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Were we all taken in by the apparent invincibility of Team Corbyn?

January 9th, 2020

Cast your mind back to the Monday after the general election when it became clear that Corbyn would be standing aside and that a leadership contest would be held.

On that afternoon all the money started to go on RLB as successor and she reached a 51% chance on Betfair. At the same time Starmer was struggling to be taken seriously and was in third place in the betting behind Nandy on just 10%.

It struck me seeing what has happened since that we were so mesmerised by Corbyn’s sensational victories in 2015 and the 2016 leadership race that we have have not fully taken in that the Labour selectorate has changed so much over the past four years.

The first indication of this was the YouGov LAB members’ poll last July that had 68% going to Starmer and just 34% to RLB to the question of which of the following would make good leaders?

Then, of course, there was the latest YouGov members’ poll two and a half weeks ago which had Starmer with a big lead.

There’s little doubt that over the past two years Team Corbyn has gone through a very difficult period with clashes on Brexit and of course the ongoing drip drip effect of the allegations of anti-semitism.

I wonder whether RLB herself has actually taken in that there is different environment? How else could you explain her rating this week of 10 out of 10 for Corbyn’s general election campaign?

Mike Smithson