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Socialist Labour Party Candidate Jeremy Corbyn Closes 20% Poll Gap to Deny Tories a Parliament Majority

Historic upset in UK snap election

Even two brutal terror attacks, in Manchester and then in London, failed to significantly dent Corbyn’s charge — in large part because instead of reflexively hunkering down and supporting more draconian security policies as US politicians of both parties do each time some terror attack happens or some alleged terror plot is “disrupted,” he declared that the attacks proved that “the war on terror has been a failure.” Corbyn also took the offense and denounced his opponent May who, as home secretary of the Conservatives before becoming prime minister had overseen the defunding of 22,000 ordinary police officer positions — furloughing roughly a fifth of the country’s police force. “You can’t keep people safe on the cheap,” Corbyn declared on the stump to loud cheering.

On election eve, there were basically two polls. One group of these suggested that Conservatives had rebounded following the terror attacks and that the Tories would win a historic victory, gaining a as much as a 75-seat margin compared to the 17 they’d had going into the election. Then there was one outlier poll which, instead of discounting polls showing young people were overwhelming supporting Corbyn on the theory that they wouldn't actually vote, claimed that all the mostly young people who had come out for Corbyn at his rock-concert-like rallies across the country would this time actually go to the polls on election day. This outlier poll predicted that Corbyn and Labour would end up at least denying Conservatives a victory, creating a hung parliament, or perhaps even go on to win a majority or plurality, enabling Corbyn to become prime minister.

In the end Corbyn’s newly reinvigorated Labour Party wasn't able to produce enough of a voter swing back to Labour the win outright, but he and his reshaped party did manage to deny Conservatives a majority of parliamentary seats. The Conservatives ended up losing a net 13 seats (they lost 33, many to Labour, but picked up 20, mostly from the Scottish National Party), while Labour picked up a net 30. It was the biggest come-from-behind win for Labour since Clement Attlee in 1945. It is also a huge win for Corbyn, who is now the unassailable leader of a political party that he has managed to both return to its socialist roots instead of being just a pale neoliberal imitation of the Conservatives. He also managed to restore Labour as genuine opposition party to be reckoned with instead of just a protest vote vehicle. (In terms of percentage of the vote, the two parties ended up very close at 42.4% for the Conservatives and 40.0% for Labour -- a big climb from the paltry 30.4% share Labour won in its last national electoral outing in 2015.

Corbyn, getting respect for the first time from the nation’s media, is now calling for May’s resignation and for her replacement as Prime Minister. (For a fascinating analysis of just how well Corbyn and Labour did in this election, read this piece in Counterpunch today by Jonathan Cook.)

story | by Dr. Radut