Ignore Twitter. Forget the polls. Corbyn’s not going to win

by Atul Hatwal

Jeremy Corbyn will not win the Labour leadership. No matter how real the fevered hallucinations currently seem on this acid trip of a leadership contest, they aren’t real.

Predictions of a Corbyn triumph are based on two assumptions: that the polls are right and Labour’s new recruits have been drawn in because of him and his agenda.

Both are wrong.

The polls and campaign canvass returns overstate his support in the same way that Labour’s support was over-estimated in general election polls and the party’s new mass membership is not a seething hotbed of radical ideologues.

The coda for pollsters from the general election was that simply asking people for their voting preference didn’t give answers which reflected actual voting intention.

Mark Textor, Lynton Crosby’s business partner and the man who conducted the Tories’ internal polling, recently held forth on why his polls were right when so many others were so wrong.

He made two points of note.

First, voters frequently use opinion polls as an outlet for protest.

In an online world of one-click opinion, sticking two fingers up at the Tories by backing Labour in a poll was simple, cost free and gratifying. Less easy to actually vote Labour when most did not trust the party on the economy and it was led by someone who few believed to be prime ministerial.

Second, voters’ make their choice on the basis of the outcome they want to avoid as well as the party they support.

While waverers might have been prepared to consider the idea of a Labour government, even with reservations on leadership and the economy, the prospect of a Labour-SNP coalition, with Ed Miliband run ragged and dragged even further left on spending by Nicola Sturgeon, tipped the balance. So they voted tactically to prevent what they most feared – even if this meant holding their nose and voting Tory.

These insights are directly relevant to Labour’s leadership race.

After a crushing, demoralising general election defeat for the party, what better way for frustrated members and supporters to flick the bird at the leadership than to tell pollsters and canvassers they are backing Corbyn?

The last YouGov poll which had Jeremy Corbyn winning the leadership in the first round on 57% of first preferences contained an interesting detail: among full members that had joined before Ed Miliband’s leadership, it registered 39% as backing Corbyn.

Think about that for a moment.

These are members that voted in the last leadership election when Diane Abbot got 7% of their vote.

It’s likely that the ideological balance of this group will have shifted towards the left in the past five years as centrists have left the party, but to go from 7% backing the far left candidate in 2010 to 39% in 2015 would be an extraordinary, mass Damascene conversion.

Unless of course a significant proportion of YouGovs 2015 respondents were simply using the poll as a way protest; to let off steam – egged on by a Labour twitter-sphere in full cry – at the party machine and politics in general for May’s failure, just as Mark Textor observed about the general election polls.

The latest YouGov poll is also interesting because of what it reveals on the Labour selectorate’s impressions of the candidates.

Only a minority view Jeremy Corbyn as competent – 38% – compared to 53% for Andy Burnham and 61% for Yvette Cooper. He is also seen as the candidate most likely to lead Labour to defeat at the next election 29% versus 12% each for Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper.

If the outcome that party members and supporters want to most avoid – the equivalent to a Labour-SNP coalition for general election voters – is a Conservative government, Corbyn’s headline support will likely be masking shy Burnhams, Coopers and maybe even Kendalls, similar to those Labour supporting poll respondents at the election who quietly voted Tory in the booth.

The counter to this argument is that Labour’s voters are sceptical about the capability of any of the candidates to win the next general election and given such a poor choice, Corbyn at least offers a the prospect of a loss without compromising on principle.

There is evidence in the YouGov poll to back this up. Corbyn and Burnham are tied on a poor 26% as the candidates seen as most likely to win an election with Cooper on 21% and Kendall on 7%.

However, while a proportion of pre-election members will feel like this, it does not approximate the voting calculus for most new joiners.

Since the election, Labour’s leadership selectorate has grown by over 400,000, tripling in size.

For these new recruits to be Corbynistas, they must either believe that Jeremy Corbyn is Labour’s best chance of power or they do not care about winning elections (otherwise why join an electorally doomed party that only has leadership candidates who will lose) and want their hard left champion in charge of a mainstream party.

Either way, they would have to be from the far left of British politics. But the numbers signing-up to Labour simply do not tally with some basic facts about the British left.

According to the House of Commons Library’s most recent analysis of the membership of major non-party campaigns, the People’s Assembly Against Austerity has 40,000 people on their mailing list.

The Stop The War movement has 53 groups across a country where there are 650 constituencies. CND is down to roughly 30,000 members and the Socialist Workers Party membership is measured in the dozens.

The total membership of the Green party is just over 60,000 and a grand total of 36,368 people voted for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) at the election.

