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. My guess at first VI poll….

    C – 45
    L – 25
    LD- 9

    Based on, talk down the pub. :-)

  2. Dream on Ken! How did Chelsea do yesterday?

  3. @Liz

    Well José thinks they’ll avoid relegation…

  4. Regarding the earlier article of his AW mentions, and the bit concerning the matter of where the public are on the left-right spectrum, I found this bit particularly salient:

    “Be careful – look at this YouGov poll which shows a majority of people would support renationalisation of the utilities, increasing the minimum wage to £10 and the top rate of tax to 60%… but also a total ban on immigration and benefits for anyone who turns down a job, making life mean life with no parole in prison sentences and stopping all international aid. ”

    …Anthony’s point being the public are to the left on some things, to the right on others.

    I would suggest one might go further, to consider the possibility that the public tend to quite like state action or support, providing it is effective and doesn’t have nasty knock-ons and peeps don’t take the mick, whereupon the public may soon veer rightwards…

  5. Of course, the question of whether peeps are taking advantage can be fuelled by the media, or hyped, thus this aspect becomes a political battleground.

  6. Same thing with MPs expenses. It wasn’t expenses per se that were necessarily seen as a problem, it was the flipping and duck houses and wisteria etc.

  7. @hawthorn (FPT)

    Re: armed forces integration

    You asked if military integration within the EU would not be more effective at dealing with Putin etc. Putting politics aside for a moment. The integration of European military forces is a thing, but it’s happening outside the framework of the EU. I can’t post lots of links here but if you’re interested in one of the more remarkable developments you should google the Lancaster House Treaties (2010) between Britain and France. The main result of which is the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF)

    Command and Control is shared at the highest level in the CJEF. To be clear, this is entirely separate from NATO.

    Another example is the UK Joint Expeditionary Force which is UK-led but involves Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Again it’s separate from the EU and NATO.

    The complete merging of armed forces is out of the question for the larger European countries, but integration of European military forces is happening.

  8. In shadow cabinet news Rosie Winterton has been reappointed as Labour Chief Whip. That’s an unenviable position I think we can all agree.

  9. Carfrew,

    Agreed on all points. Another example would be “tough on crime”. Ask the public if they want the police to be tougher and better at enforcing the law, and they’ll mostly say yes. Ask the public if they want the police to be tougher and better at enforcing parking laws, and mysteriously their enthusiasm will vanish…

    Armchair psychology time: I suspect that the public has a tendency to judge policies by the intended outcome, creating a bias towards state intervention in both the economic and non-economic spheres. “Life means life” is great until you hear about the abused doctor who kills her husband, gets separated from her children, rehabilitates herself, and still gets stuck behind bars for the rest of her life.

  10. Rivers10,

    On the upside, I’m sure Corbyn won’t vote against his party whip THAT many times in this parliament.

  11. “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.”

    Actually it was a very strong pointer. Remember CLPs carried it out by the same voting method – eliminating ballot. My CLP is traditionally right wing, with an MP supporting Kendall. Yet we voted (about 50 attended) for JC on the first ballot. I was completely certain from that point on that he would win easily, as the CLP did not include supporters who were even more pro Jeremy than the members. It was the media and the Westminster bubble who couldn’t believe what was staring them in the face. To judge from their reaction to the final result, they still can’t accept it. The BBC included.


  12. Thought Tom Watson did ok today ,a lot is going to fall on his shoulders ,if JC gives him a chance to do pmqs will cameron send for the tory chairman ?

  13. @ Welsh Borderer

    Most people knew weeks ago that Corbyn would win. It’s not him winning that’s left people shaking their heads in bewilderment but the entire slow car crash over many months, even years, that has led to this historic low point for Labour.

  14. Winterton is probably a smart choice. With a non-Corbynite PLP, easing them in with as much continuity as possible is probably wise.

  15. I think the chief whip is still elected by the PLP as well which obviously ruled out any corbyn supporter getting the job.

  16. We have already had an ‘instant reaction’ poll from Survation. They have said that their tables won’t be available till Monday – which is unusual as they’re usually very quick to put them up. I assume there may be more to come in Monday’s Mail (VI?). Anyway according to the Mail on Sunday the relevant questions[1]are:

    Who would make best Prime Minister

    David Cameron 44%

    Jeremy Corbyn 27%

    Don’t know 29%

    Has Corbyn’s win made you more likely to vote Labour

    More likely 18%

    Less likely 24%

    No difference 58%

    Is Jeremy Corbyn fit to be PM

    Yes 24%

    No 34%

    Don’t know 43%

    They’re not great figures, but neither were Miliband’s on his election. In fact in YouGov ‘Best PM’ figures:

    he only hit 27% or higher three times in his entire five years. but then in YouGov Cameron never got to 44% and rarely even to 40%. So it may be a difference between the two pollsters, though it’s also possible that the Conservatives are doing particularly well at the moment from what little polling we do have.

