Another interesting statistic which Jeremy Corbyn supporters might want to consider is the division of support within the party membership for Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn. Members who joined in the last eighteen minths overwhelmingly support Jeremy Corbyn, but members who joined earlier than that support Owen Smith by a similar margin*. Smith is by no means a great candidate; he is weak in many areas of presentation and has made a number of media blunders, although to his credit he keeps getting out there and presenting his policies and making the case for change. This is in contrast to Jeremy Corbyn, who prefers to play more or less exclusively to his own supporters.
I’ve spoken before on here about Nigel Farage, and how he continued to appear on mainstream media and to stress his policies despite being roundly and consistently mocked and belittled, and that there is a theory that this played rather well with those whom he was trying to reach, who listened to the policies and felt a kinship with him because he was being done down by the establishment. Similarly Sadiq Khan ignored his monstering by some parts of the media during his mayoral.campaign, saying afterwards that the public wasn’t stupid and would listen to the policies, not the press stories.
This is one of the reasons I have so little respect for Jeremy Corbyn. The mainstream media is indeed dead set against him, as his supporters never tire of pointing out. But he knew this before he was elected, and if he didn’t think he could handle it he should not have put himself in the frame. And no, it’s not nice to be in a position where you are mocked and belittled, day after day, but the willingness and ability to do it is part of the skillset of being a Prime Minister. It takes courage, and it takes toughness and commitment to your cause. Owen Smith clearly has these, and is building experience in handling the media. Does Jeremy Corbyn have them? I have my doubts. Is his refusal to submit himself to trial by media a sign of cowardice, as I suspect a number of of the electorate believe, or is because he isn’t so much interested in the electorate as in his own supporters?
*Unfortunately I can’t find the citation for this offhand, but I’ll keep looking.