidence is concerned they can’t tell us much). Personally I wouldn’t expect some immediate crisis in Labour support unless the party completely rips itself apart (most people simply don’t pay enough attention to what the opposition party is up to!), there could even be a short term boost from a new leader. We shall see.

282 Responses to “Jeremy Corbyn wins”

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  1. @mark sadler

    I’m in a similar position to you with the Lib Dems. Joined them out of admiration for Clegg and the decision to compromise and go into Coalition. Very sceptical of the new leader Farron.

    Like you I’ve decided to stick with them and give the new leader a chance. I’m going to wait at least until the next regional elections and the referendum and see how the party reacts to the political situation.

  2. Blair said he was fighting the forces of Conservatism where ever it was, even in the Unions, and he had scars on his back to prove it.
    I never believed that, he was the establisments head boy, as he never challenged it. , especially the Thatcher economic legacy.
    Cameron and Clegg were carbon copies.

    I am not a Corbyn supporter, but it is exiting to have the orthodoxy challenged, of all these clever people who took us into Iraq , Libya and told us trickle down economics, would in effect be a rising tide and would lift everyones boat.
    In effect it is a giant ponzi scheme , with ever more debt, and the central banks are the emperors with no clothes.

  3. As said above, the EU vote could be interesting. Corbyn has, quite sensibly.refused to give Cameron carte blanche in the negotiations by saying he would back a yes vote come what may. What if Cameron negotiates away workers rights under the social chapter, for example?

    Maybe there is mischief to be made from a opposition led by Corbyn linking with the Tory right. I can’t imagine he would have let Cameron off the hook on the recent vote on the referendum, when a clear chance to defeat the PM was on offer.

  4. I just can’t help feeling that corbyn is going to have a huge shouting match with someone in the near future (probably with a reporter). He strikes me as being close to the edge.

  5. Good evening all from a mild and wet East Ren.

    I have to admit that I thought Corby wouldn’t had lasted this long as Labour leader. Maybe he might have the last laugh after all.

  6. @Dez

    Great post.

    Just out of interest, if you aren’t a Corbyn supporter then which of the three ABC candidates did you vote for ?!

  7. David Colby I think you right. I can see Corbyn or Mcdonnel having a major public row soon possibly with some rather nasty things being said.

  8. @Allan Christie

    You thought Corbyn “would last” less than 48 hours !! Surely you ironically jest!

    I’m not sure about him having what you call “the last laugh”. Though maybe he will eventually wear that fixed grin and gritted teeth of all losing political leaders…?

    Currently, though, I have noticed that he rarely smiles. Almost never, in fact.

    A typical characteristic of the ‘very earnest serious-minded far left’: ever since I’ve come across them starting in 1981.

  9. Mr Nameless,

    The Progressive Unionist Party is a left-wing unionist party. Where they aren’t standing, the closest thing is the Alliance, which is neutral on the Border question and centrist in its politics. There is also NI21, which is left-wing on social issues and neutral on the Border question, but the most charitable description that could be made of NI21 is that they are still in “embryonic” form.

    As far as I know, there are no right-wing nationalist parties, and the SDLP & Sinn Fein don’t seem, from an outsider’s perspective, to be delineated on left/right lines, but more nationalist vs. republican lines. If Fianna Fail ever get around to standing in Northern Ireland, that would add a centre-right element into nationalist politics.

  10. Rob

    I am not a Corbyn supporter (I preferred Burnham) but the Blairites deserved 4.5%. A moderate position cannot be a faded photocopy of Tory economic policy.

    Appointing John McDonnall is a serious blunder.

  11. Fine Gael standing in Northern Ireland would also be interesting and would offer a more genuine centre-right option than Fianna Fail, but as far as I know no-one has proposed it.

  12. Rob

    I am not a Labour Party member but had a vote through an affiliate.
    I voted 1 AB.

  13. New ICM poll out

    Con 38% (-2) Lab 32% (+1) LD 8% (+1) UKIP 13% (+3) Greens 3% (-1) SNP 5% PC 1%

  14. Reading through the Shadow Cabinet, it looks quite balanced to me. There are people from across the party.

    One that I find most interesting is Kerry McCarthy, Environment. As the BBC says :

    The Bristol East MP, first elected in 2005, has previously shadowed positions in the Foreign Office, Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions. She is also a vegan and campaigns on food issues.

    Policy focus: Ms McCarthy is likely to use her new position to pressure the government on the badger cull, of which she has been a fierce critic. She will be liaising with the farming sector for the Labour Party, and has spoken out against the environmental impact of meat production as well as saying the meat, dairy and egg industries “cause immense suffering to more than a billion animals every year in the UK alone”.

    A woman after my own heart :-)

    When UK farming issues come to her desk, I suspect she might slightly disagree with most farmers.

  15. @ CMJ

    Probably she will.have disagreements. But on the other hand if she supported GMO crop (rightly), then she would have conflicts with the Scots and the EU – neither of them desirable for the Labour Party. One cannot win.

  16. ICM

    It looks like Labour picked up 1 from the Greens and Tories lose to UKIP…

  17. The Achilles heel of Corbyn has to be his association with Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA together with his seeming disregard for the Armed Forces.

    This might all be exaggerated by the press, but it won’t play well with the English working class from whose ranks most of the forces are drawn. I suppose he will pick up votes from the Irish and some Moslems, but will this be enough to compensate?

    Though the amounts are small, Labour do seem to have received a modest bounce in support according to the latest poll. It will be interesting to see how it develops over the next few months.

  18. I would expect the Greens to lose support now, but it depends how many of their supporters were there for genuine green issues and how many thought they were the best place to agitate for socialism. The second group will be moving back to Labour now.