    We’ll know more when we see the tables, but as Anthony says it’s too soon to really decide much.

    [1] I’m ignoring the ones about the future as being meaningless.

  17. Can anyone come up with a explanation to what appears to be contradictory voting patterns in regards to the leader/ deputy leader election with Corbyn’s crushing 1st round victory and left of centre Burnham ‘s all be it distant but never the less 2nd in contrast to Watson a brownite with a comfortable 3rd round victory and the commendable performance of runners-ups Creasy a centralist and Flint a vocal blairite with the union’s candidate Eagle a modest 4th?

  18. The Deputy Leadership is inherently a less political role than the leader, because they deal with internal party management instead of policy.

    Therefore, a lot comes down to individual plans for the party. However, perception also matters. People associate Tom Watson with trade unions so assume him to be left wing, just as Stella Creasy was thought of as such by quite a few thanks to her pursuit of feminist causes.

    Nobody is ever defined by their whole political outlook, an argument demonstrated by the row over the welfare bill that helped secure Corbyn’s victory.

    It’s also not uncommon for a leader and their deputy to be different politically as a way of getting a balanced ticket. Callaghan and Foot, Foot and Healey, Kinnock and Hattersley, Blair and Prescott, and now Corbyn and Watson. It’s a long tradition.

  19. BM -nah appointed by leader.


    I think Tom Watson had a higher profile than the others because he took on the Murdoch press and pushed for investigations of Westminster child abusers.

  21. I don’t think any of the Deputy Leader Candidates were Corbynite in any shape or form.

    Tom Watson won because he has really worked with the grassroots party very well, and has made a lot of friends by standing up to Murdoch etc.

    The role of Deputy Leader is that significant in my view. They tend to hold the fort as required (PM absence or when a Leader stands down), but only for a short time. The greater importance is the link between the PLP and the grassroots. Blair has doubters on the left, but Prescott as a wingman acted as a bridge of sorts.

    Creasy is a bright young thing, and I imagine the party wanted some fresh talent to be given the chance to grow for the future.

  22. @MrNameless @LizH

    You type quicker than myself.

  23. LIZH……This is a polling site, we don’t ask questions of people suffering nervous breakdowns. :-)

  24. I think Watson also had as much, or almost as much, union backing as Eagle. Unite endorsed both of them, though it did not officially nominate either.

  25. Don’t worry @KEN what goes down will come up sometime :-)


    Your posts explain things so much better than mine.

  27. LIZH…..Oo, er, missus! :-)

  28. My guess is that In the medium term, Labour is toast. It’s hardly surprising though that an American-style primary has thrown up an unelectable candidate. Fanatical supporters don’t act rationally because deep down, they don’t really care what the rest of us think.

  29. Thank you MRNAMELESS for your thoughtful answer to my query and I’m inclined to agree with your theory that Watson and creasy were in someway misread by the labour electorate in terms of there political philosophy but flint certainly made her position clear as a defender of blairs legacy yet still came in a respectable 3rd in contrast to kendall’s humiliating obliteration , and whist I’m aware of the tendency for leader/deputies to be from rival wings in previous ages I still find it striking that the electorate voted for a hard left veteran in such overwhelming number yet could muster such little enthusiasm for the unions choice and nearest in terms of political philosophy to him in eagle On a lighter not I see the bookies haven’t wasted any time on odds for the next leader with umunna and Jarvis predicable favourite’s but for me the more interesting choices on the list are in the form of a trio of female candidates Lisa Nandy , Stella Creasy a Rachel Reeves all at around 20/1 a tempting wager I also love the fact that Simon Danczuk is in at 66/1 well he certainly wouldn’t be a dull choice !

  30. @Mark Sadler

    Simon Danczuk?

    I think you’d struggle much support for him within the membership or the PLP.

    He a maverick like Frank Field.

  31. Unless something dramatic happens the next leader of the Labour Party will probably be one of the MP’s who strongly supported Corbyn or at the very least takes part in his first shadow cabinet. The swing too great I think for anyone else to be elected by the membership within the next 5-8 years.

  32. Anthony I was rather hoping you would drill down further into the figures than you did. It is my contention, bearing in mind Corbyn did not win an absolute majority in the membership despite the thousands and thousands who joined up as full members purely to vote for hiim, he would not have won under the old rules

    Another correspondent replied to me saying he would have ‘smashed it ‘ under the old rules This is totally wrong I think. Al the evidence suggests that effectively the new members, thousands and thousands who joined during the campaign did so to vote for him. Same for the registered supporters. Neither of those would have been there under the old rules to offer support. Nor would any members who joined since the election under the six month rule prohibiting new members from voting (a very sensible rule which in my view which should be reinstated to avoid the nonsense of Tories voting etc.) . Then you have MPs who would have voted very strongly against him, cancelling out the unions who would have voted for him. I think it is very doubtful indeed he would have won under rules which would effectively have made certain the party voting was the party that fought the May election. And I am quite sure on these figures he would not have easily won the ordinary members even in a straight race.