Every single participant in these groups could join Labour and even assuming a member of one group was not part of any other or already a member of Labour (which stretches credibility), they would still be a lot less than half of Labour’s post-election influx.

Among the unions, Unite might have attracted tens of thousands of members to become affiliates, but their recruitment operation has extended considerably beyond their activist core into the wider membership – a membership where over a quarter voted Conservative in 2010.

Late last week Ben Bradshaw tweeted his local party’s analysis of its new registered supporters.

 


10% of new supporters being committed opponents to Labour isn’t great but the analysis suggests that 90% are either potential switchers or already sympathetic.

These figures do not tell a tale of a takeover of Labour by the best part of half a million hardcore leftists. Enough new and returning left-wingers to pack out Corbyn rallies? Yes. To turn Labour into Syriza? No.

Instead, Labour’s new members, affiliates and registered supporters will largely be people who woke up on May 8th and for the first time in 23 years found that the Conservatives had won a majority.

The shock of the result after the polls pointed to a Labour victory, the return of untrammelled Tory rule and the opportunity to vote in the Labour party leadership election has prompted hundreds of thousands of people to get involved.

This combination of polls which are too generous to Corbyn and new recruits who are more mainstream than assumed, fundamentally changes the doomsday scenario that most centrists think they are facing.

The bulk of Labour’s new voters do care about electability and Corbyn’s seemingly unassailable poll lead is soft.

Taking YouGovs latest figures, if just over 1 in 4 of his vote opt for other candidates in the first round (because respondents used the poll to protest, inflating the headline rating and genuine sympathisers switch because of electability concerns), Corbyn’s vote falls to the low 40s from where he would struggle to pick up the second preferences needed to pass 50%.

Looking back to YouGovs last poll of the 2010 Labour leadership election, there is evidence that the vote for the most left-wing candidate was over-stated by this type of margin. Diane Abbot was projected to get 11% among members whereas she achieved 7% – the poll over-estimated her vote by a shade more than a third.

If the polling position in the campaign is that Corbyn is actually in the mid to high forties at the moment, as some of the campaigns believe, based on their canvass returns, then he will be beaten soundly once the protest voters and electability worriers have switched.

A few weeks ago, I predicted Corbyn would finish fourth. That won’t happen. Too much has changed and his campaign momentum will carry through into the vote.

But he will not win.

Atul Hatwal is editor of Uncut


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54 Responses to “Ignore Twitter. Forget the polls. Corbyn’s not going to win”

  1. John. reid says:

    Jesus, Atul I like you a lot, and have nightmares of Corbyn winning, but… These articles are embaressing, I hope you’re right ,I don’t know, but I have to accept aloof newto the party members back him they’re keen, they dint realize he’ll be a electoral disaster or dint care if it turns out they were wrong and he does become it,
    Yes Ben Bradshaw points out a lot of non members who are t really labour are registered and Ben can prove that these irregularities could be weeded out if He becomes deputy,

    But we’ll gave to accept that ,volunteers ,who are willing to follow but dint understand the party, are in the party and many want Jeremy,so we’ll gave to work with them, they’re not all, just paying to vote they’re prepared to canvass

  2. Most of this country’s very left-wing people have always voted Labour, which has made it difficult to assess how many there were. Like most voters for any party, they have tended not to be members of it. But that the Corbyn candidacy might have galvanised them is more than credible. How many members of the Green Party there are, or how many people voted for TUSC in the few places where it stood, has nothing to do with anything.

  3. Chris says:

    An interesting piece, though I disagree with the conclusions.

    I also think it is possible that Corbyn may not win, but unlike you I suspect it will be far more likely to be foul play by the establishment in that event.

    And if he doesn’t, I worry for the those many people who joined Labour since the election.

  4. paul barker says:

    Well if Atul turns out to be right, he will deserve to be listened to as a sage in future, it will be him & Stephen Tall against everyone else.
    However, how does he explain the shift in CLP nominations from 35% or so for Corbyn at the start to 55% by the last few days ? The obvious explanation is that The Left had a reservoir of passive support which only got involved when they saw that they might win.
    Atul is right about the small numbers in “Hard-Left” groups but you have to remember that lots of people pass through such groups. I remember estimates by The SWP that on average, members left after 18 months. Even with only 1,000 members at any one time, The SWP might have 30,000 ex-members, mostly still sympathetic. When you add in wider campaigns like CND you could probably multiply those figures by 20. All those Stalinists & Trots, beavering away over the last half-century have left a big residue of of passive semi-Marxists, open to being drawn in by something big, perhaps this is it.

  5. Stephen W says:

    A heroic attempt to maintain hope.

    BUT

    The polls at the GE were out by about 3% Lab -> Tory. Once 2nd prefs are reallocated Corbyn was winning in the YouGov poll by more than 20%.