    My experience with Greens has been that many of them were protesting/socialists first with actual green concerns quite a way down on their radar, maybe a majority. But maybe they were just the louder ones.

    But equally I entirely fail to understand the UKIP voters at all, so I nothing to offer to explain why their percentages might be going up.

  19. @Rob S

    Or MOE?

  20. @pete b

    “I suppose he will pick up votes from the Irish and some Moslems, but will this be enough to compensate?”

    Not if they’re Irish unionists…And regarding Muslims, most of those are in Labour safe seats. Also winning votes from the likes of the Greens won’t help much for the same reason. Piling up votes in safe seats is exactly what happened in 2015.

    On paper Scotland is fair game for Corbyn’s Labour but I’m sceptical. At least we’ll know next year if he’s effective there.

  21. Or OMOE…

  22. Sorrell

    UKIP supporters don’t like Syrian refugees. I doubt working class army types do either. No-one (rightly) in Labour are going to ban asylum seeking.

    Cooper would lose those voters as surely as Corbyn.

    If working class voters want to vote to be poorer, that is their choice.

  23. “I suppose he will pick up votes from the Irish and some Moslems, but will this be enough to compensate?”

    >using the term ‘Moslems’

  24. Many of you will disagree with Janan’s take on the situation but damn he writes well. Worth a read.

  25. Omnishambles

    “On paper Scotland is fair game for Corbyn’s Labour but I’m sceptical”

    While you are right to be sceptical – as today’s YG Full Scottish shows – even the surface of a sheet of paper is two dimensional.

    Politics everywhere is more than uni-dimensional [1] but in Scotland there are more salient dimensions than in England.

    The failure to understand that, and to view Scottish politics through London eyes (or even the London Eye) is what makes so many comments from London based politicians and commentators so lamentably furth of the mark.

    [1] The exception is the view of the media commentator, whose mind is limited to the single dimension of the cheque s/he will get from the partisan editor of the partisan paper for whom s/he writes articles for consumption by its partisan readers.


    My CLP membership secretary told me earlier today that for the open primary election the roster was 300 full members (a net increase after the May GE of 10) and 700 ‘supporters’ all who signed up since the GE in May but only 50 of whom turned up at the most recent CLP meeting as they are invited to do on a non-voting basis (and most seemed to know each other).

    That doesn’t actually make any sense. We know that the (more or less) final electorate according to LabourList:

    comprised of:

    Fully paid-up membership prior to General Election 2015: 187,000 (296)

    New members joined since General Election 2015: 105,973 (168)

    Affiliated Supporters: 148,182 (234)

    Registered Supporters: 112,799 (178)


    Figures in bracket average for the 632 GB constituencies.

    While the 290 pre-GE seems reasonable enough for South Yorks (eg the 2010 average for the five Sheffield seats was 394, though that’s boosted by the students in Central) you should have been deluged with new members from May onwards[1] – around a couple of hundred. If you only got 10 new names, something is very wrong. Remember that many will have joined online or by phone and the names passed on from Party HQ. Are the details being sent to the wrong person?

    Equally, 700 ‘supporters’ are far more than you would expect – again a couple of hundred at most. All I can think of is that the 700 might represent all the new names: members, supporters and affiliates and the secretary has got confused and though they were just supporters.

    [1] From memory 40,000 joined up in the two weeks after the election alone. The belief that everyone who joined since May did so ‘to vote for Corbyn’ ignores not just those who did so to vote for other people, but the fact that maybe half joined before anyone knew Corbyn was standing.

  27. @Rob Sheffield

    It feels good to be home. Now you can see how we felt when we were taken for granted by the Blairites. At least Corbyn is trying to include everyone in the Party by giving positions to the right wingers as well.

  28. Twitter noise may be bunk but not the size of campaign meetings. It was a safe extrapolation to make from the size of the crowds turning out for Jeremy’s meetings that he would win the contest. You couldn’t predict by how much, but because such extrapolations look unscientific, they really aren’t. If a = b. then c probably = d. d being a JC victory. Not perfect, but it works.

  29. Rob Sheffield

    “My CLP membership secretary told me earlier today that for the open primary election the roster was 300 full members (a net increase after the May GE of 10) and 700 ‘supporters’ all who signed up since the GE in May”

    I thought you were in Hallam, Rob? I know the secretary of Hallam CLP and I recall the membrship being about double that even before the election. Full membership hit 1,000 some time in June I believe.

  30. In response to David Cameron’s tweet about the LP being a threat to national security,
    the Russian Embassy tweeted: “Just imagine UK media headlines if Russian President called a leading opposition party threat to national security?”

  31. In regards to Corbyn’s shadow cabinet and considering the hollowing out of options to him It seems a fairly respectable line-up with the obvious exception being the ludicrously provocative appointment of a shadow chancellor who appears to have an innate loathing of the capitalist system. And you have to wonder what was going on in Mr Corbyn’s thinking processes with his trumpeted female majority cabinet when surely somebody in his team could of foresaw that the media would pick up on the fact that with the departures of Cooper and Harman that not one of the traditional big five post would be filled by a female .I also feel I have to note that whilst perusing the twenty three post that the daily mirror considered worthy of listing that the pre-Corbyn cabinet was represented by ten women as opposed to eleven now in place , of what I would consider as senior post Harman (deputy leader) , Cooper (home) and Reeves (works and pensions) out the Eagles promoted to defence and business Powell promoted to Education and Alexander in at Health would appear to me a neutral or at best marginal improvement in terms of female representation.

  32. @Catmanjeff

    I wonder what her policies on allotments are?

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