    It is a sobering fact that even with the huge influx of Corbyn supporters, who joined as full members purely in order to vote for Corbyn, more ordinary Labour members voted for others candidates than voted for Corbyn. Not such a smashing victory then. . Or rather a truly massive victory with new members, many from other parties, but not the old.

    This is an important qualification.

  33. @All

    Has there been any indication when JC will announce the Shadow Cabinet?

  34. For comparison purposes it’s interesting to also look at YouGov’s only poll for Deputy Leader which was 17-21 July:

    I have reweighted the split between full members and others because the split in the poll (79% to 21%) is wildly different from that which actually voted in the DL election (59% to 41%) because the July poll split was based on very incomplete information from Labour, especially as regards to affiliates[1]. It’s a bit rough with a lot of rounding, but I reckon the revised figures for the first round would be:

    Watson 45% (Actual 39.4%)

    Creasy 19% (19.1%)

    Flint 17% (15.8%)

    Bradshaw 10% (9.6%)

    Eagle 9% (16.2%)

    This excludes the 35% of voters who hadn’t yet decided their deputy vote.

    It suggests a reasonable degree of accuracy on the part of YouGov and that the differences may be due to the passage of time and the campaign rather than YouGov being wrong. The main difference is Eagle gaining at the expense of Watson and, to a small extent, Flint.

    Some of this may be because more recent joiners to the electorate were more inclined to vote for the candidate seen as the most left-wing. In this poll Eagle didn’t attract disproportionately many votes from Corbyn supporters in this poll, they went more to Watson and away from the other three especially Flint. But they were also more likely to be undecided and some Watson could have switched both possible sources.

    Also, asked how much they knew about the deputy candidates, Watson (+16)[2] and Flint (-2) did better than the others Bradshaw (-25), Creasy (-25) and Eagle (-22). So as the campaign continued you would expect them to lose votes to the others as people made a final decision rather than just said the name they knew or that they were uncertain.

    Still it suggests that Eagle was the ‘winner’ of the campaign and that might help her if she is chosen as Shadow Chancellor, for which she currently seems to be favourite (and is probably the best qualified).

    [1] In contrast the reweighted figure that Anthony referred to were based on a split between the sections before the removal of those not on the electoral roll etc. As these were mostly non-full members, that result may flatter YouGov’s accuracy in the second poll a bit.

    [2] It shows how low-profile being in the Shadow Cabinet is that the best known candidate was so much better known than three who had been in it at some time.

  35. AW can’t delve deeper, as there is no data to delve into.

    That would require the Labour Party to give details of how the membership voted grouped by length of membership.

    Anyway, how the election would have run under a set of rules that don’t exist anymore is utter pointless isn’t it?

  36. It is a sobering fact that even with the huge influx of Corbyn supporters, who joined as full members purely in order to vote for Corbyn, more ordinary Labour members voted for others candidates than voted for Corbyn. Not such a smashing victory then. . Or rather a truly massive victory with new members, many from other parties, but not the old.

    This is only true under the first round of voting.

    The election was an AV election, so if the election was among the membership only, it would have gone to second round. That would have eliminated Liz Kendall, and her votes transferred to their second preferences. Jeremy would only have need a tiny amount to get past the winning post. His nearest rival would have needed to more than double their vote share.

    Under an AV election with four candidates, getting 49% on first preferences is exceptionally good.

    The argument that most people members didn’t vote for Jeremy in the first round is a bit silly.

    It’s like questioning whether the Tories really won in May, given the fact that 63% voted for someone else.

    They clearly got more votes than anyone else, so they won.

  37. I feel compelled to point out that I wasn’t seriously suggesting Danzuk was a viable candidate merely musing on the oddity of him being as low as 66/1 but then again J.C was 200/1.

  38. As with Ed Miliband it will all be about first impressions, the first 18 months and how he performs at his conference speeches (probably quite well first time) Labour Mayor and council elections, and then how he manages his party (including the few PMQs he’s planning to do!).

    If after 18 months he has a divided party, is behind on best PM and and managing the economy, and has presided over flat electoral performances I’d expect his complete lack of parliamentary support to become a really serious issue.

    Like with EM I’d expect people to say “Yes, but Labour are 2, 5, 10 points ahead in the polls” but we’ll all be able to read the runes.

  39. I wrote the previous post before I saw Mark Saddler’s question, but I’d add three other points to those already made.

