We all knew Jeremy Corbyn was going to win the Labour leadership election; what’s important now is to make sure the facts don’t get hijacked by the spin.
For example, within minutes of NEC chair Paddy Lillis announcing Mr Corbyn’s victory, right-wing tweeters were claiming that the only reason Mr Corbyn won was because he had the majority of registered supporters. This is a lie.
Out of 506,438 votes cast, Mr Corbyn received 313,209, with Owen Smith taking 193,229. That’s 61.8 per cent of the vote for Mr Corbyn and just 38.2 per cent for Mr Smith, meaning Mr Corbyn increased his mandate (from 59.5 per cent last year).
Mr Corbyn beat Mr Smith in every category of voter: He won the support of 59% of voting members, 70% of registered supporters and 60% of affiliated supporters.
The only category in which Mr Corbyn did not beat Mr Smith was Labour members who joined prior to 2015. Mr Smith took 63 per cent of them.
Among those who joined after Mr Corbyn was elected, he won 83 per cent of the vote. This should not be surprising, though. Hundreds of thousands of people have joined Labour because of Mr Corbyn’s leadership and policies.
Unfortunately, some of Mr Corbyn’s detractors were quick to attack him – on the turnout. Here’s Neil Coyle: “Seems 20% of Labour members haven’t voted. If we can’t enthuse 1/5 of our own members we may have bigger problem engaging wider electorate.”
Perhaps someone should have pointed out to Mr Coyle that turnout this year, at 77 per cent, was higher than last year (76 per cent) or 2010 (71 per cent). Also, it is hard to take him seriously when more than 130,000 members were barred from voting for no very good reason, while Mr Corbyn was outside an NEC meeting, having believed it to have been closed.
All things considered, it seems Mr Coyle’s tweet may be considered a brief resignation letter.
After the announcement, it seems other Labour MPs have been falling over themselves to announce their support for a new era of unity. For example, Corbyn critic Stephen Kinnock tweeted: “Congrats to
@jeremycorbyn – time now to unite our Party & set out a vision & agenda that can earn the trust & support of the British people.”
This was a significant change of tune from Mr Kinnock, whose father was demanding Mr Corbyn’s downfall only a few days ago. I challenged him on it: “Many people will doubt your sincerity. How will you demonstrate it?” But I have yet to receive a reply, which tells us pretty much everything we need to know.
Several of the now-former rebels have indicated they will return to the Shadow Cabinet, if asked. This Writer would strongly urge that they not be allowed to shoulder any of the current serving Shadow Cabinet members out of the way, as people like Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon and Debbie Abrahams (to name just a few) actually remained loyal to the Labour Party throughout the summer and deserve recognition for it.
In any case, it seems there are some in the PLP who are still plotting against Mr Corbyn. Look at this: “Labour MPs being told by their colleagues that they won’t get votes in future shad cab elections if they do go into the frontbench now.”
If any Labour MP runs into this kind of threat, they should name the bully publicly. Labour MPs – particularly those who opposed Mr Corbyn, have used claims of intimidation by his supporters against him and should never be allowed to get away with it themselves.
The question of deselection has reared its head again, even though it is not a matter for Mr Corbyn. Constituency Labour Parties may hold a trigger ballot to deselect their MPs if they choose. As the Tories are putting us through the upheaval of constituency boundary reorganisation, based on out-of-date voting figures, a certain amount of re-selection is to take place as it is, so perhaps it is best for those who wish to expel MPs they consider traitors to bide their time.
The future should be about hammering out good policy arguments that are coherent and attractive to the public, meaning no more ‘triangulation’ – attempting to hijack the Tories’ voters by answering Conservative policy issues. That only gives the Tories power over the national debate and shifts the focus of British politics further into the right wing.
Already, policy issues are being highlighted, including this list from David Schneider:
And Mr Corbyn himself has called for a day of action next Saturday (October 1) in opposition to the reintroduction of grammar schools and in support of comprehensive education in England.
This Writer fully supports this plan – but I live in Wales. Would anybody in a CLP on the English border fancy an extra campaigner – or several, if I can get fellow branch members to come along?
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: