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Some Corbyn backers still not persuaded that GE2019 was the total disaster for their party that it was

February 19th, 2020

Many LAB votes on December 12th were in spite of Corbyn not for him

After GE2017 many within the Labour movement chose not to regard the outcome as a defeat but as a victory because the Tory margin was not as large as the polls had predicted. Now, two and a bit months on from GE2019 some supporters of Corbyn are Tweeting to try to show that what was the party’s worst election outcome since 1935 was not as bad s it appears.

Firstly they look for comparison to the GE2015 election defeat when EdM was leader. The disaster then was the post IndyRef surge of the SNP which saw the party taking all but three of the 59 Scottish seats. Miliband’s LAB was reduced from 41 Scottish seats to just a single MP north of the border which was the same as Corbyn’s party in December.

The big difference between GE2015 and GE2019 though was that EdM’s party had net GAINS in England & Wales of 14 seats. This compares with Corbyn’s LAB LOSING 56 English and Welsh seats

Another reason why vote share comparisons are misleading is that non-big two parties did so far worse at GE2015 because of Farage’ UKIP taking 12.9% of the vote. Last December the combined BREXIT/UKIP vote was just 2.1%.

The Corbyn fans like to attribute every single Labour vote as being backing for their man. That is nonsense of course. Many LAB voters on December 12th were like me – using my vote tactically to stop the Tories in the tightest LAB-CON marginal in the country. This was not a vote for Corbyn.

The other fact, as no doubt Jo Swinson would attest, is that increased vote shares are not an indicator of success. Her party saw a massive 57% in creased on its GE2017 GB vote share but a net loss of one seat.

Mike Smithson