Fascinating analysis by The Sunday Times.
— TSE (@TSEofPB) December 7, 2019
Don’t back Corbyn critics in seats they are expected to hold & back the Corbyn supporters in the seats they are narrowly expected to lose?
There’s a fascinating story in today’s Sunday Times
Momentum, the grassroots campaign group that backs Jeremy Corbyn, proposes on its online campaign map that canvassers travel to areas whose candidates are devoted followers of the Labour leader — even when the activists live in marginal constituencies where the party could win.
The campaign group says the map allows supporters to find “events in the marginal seat that needs [them] most” by entering their postcode or location.
However, an investigation by The Sunday Times has found repeated examples where this is not the case, raising the prospect that the tool is being used to prioritise supporting candidates who are sympathetic to Corbyn over winning seats at the general election.
In Scotland, Gerard Killen, — who resigned from Labour’s front bench in 2018 over Brexit and had a majority of just 265 — appears to have been abandoned as the residents of his constituency, Rutherglen and Hamilton West, were sent to aid the Corbyn-backing Hugh Gaffney’s seat, Coatbridge Chryston and Bellshill, where Labour has a majority of 1,586.
Other pro-Corbyn candidates also appeared to be being favoured on Momentum’s map last week. Supporters in 12 different constituencies were advised to canvass for Kate Linnegar in North Swindon, where the Conservatives had a 8,335 majority. Momentum is directing its supporters to help her despite the fact a YouGov constituency poll predicts the Tories will comfortably retain the seat.
Linnegar, who promotes Momentum on social media, has come under fire for sharing a Facebook post that said the anti-semitism crisis engulfing the party was a “smear campaign”.
Campaigners living in 11 constituencies were urged to canvass for Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt in South Thanet, where the Conservatives won by 6,387 votes in 2017.
Former MPs who have previously been deemed “hostile” to Corbyn appear to have support directed away from them.
These include Mary Creagh, who had a majority of 2,176 in Wakefield, and Emma Reynolds, who had a majority of 4,587 in Wolverhampton North East. The map does not direct supporters living anywhere in the UK to help either candidate.
The Sunday Times say this maybe down to incompetence than malice but still it will influence my betting outlook in the individual constituency markets. Corbynites who are at risk might be worth backing on the back of Labour’s resources being directed towards them and backing the party best placed to defeat Labour where the candidate is a Corbyn sceptic/critic (odds permitting of course.)
The longer term implications is that if this turns story turns out to be accurate then the Parliamentary Labour party will be more like Jeremy Corbyn than it has ever been which should impact on the next Labour leadership betting, a Corbynite succeeding Jeremy Corbyn, whenever he stands down, would seem inevitable.