    This would not be the equivalent of getting the GE result after those opinion polls, it would be the equivalent of UKIP topping the election after those opinion polls.

    You’re hoping Corbyn loses 1/3 of his vote compared to the polls. It’s possible but my goodness, it’s a long shot.

  6. Tafia says:

    Atul, you lost all credibility on this weeks ago when you said he would finish fourth.

    Now you have flip-floped to ‘he won;t win’

    The reality is either he or Burnham will win – and it’s probably going to be him and it will probably be in the first round. Cooper has been shown up for the lightweight she is and Kendall didn’t even get that far (Blair’s endorsemnet for her finishing her before she even started.).

    If I were you I would shut up about this you just make yourself look more and more a halfwit as time goes on.

  7. Lee says:

    An analysis that rests on a number of shaky assumptions. Firstly, I’m not convinced that a politicised Labour selectorate and largely apolitical general electorate can be easily compared, so your point about poll respondents registering a protest vote for Corbyn is doubtful in my view.

    Secondly, for many people this vote is not about the next prime minister, it’s about electing a leader of the opposition. There is a widespread perception that Labour has lost the will and the ability to oppose the Tories; Corbyn is seen by large numbers of people to be the antidote to this problem. Rightly or wrongly, for many the people the next GE seems a long way away.

    Thirdly, and, I think, most importantly: you are utterly mistaken to assume that Corbyn’s supporters perceive either Corbyn or themselves as “hard left”. I appreciate this evidence is anecdotal, however I will offer it up and you can make of it what you will. Most of the people I know who are voting for Corbyn are not obsessively political at all. I am talking about teachers, accountants, architects, engineers, academics, a chemist. Several of them would not even call themselves socialists. I know someone who used to vote Conservative, or occasionally Lib Dem. He hates the usual anti-Tory rhetoric of the left: “vermin”, “scum”, “IDS eats disabled babies” etc. However, he has drifted to Labour recently and has a vote. He’s voting for Corbyn; Liz Kendall attracts his scorn. His profession is private tax accountant – a field that is hardly a hotbed of socialism! I started out as a probable Cooper supporter. She’s done nothing to persuade me to vote for her and so I have switched to Corbyn, even though I think some of his policies are questionable. Perhaps my experience is atypical – but judging from the countless conversations I have had about this subject, I would suggest not. I would argue that you – and many other commentators like you – are underestimating the hunger for change from the “neoliberal consensus”. Most people who have that hunger would probably never use the phrase “neoliberal consensus” and are not necessarily that politically engaged, in the sense of being energetic activists, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t sick of business as usual and want to act in a small way to move the centre of politics leftwards.

    I am not arguing that Corbyn is our saviour. His leadership may well prove to be disastrous. I am merely arguing that you assessment is wrong and that Corbyn is going to win handsomely. We’ll know soon enough.

  8. David Walker says:

    Atul, will you stake your journalistic reputation on this one?

    Right now you can lay Corbyn at (on Betfair) 1.37 for £116, 1.38 for £2131, 1.39 for £4404 and the whole darn farm on anything higher. If you are so sure about Corbyn’s impending failure, I suggest you take all bets with whatever funds Labour-Uncut can muster.

    I know from bitter experience just how depressing it can be, logging into the Google Adsense account every day and seeing just how little the past 24 hours have yielded in terms of revenue. This opportunity looks too good for your organisation to pass-up.

    If you are hesitating, how about at least promising no more cast-iron predictions if you proved to be wrong?

  9. Adam Gray says:

    Has Exeter Labour Party canvassed 100% of its electorate? No. It’s probably got a 40-50% contact rate as most marginal seats do. So just because 10% of joiners are known antis doesn’t mean the remaining 90% are Labour loyalists. And as plenty of those I’d call antis probably canvass as Labour while actually being howl-at-the-moon, forgotten-to-take-their-prozac loony lefties that 90% is still suspect.

    Let’s not fall for the gullible Angela Eagle nonsense that it’s a FANTASTIC thing that Labour is being exposed to mass entryism of the sort an MP representing Merseyside of all places should be far more guarded about.

    The vast majority of those joining are intent on dragging Labour from where it needs to be – and it really doesn’t matter whether they’re soppy liberal luvvies Ed Miliband bumped into on Hampstead Heath, Green naifs in maroon cords and sandals with ridiculous hemp bags, lank-haired middle class student twats with their Che Guevara t-shirts and Keffiyas, or the so-sour-they-curdle-milk hard left some of us helped boot out or marginalise last time round: they’re unfit to belong to The Labour Party.

