Some underestimate just how good a campaigner Jeremy Corbyn is and crucially he likes campaigning.
There’s been quite a lot of comment about Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour not polling well enough against the Tories to ensure he becomes Prime Minister after the next general election. But my hypothesis is that the only time we should judge Corbyn is during a general election campaign.
I’ve got this feeling those people are once again underestimating Corbyn because he’s not a conventional politician, he’s someone who enjoys campaigning in the good old fashioned pavement pounding, mass rally way as well mastering social media. Whatever the election and voting system Corbyn does better than expected, he won easily in 2015 despite the Labour party using the alternative vote system which is geared to stop candidates like him winning.
Now there’s a strong argument that there’s no way the Tories can run the next general campaign as poorly as they did in 2017, but if Corbyn wasn’t any good he wouldn’t have overseen an increase in Labour’s share of the vote and seats. It wasn’t solely down to a poor campaign by Mrs May.
Mrs May is crap at campaigning, but even when she is replaced there’s no one who appears to be a stand out campaigner out of her likely replacements. Boris Johnson can argue he fits the bill, having twice won Labour London and the EU referendum, but I think the latter role makes him to divisive to be a net positive during a general election campaign. It isn’t inconceivable that Boris loses his seat at the next election which could damage his ability to campaign effectively during the next election campaign.
There’s only three Tories who I think could match Corbyn on the campaigning front, sadly for the Tory party the time of David Cameron and Sir John Major has come and gone, whilst Ruth Davidson isn’t even an MP.
There’s an arrogance and stupidity from a lot of Tories when it comes to Jeremy Corbyn, as evidenced by the tweets below, the current vice chair for Youth of the Tory Party and the favourite to succeed Theresa May have had to apologise for their incorrect attacks on Mr Corbyn.
So inept was Mr Bradley’s attack that his tweet apologising to Mr Corbyn has become the most retweeted tweet of 2018, even outdoing any of Donald Trump’s tweets of 2018.
This level of ineptness makes it much more difficult to score effective hits on Corbyn in the future. The last general election campaign also coincided when the broadcast media had a legal obligation to be impartial, that undoubtedly helped Corbyn. Hyperbolic press stories such as the Czech spy stuff we’ve seen in recent weeks won’t dominate the airwaves during a general election campaign.
— Ben Bradley MP (@BBradley_Mans) February 24, 2018
In two of the last three general elections the pollsters have generally underestimated Labour, something that isn’t discussed nearly enough. Recently Keiran Pedley did a twitter thread on the potential of the voting intention polls be underestimating Labour, so Labour’s position is a lot more rosier than people realise if that systemic error is repeated.
If you’re not already mentally prepared for the possibility Jeremy Corbyn you should be, if around 950 voters had voted differently last June or Ruth Davidson hadn’t overseen a Tory revival in Scotland then Jeremy Corbyn would be Prime Minister today. That is some achievement considering Labour were 25% behind the Tories the weekend after Mrs May called the election.
Five weeks before the 2017 general election Labour lost nearly a net 500 councillors, yet that didn’t stop Labour making net gains on June 8th, Jeremy Corbyn knows how to perform during a general election campaign when the pressure is on.
In August 2016 I wrote that no one has become rich by underestimating Mr Corbyn, eighteen months on nothing is making me doubt the veracity of that observation
Hat-tip to AndyJS for the 950 voters figure.