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To get back to the subject at hand, the possibility of a social movement sweeping the country under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Corbyn’s supporters see signs of this in every Labour victory; the election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London was claimed as a Corbyn victory, despite the fact that Khan kept Corbyn as far as he possibly could from his campaign, rarely if ever mentioned him, and never put him on any of his campaign literature. 

On the other hand, there is the evidence on the doorstep. I already wrote about the woeful turnout for a council by-election in Wandsworth. There was no sign there of a tide of Corbynmania seizing the voters with enthusiasm and there have been two articles recently on the website Labour List about by-elections for council seats in Labour’s “Northern heartlands” which have painted a similar picture. In both cases the seat had previously been held by Labour. In both cases the seat was lost, and in both cases the story on the doorsteps was that people would not vote for Jeremy Corbyn. 

True, the two articles (here and here) were written by people who are probably hostile to Corbyn, and doubtless his supporters will say that this is an exaggeration, if not an actual untruth. In the second case one of his supporters tweeted that the cause of the Labour loss, at least IHHO*, was that the winning Liberal candidate came from within the ward, whilst the other candidates did not. Not Jeremy Corbyn after all. Simples. 

But is it? If Corbyn is so popular, would the voters not vote for his candidate in any event? In the case in question Labour put forward a strong candidate; but apparently both this and the much-touted Corbyn effect which has brought so many into the party can be overturned by something as simple as putting forward a candidate who lives a bit closer. In terms of a social movement, it’s not exactly sweeping the country. 

*Third person of IMHO 😉