    And that’s why you’re wrong, Atul.

  10. This sounds a little like whistling in the dark.
    Labour’s pursuit of the largely illusory middle ground and its embrace of neo liberal ideology has so eroded it residual working class support (and alienated the progressive middle class) that it barely exists in many parts of the country.

    Until Corbyn.

    Andrew Murray made the very powerful point last year (in his brutal demolition of Left Unity’s conceits) that to the left of Labour there existed …Labour.

    Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has mobilised two significant groups of people – those who have dropped out of Labour or lapsed into passivity and a new generation who now find a political project that they can relate too.

    https://21centurymanifesto.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1663&action=edit

  11. @Atwul

    You shouldn’t tell anyone about it if you know JC is going to lose. Just back all the other candidates and clean up big time!

    If everyone else knows they’ll do the same and the odds will worsen. Its still worth doing now though. Andy Burnham is 4-1, Yvette Corby is 9-1 and Liz is 100-1.

    You can’t lose by backing all 3 ! Your stake needs to be in inverse proportion to the odds.

  12. Chris says:

    I think you’re on to something Atul and that has also informed by betting. At the end of the day, I think a lot of Corbyn supporters will balk. I remember reading your column just before the general election and you were skeptical of a Labour victory based on what your sources were reporting from the ground regarding early voting. You were right then and I think you might be right again.

  13. David Walker says:

    Last night, Corbyn was in Ealing. He had to speak 3 times. First to those on the street who couldn’t even get into the building, then to a packed overflow room and finally to the main hall where a huge crowd had been packed in like sardines. I just hope he doesn’t make himself ill. I’m barely half his age and couldn’t have grafted anywhere near as hard as he has, over the past couple of months.

    Meanwhile, Burnham reinvented himself again in front of maybe 200 party nonentities, who had been bussed in from all over the region. None of them really wanted to be there, but they all had their careers to think about. The modern Labour Party is just a corpse that refuses even to twitch.

    It’s time for Labour-Uncut to admit that it has just failed to appreciate what has been going on in the last couple of months. Something truly exciting is happening and it deserves your support. The fight has only just begun.

    The other 3 candidates are despicable, but no more so than the rest of the political establishment (regardless of what party they belong to). If any of the 3 led Labour to victory, life would remain the same for the vast majority of us. They won’t come close to winning anyway and you know it.

    Get behind Corbyn and fight for what you (we) really want, rather than what you think Labour can get away with. A moment like this may never come again, in our lifetimes.

  14. Historyintime says:

    I would have agreed three weeks ago but the momentum since then is far too big. Not helped by the limp and timid non left candidates, except Liz Kendall who is as mad as JC in her own way. Where is today’s Dennis Healy, Roy Jenkins, Tony C etc? People with a bit of grit and punch.

  15. A few weeks ago, I predicted Corbyn would finish fourth. That won’t happen.

    Well it’s hard to base anything on Atul’s predictions after he got this one so wrong, but at the very beginning of the Corbyn camaign I would probably agreed. Unfortunately Atul made his after the polls were already showing his candidate, Liz Kendall, coming in last.

    So let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say this latest prediction could be right. The question Atul has to think about what these voters contacted by the pollsters were protesting about. I won’t go into the second reason Atul gave for mistrusting the polling because I didn’t really get what he was saying. I’m not sure that he did either. Still back to this phantom protest polling. Seems to me that the protest was against what New Labour, Brownite, Blairite, whatever was offering the party in the leadership contest. It looked from the beginning, and proved to be through the campaign so far, pretty well uninspiring and to be honest just very poor.

  16. Mike Stallard says:

    According to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, this is the loneliest society there has ever been. Race died at Belsen. Nationalism died at the Somme. Christianity is dying before our very eyes. Her Majesty the Queen and Royal family are just Celebs. Parliament has lost its power to distant, anonymous, secret Belgium. The extended family and lifelong marriage with more than 2 children is a laugh. Conservative and Labour Parties no longer represent us because they are run by and for professionals. We are just a mass of individuals on our phones and in our bedrooms.
    So we turn to Nigel Farage, the Greens, the SNP, Jeremy Corbin for identity,desperately seeking some group to which we can give our loyalty.
    And that means that he is with a very good chance.

  17. Madasafish says:

    Mike Stallard

    So we turn to Nigel Farage, the Greens, the SNP, Jeremy Corbin for identity,desperately seeking some group to which we can give our loyalty.
    And that means that he is with a very good chance.

    Good chance of what exactly?

    UKIP, the Greens, the SNP have how many seats in England and Wales? Four.. ? Three? Two.. yes two..

    And the SNP have 56 – all in Scotland.

