Corbyn is set to do worse than Ed Miliband in his first major electoral test.
In the Sunday Times (Â£Â£)Â Â Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher have analysed the 60 local council elections since Jeremy Corbyn became leader.
The best way to measure what is happening, however, is to look at the changes in those places where a post-Corbyn by-election reprises a contest previously held on general election day earlier this year.
There are 27 such cases where Labour fielded a candidate on both occasions. They cover the two gains from the Tories, but also the two losses. Labourâ€™s share of the vote is up in eight contests but down in the other 19.
After they’ve crunched the numbers, based on what we’ve seen so far, the NESV (National Equivalent Share of the Vote) nextÂ May will be Con 32% (-1) Lab 31% (-8) LD 16% (+1) UKIP 12% (+7), the figures in brackets represents the changes since the equivalent elections in 2012. This would translate to Labour losing more than 200 of the 1,200 seats they are defending.
Rallings and Thrasher also say “Labour voters who deserted the party at the general election are starting to back the Liberal Democrats rather than Corbyn” which should bring some cheer to Tim Farron’s party and give them grounds for optimism for retaking the parliamentary seats they lost in May.
Local council elections/NESV is a very useful tool to predict the general election, as Rod Crosby demonstrated in May 2014, where he used the NESV to conclude “So it seems clear now â€“ the Tories are set to win most votes, probably most seats and have an outside, but not insignificant chance of a majority in 2015.”Â
The below tweet by Matt Singh also shows how local council elections can be useful for judging Leaders of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition.
Oppn ldrs' 1st rounds of locals:
Foot won by +3
Kinnock lost by -1 x2
— Number Cruncher Politics UK (@NCPoliticsUK) December 26, 2015
But there are other elections next May as well, The Sunday Times say because of Corbyn and his policies, donors are no longer donating, which means cuts have to be made, so for the Scottish Parliamentary elections, Labour will be spending Â£200,000, which compares to the one million pounds they spent in 2011. For those betting on the Tories finishing second in Holyrood, this is great news.
All of this matters because some in Labour will use dire results in May to try and topple Corbyn. But if this story in the Independent on Sunday is true, then the attempts to topple Corbyn may come sooner, with Corbyn reported to be planning sacking/demoting disloyal shadow cabinet ministers like Maria Eagle and Hilary Benn. Diane Abbott is the favourite to be the new shadow Foreign Secretary.
Jeremy Corbyn is intent on making 2016 as exciting and interesting for us as 2015 was.