    The first is that Kendall actually lost votes during the campaign. She was actually at 11% in the first poll I quoted above, dropped to 8% in the second and to 4.5% in the result. Even among the members she only got 6%. Some of this may be people who don’t understand how AV works, but I think she also put off a lot of people with her rather hectoring tone. So her vote may underestimate the support on the right of the Party.

    The second is that a lot of people wanted a balanced ticket not just politically within the Party but in terms of gender (not all of them Guardian columnists). So all the women candidates may have benefited from that.

    Thirdly people may vote much more on personal ground for Deputy. Certainly if you look at where the Bradshaw transfers went:

    Creasy 21%

    Eagle 17%

    Flint 26%

    Watson 25%

    Non-transfers 11%

    maybe only 10% of those who voted are doing so politically, moving from one perceived Blairite to another. The rest are voting for random reasons (under which you would expect Flint to get 16% anyway) and Watson seems to be the main sufferer.

  40. Catmanjeff,

    You’re out of date: you’re supposed to use the proportion of the entire electorate when taking about the Tory vote share these days.

  41. @Mark Sadler

    I know you weren’t suggesting that :-)

    However, we live in funny times for sure…

  42. I would expect to see some polls in coming weeks to be putting Labour at circa 35%.

  43. Meanwhile, YG has been polling in the USA.

    Once again, neither Trump nor Sanders are your smooth, centrist, same-old type of candidate.

  44. Donald Trump, commander-in-chief to the world’s largest military might…..

    There’s a thought…

  45. GRAHAM
    I also expect to see a Corbyn bounce. Even in the mid-term. But not being trusted on 3 of the big 4 policy issues (immigration, defence and the economy) will make JC unelectable.

    Remember, of course,even with a dire financial situation, the UK still didn’t totally turn to the opposite party in the case of Thatcher, Major and Brown until the opposition moved decisively centre.

    JC will only appeal to Labour heartlands in London and the urban North but not to anywhere where he needs to attract Tory or LDs (including those who switched from LD to Labour). Those who don’t vote will largely remain those who don’t vote.

    There will be no resurgence in Scotland as the SNP can play the Scottish anti-austerity versus the London-led anti-austerity choice. The SNP playing nice to Labour is simply politics. There is no alliance between enemies.

    Worth remembering that the rules that elected JC can make his removal very easy too. There is no need to have a far-Left candidate in a new round either, as it’s the MPs decision who stand. In the same way that Blue Labour has little room to complain about JC winning under the rules, Red Labour cannot say foul play under these very same rules. But it’ll take a while with the London Mayor election absolutely crucial.

    Of real interest is whether the LDs are resurgent. I don’t expect Blue Labour MPs to switch anytime soon. But a divided Labour may just re-open the door for the centrist party. I can’t see an ignored Blue Labour section of the party attracting many Blue Labour votes. Whether they switch to the LDs, a centre-maintaining Tory or, as I suspect, simply taking the place of the non-voting Labour-doesn’t represent-me-anymore of the Far Left is the question.

  46. @Mark Sadler

    Chuka is completely unacceptable to the new mood. So Keir Starmer and Dan Jarvis are my favourites. Plus Stella Creasy ( time for a woman and she is by far the likeliest I feel ) at 20/1. My outsider is Hilary Benn at an attractive 50/1, as he is an obvious 2018 caretaker/safe pair of hands/see us through to 2020/acceptable to everyone candidate.

  47. In further (but not particularly exciting) shadow cabinet news Ivan Lewis tweeted that he offered to remain as Shadow NI secretary but Corbyn informed him the position has been filled by someone else…..Conor McGinn is my guess FWIW

  48. This is goodish. I’m afraid “Corbyn’ is not listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. The closest definition I could find was for ” corbel” which is:
    “A projection jutting out from a wall to support a structure above it.”

    Make of that what you will.

  49. I mention NATO in light of the Telegraph story about Merkel making a joint EU army a condition of Cameron’s renegotiation. I would not be surprised if the story was nonsense, but it does bring to light the contradiction about pooling sovereignty in NATO and not pooling sovereignty in Europe. If an EU army did form without the UK, I would expect the UK to be become a bit player in NATO as an EU Army would so much more powerful.

    As for Corbyn winning alongside Watson with Creasy doing well. It is not difficult to see why. All three stand up for what they believe with a rigour that has been lacking in the startled jellyfish that have passed for a front bench too often.

  50. @John,

    About 45k new members voted (very rough figure). Even if you assume every single one of them voted Corbyn, he’d still have got ~77k votes. Next up (still assuming none of the new members at all voted for anyone but Corbyn) Burnham had ~56k.

    I don’t think your theory is very likely, don’t reckon it’s even close.

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