    Farage is so popular he has not won any seat in the House of Commons after seven attempts in twenty one years..

    So I assume what you mean is that Corbyn is going to flop in England.. I agree.

  18. Rob says:

    Assuming that the polls have been shifted by protest, who’s to say this protest won’t extend to the election itself. We only need to look to Scotland to see this is a possibility.

    I think this is a poor article, overall. Political predictions rarely work out and, according to a fair body of research (Philip Tetlock is a good place to start), the predictors themselves don’t learn from their own mistakes. Good to see Atul confirming these conclusions.

  19. tim says:

    @ David Walker
    Interesting post-it’s so hard to know what’s going on nowadays as news is so carefully stage managed it’s basically PR. If Corbyn is getting these numbers then it’s vital to see that reflected when and where it counts at the Labour leadership elections.

    And I suppose that is what the article is alluding to. Will it be reflected?

    I’m no Labour fan (I think all political parties are corrupt), but Corbyn seems to be an attempt to actually offer something different, rather than American style ‘least worst’ style of voting which basically means there is no choice as all you do is go after the swing voter occupying the middle ground.

  20. tim says:

    @Madasafish
    R.e. your SNP/UKIP Mps comment, the fact is that UKIP received 12.7% of the vote and won 1 seat. The SNP polled less than 4.7% and won over 50 seats.
    So all those complaining on the LAbour side that FPTP isn’t fair as the Tories have no popular mandate etcetc no doubt agree that this is a travesty?

  21. David Walker says:

    Vintage Jezza, savaging the Tories since Frankie said Relax! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZsYvkTw4Rg

  22. John P Reid says:

    David Lindsay,if there are these so called far lefties in labour who only vote labour because TUSC doesn’t put enough candidates, they know under FPTP that only 150 constituencies matter in aleecetion I refuse to believe they live in Britsol Essex ,Kent all the marginals , the fact is if these peel existed they’d abstain if there wasn’t a suitable left wing alternative

  23. Tafia says:

    TomR.e. your SNP/UKIP Mps comment, the fact is that UKIP received 12.7% of the vote and won 1 seat. The SNP polled less than 4.7% and won over 50 seats.

    Complete and utter bollocks.

    We have a Constituency-based General Election. You cannot vote for a party – you can only vote for a named candidate, and only a candidate standing in your constituency. No party got any votes at all.

    That said, candidates from the SNP onbly stood in 59 constituencies. Incidentally UKIP stood candidates in virtually all the seats in Scotland – and lost their deposit in every single one of them.

    And if you want to really see the truth, UKIPs candidates polled a lower average in the seats they stood than the SNPs candidates did by a very very long way. The average vote a UKIP candidate got was 6220. The average vote a candidate for the SNP got was 24,651. And if you look at just Scotland, the gap between an SNP candidate and a UKIP one is even bigger – the average UKIP candidate in Scotland polled less than 800.

  24. 07052015 says:

    According to tom newtun done paddy is paying out already on corbyn.

  25. John P Reid says:

    adm Gray there’s various things wring on contact rte,idea, labour go through the known voting electorate see those 30% of the public, who are registered as having not voted in a general election in over 20 years, the idea ,that these ‘entryists’ all never vote in elections over the years is daft,
    Eagle would know about entryists from having years go,helped Militant be expelled in Liverpool.i accept that coming up with a estimate of 10percent for known life long anti labour voters seems a guess ,but look at various things, Bradshaw is the most Organised Campaigner in the South of England,if not the UK, he he didn’t say that the 10 percent known antis men the other ninety percent are known pro labour

    David walker, a chance like this won’t come again, just becUse Corbyn is popular with a few thousand people in halls at the moment doesn’t mean that he’s not massively unpopular with millions of the electorate, the Labour Party is nerdy broke, the organisation side is in ruins,and few keen new lefty joiners won’t fix it,more than the thousand of expert, organizers who after years of campaigning are burnt out, it won’t just be Corbyn getting labour twenty percent of the vote in 2020 we will Never recover.

    Paul Wlker well said,
    Danny sleight, protesting against what ever ‘new Labour..was to offer’ like winning elections

  26. Historyintiime says:

    He’s going to win by a mile. And then what??

  27. David Walker says:

    John, your suggesting that Corbyn would do massively worse than Foot. Corbyn has popular appeal and respect, while Foot was a comical figure. Even his allies knew he wasn’t up to the job.

    Foot was up against Thatcher, a figure who towers over Cameron even in death. That election came off the back of the Falklands War. There was no internet, back then, just an immensely powerful Fleet Street.

    Corbyn will destroy the Greens and do serious damage to both UKIP and the SNP.

    He gives Labour a fighting chance, but only if the party wakes up, admits its mistakes and gets behind him. I don’t think you appreciate just how much New Labour is loathed.

    The public hate the people involved far more than they do the Tories. At least you know where you stand with them and who they are going to stick up for.

  28. Henrik says:

    @David Walker:

    “At least you know where you stand with them and who they are going to stick up for.” – yeah, Hezbollah, Hamas, Hugo Chavez, the IRA and anyone who hates Jews, er, Zionists. That’s your JC right there.

  29. Tafia says:

    Henrik, It may have escaped your notice but the IRA are now part of the UK government following peace talks that started with the tories.

    Hamas and Hezbollah are now given aid and intelligence by the UK and other western powers (and Israel) as they are integral in the fight against Daesh.

    Not all Zionists are jews, most jews are not zionist. In fact not all Zionists are even Israeli and most Israelis are not zionist. Which then takes you neatly back to the IRA. Most of the people involved in the founding of and then ruling of Israel were members of the Haganah – a terrorist organisation happily killing British soldiers and British police officers on secondment to Palestine. You can’t have it both ways.

  30. Madasafish says:

    David Walker says:
    Corbyn will destroy the Greens and do serious damage to both UKIP and the SNP…….The public hate the people involved (New Labour) far more than they do the Tories. At least you know where you stand with them and who they are going to stick up for.

    An assertion. Only provable by public polling.

    How about this?
    A poll by ORB for The Independent suggests that voters think Labour has gone backwards since its crushing defeat under Ed Miliband. Only 24 per cent of people believe the party is more electable than it was in May, while 76 per cent say it is less electable.

    The gloomy findings came as an analysis by the Labour-affiliated Fabian Society found that the party must broaden its appeal to people who voted Conservative in May to have any chance of returning to office at the next election.

    It dismisses the idea, favoured by some on Labour’s left, that the party should target Green and Liberal Democrat voters – a course likely to be pursued if Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing candidate who is making the running in the Labour leadership election, wins the contest”

    http://tinyurl.com/ohvw6zy

    I am afraid my or your or anyone’s persoanl views as to what people think are NOT a guide to what people think.. After all, if you are a known Corbyn supporter, how many people have stopped you and said “Corbyn is rubbish ” to your face? Most are likely to be rather more polite.. say one thing and think and do another .. (see the General Election)

  31. Owain says:

    Surely the huge support for Corbyn across the only measurables we have before the election – attendance at rallies, activity and followers on social media channels and early polling, seems to indicate that he is far ahead of the other candidates.

    As such it seems a bit of a risk to claim the assumption that ‘Labour’s new recruits have been drawn in because of him and his agenda.’ is Wrong, as there is no proof either way.

    But it does seem at least sensible to suggest that Corbyn has motivated far more people than any of the other candidates, or even either of the two main candidates from the previous leadership race.

    I also never understand the idea that 1. Corbyn is unelectable and 2. People who vote for him don’t care about winning.

    Personally I see him as the only candidate with a chance of winning, the others are party of a Blairite school of thought that has overseen 2 election defeats (crushing ones), seen 4.5m voters defect since 1997, and disillusioned so many of it’s voters that they’ve lost all of Scotland, lost large parts of Wales, and seen a surges in popularity for the Greens, UKIP, Lib Dems and SNP. All the while the Conservatives popularity has only risen 600k between 2010 and 2015.

    Surely anyone can see that winning back those 600k won’t help Labour win, especially if they can’t stem the numbers defecting from the party?

    And no one seems to have provided an answer to the question that if a voter wants right wing policies, why would they vote for Labour’s ‘watered down version’ of Tory-lite policies when they can vote Tory and get the real thing? This policy barely worked in 2006, it didn’t work in 2010 and definitely didn’t work in 2015.

  32. Owain says:

    Henrik – when has JC said he hates Jews? This is a very weird lie, and quite harmful and nasty attack.

    Didn’t Blair follow Corbyn’s suggestions in the end and negotiate with the IRA to bring about peace (or a version of it) to Northern Ireland.

    What isn’t sensible about saying to bring about a lasting peace you need to involve all parties in a conflict? Hasn’t history shown us that if you force decisions on countries and groups then all you get is more trouble?

  33. Tafia says:

    And now Henrik, we learn that Blair has had two meetings with Hamas in the last couple of weeks alone. He met Khaled Meshaal the leader of Hamas in Doha, Qatar and before each meeting he met with Netanyahu – the same Netanyahu that sanctioned a Mossad assasination attempt on him way back in the 90’s..

    Bearing in mind also that Blair is no longer Middle East peace envoy, his involvement along with his visits to Netanyahu suggest something big is in the off-ing.

  34. Ryland1 says:

    what about the over 350 people who have signed up for a vote in my CLP? The number are astonishing bearing in mind we only had 40 odd new members between 2010 and 2015 GE. I cant see how he can possibly NOT win.. I have spoken to a large number of these people ( CLP Sec) welcoming them to the Party etc. I would be surprised if more than 50 of these people are voting for the other candidates. only question may well be does he win on first ballot with out the need for 2nd preferences

  35. paul barker says:

    This looks to me like “Denial, the 1st stage of Grief”. Clearly Burnham now accepts that Corbyn will win – he now seems to be campaigning for a job in the new shadow cabinet.
    Labour moderates/centrists would be better off thinking about what to do after September 12th. Cooper & Kendall seem to be preparing for a long campaign of attrition & undermining the new leader. I would question whether that is a democratic response to losing an election.

  36. Brad says:

    Wishful thinking, I’m afraid.

    He’s won it, and Labour is finished.

  37. john P reid says:

    David Walker my parents voted labour in 1983, on one side they knew Foot wasn’t going to win so they were prepared to back him even though they disagreed with hi spolices and secondly they voted Labour as they always had done.

    regarding thatcher, yes she was powerful because she had powerful enemies as friends Scargill hatton etc, but too change the post war consensus in 1983 was thought of as unpopular, yet she was seen a a decisive leader,

    the Internet won’t have any effect on the next election like it didn’t his one, the turnout in 1983 was 72.5% and this year it was 66.7% and they were some of the lowest and highest repsectively of their time.

    in the late 70’ssome were saying it won’t matter if we lose in 79 we can have a few years in opostiton to regroup for 1983, yet despite the new meembers as Jon cruddas said the members are burnt out,even the new ones don’t know how to organise yet,

    if you thin Corbyn will do damage to Ukip I haven’t seen it
    the people didn’t like or Hate thathcer they respected her though and

    Owain Corbyn never said negociate with the IRA he said give in, let them get a united Ireland despite that’s not what the People their want, and welcoming people with open arms is negotiating them,it’s Appeasing them

  38. Henrik says:

    @Tafia: To be pedantic, folk who are likely to have been in the IRA in their time are members of a devolved government inside the UK. Doesn’t mean that JC, together with such luminaries as Jeremy Hardy, wasn’t cuddling up to them, notably a few days after the murder of Guardsman Daniel Blinco. I was privileged to have some insight into the peace process, which led to the GFA and which was the result of a 30-year strategy; much credit to John Hume – and even Gerry Adams – for helping kick off the process, much credit to John Major for making it happen, reluctant credit to Tony Blair for helping finish it off and a great deal of disrespect for Mo Mowlam who did so much to delay and upset the process post-GFA. The good guys won by finally convincing the bad guys that politics would get them where the armed struggle wouldn’t. While the armed struggle was going on and British soldiers, policemen – and ordinary citizens – were being killed, it’s somehow distasteful for an MP to get close to the perpetrators and to suggest direct moral equivalence between Rifleman Fucknuts or Constable O’Range and a PIRA Volunteer.

    @All: There’s a persistent and vile strain of anti-Semitism and sympathy for extreme Islamic thought in Labour. The anti-Semitism is usually conveyed in code: anti-Zionism, anti-Israeli-ism and so on, but the mask sometimes slips and the real meaning comes out, with not-very-well-coded references to the international conspiracy of the Joos and their alleged influence on, variously, the White House, the Bilderberg Group and Buckingham Palace.

    I will grant you the remote possibility that JC isn’t a direct supporter of the enemies of our land, I’ll even grant you the even more remote possibility that he, himself, doesn’t espouse the viler views of many of the folk whom he clasps to his bosom.

    Actually, I don’t much care, I’m not going to vote for him (well, not after my votes for him as leader of the Labour Party are counted), but I think it’s a terrible shame that HM Opposition are going to turn into a hugely entertaining but politically irrelevant sideshow if (when) he wins.

  39. Simon McKeown says:

    This is hilariously badly written nonsense. Within the first few paragraphs you say polls are worthless, except it seems when you use the YouGov poll to assert JC’s lack of electoral appeal. Then you’re quite happy to believe the polls. You declare that new members supporting Corbyn must by definition believe that not winning is an electoral reality.

