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Jeremy Corbyn on the campaign trail [Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images].


Sometimes really clever people can miss the point completely.

Jeremy Corbyn didn’t win a huge vote share for Labour because he chose to visit Labour-held constituencies, while Theresa May tried to win Labour voters over to the Tories.

He won those votes because he went out to the public, while Mrs May spoke only to hand-picked members of the Tory party faithful.

It’s as simple as that.

Corbyn was a man of the people. Mrs May went nowhere near them.

A campaign visit from Jeremy Corbyn to home turf grew Labour’s vote massively – Theresa May’s election outings, home or away, had almost no effect.

Dr. Alia Middleton, a lecturer in politics at the University of Surrey, has found that a visit from Theresa May had no more effect on the Conservative share of the vote in Labour and Tory seats, than if she had not bothered to visit.

By contrast, Labour seats visited by their leader Jeremy Corbyn saw the Labour share of the vote increase by 31 per cent on average.

The prime minister spent much of her campaign attempting to win Labour voters over to the Conservatives, as well as battling a Liberal Democrat threat in the South West.

Analysis by the Guardian published on 8 June revealed that 57 per cent of May’s visits were to Labour held seats.

Only 23 of the 73 seats she visited were constituencies being defended by the Conservative Party.

Judging by Middleton’s research, the strategy does not appear to have paid off.

May’s emphasis on visiting Labour seats may have been wasted capital, and could explain the loss of Tory defensive seats where she did not spend as much time.

“I think election campaigns are too often seen as being rather pointless and a hangover from a pre-mass media age. Yet there is evidence from voters that both the national and local campaign can make a real difference, both in deciding what party to vote for and whether to vote at all. The campaign trail brings the national campaign into the local, and it doesn’t matter whether the leader is speaking about local or national issues – it is that they have taken the time to pay a visit to a seat.”

Read more: The difference between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May’s campaign outings is astonishing


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