    What hilariously ignorant arrogance. If JC wins, I seriously suggest you quit your role on this blog as you will have shown how fabulously out of touch with Labour politics you are and how unqualified you are to comment

  40. Debra Kidd says:

    “seething hotbed of radical ideologues” was where you make an error. The majority of Corbyn supporters are not seething. They’re not radical. They’re not ideologues. They like a man who claims few expenses. Who gets the bus home. Who thinks it’s unfair that in a world where students are leaving university with £50,000 worth of debt, they can only find work that didn’t require a degree in the first place. That worry that those same students – their children – will never be able to afford a home. They think perhaps we’d be better off spending money on public services than nuclear weapons. And that perhaps experience does count for something. They are tired of people making laws whose only qualification seems to be that they went to Oxbridge – not even to study Law. They are tired of the shades of magnolia in the current party who can’t and won’t oppose devastating cuts to the pockets of disabled young people and hard working families. These are not the concerns of radicals, but of ordinary people.

  41. Tafia says:

    Henrik. I served 22 years in the Infantry. My regiment suffered one of the worst terrorist atrocities of the campaign. 17 dead of which we lost 11 soldiers, 8 badged to my regiment, 5 of them friends of mine. If it takes accommodating the PIRA and others in order to put a stop to it then that is the correct thing to do.

    Distasteful without any doubt at all. But it is a necessary and pragmatic reality and that’s all there is to it.

  42. Henrik says:

    @Tafia: I did my 22 in green as well (and many of them over the water) and I still completely get the need for the process – I find it equally distasteful to see some folk walking around gaily, but recognise the need (and, actually, grudgingly, have to admit that some people – Adams, McGuinness, Kelly, for example, while no friends of ours, still, are actually making a pretty good job of doing politics). Read what I wrote above – my beef isn’t with the process, it’s with JC snuggling up to the ‘Ra at a sensitive time with, no doubt, good intentions, but no favourable result except for a great headline in An Phoblacht.

    That doesn’t conflict with my equal distaste for seeing an MP leaping happily on to any cause which could conceivably be represented as being opposed to “the wicked British Establishment”. I grant you he may be naive and unworldly, but, by Christ, he’s had some unusual friends and appeared on some unusual platforms over the years.

    I find it refreshing that the sanctimonious, naive lefty who’s never really been under any particular scrutiny during a long and not that impressive Parliamentary career is now coming under a bit of a microscope – and hilarious that his tribe of assorted tankies, fellow travellers, starry-eyed naive enthusiasts are objecting so strongly to the process. Big boys’ game, big boys’ rules. Lenin had a useful term for the likes of JC.

  43. Tafia says:

    And one day, whether you like it or not, we will be sat at a negotiation table with Daesh and the Caliphate.

  44. John P Reid says:

    Henrik above comment, not about the troubles the other bits, was brilliant.

  45. Josh says:

    So you initially rubbished the poll and then used the poll. Ok, that makes sense. I don’t know why you’re still sticking to your guns. It’s not hard to notice how many people attending Corbyn’s speeches, and compare to other candidates, a lot less number of people turning up. They’re falling apart with fingers pointing at each other while Corbyn is campaigning what a candidate supposed to be doing.

  46. Lamia says:

    @ Chris

    “I also think it is possible that Corbyn may not win, but unlike you I suspect it will be far more likely to be foul play by the establishment in that event.”

    Of course. Welcome to far left world, in which any defeat is the result of some secret conspiracy, not your own incompetence or shortcomings.

    The Tories will hope Corbyn wins the Labour leadership. If he does, his compulsive support over the years for terrorists and extremist scumbags will be used against him over and over, destroying him and damaging the Labour party very seriously. It will be negative politics, but the charges, in and of themselves, will be perfectly fair, and Labour will have brought this ignominy on themselves. There just aren’t as many people outside the far left who think that terrorists, Holocaust deniers and theocratic bigots are cool as Corbyn’s followers would like to hope.

  47. Jane Clout says:

    So many half truths and lies in the above posts. Corbyn is anti-sementic? No. Corbyn loves the IRA? No again. I wish people would do some research before swallowing whole red-top sound bites. Sigh.
    As Paul Barker said above:
    “This looks to me like “Denial, the 1st stage of Grief”. Clearly Burnham now accepts that Corbyn will win – he now seems to be campaigning for a job in the new shadow cabinet.
    Labour moderates/centrists would be better off thinking about what to do after September 12th. Cooper & Kendall seem to be preparing for a long campaign of attrition & undermining the new leader. I would question whether that is a democratic response to losing an election.”
    Spot on. Stop infighting and get ready to make the party worth voting for again. Focus group policies and sound bite rhetoric have had their day, and about time too. It’s all to play for after September 12th. Half a million new supporters? The Tories would give their eye-teeth to be in such a position.

  48. sean sweeney says:

    I think you were a little off….

  49. James says:

    Erm, LOL.

  50. andy wilson says:

    … and this week’s winner of Mastermind is…”

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