Corbyn piles up nominations as first TV debate takes place

CorbynRallyLast night saw the first of six TV debates between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith. The challenger repeatedly tried to present himself as equally radical and principled as Corbyn, with phrases such as “good old-fashioned socialist policies”, and only choosing to differ his policy offer from Corbyn’s on the issue of Trident. This has been part of Owen Smith’s campaign strategy from the beginning, quietening his past as a Blair sympathiser and corporate lobbyist and overstating his socialist credentials in order to appeal to a supposed ‘soft left’ flank within Corbyn’s support. As Smith listed policies he agreed with Corbyn on, the incumbent simply quipped, “Then why did you resign?”

Smith repeatedly said he agreed with Corbyn throughout the debate, asserting “We agree on everything”, “I agree with Jeremy about all of that” and “Again, Jeremy and I are at one on this.” Whether the membership will be convinced appears unlikely, as Smith has a twenty-point deficit in the polls to reverse. One attempt to reverse that came from some of Smith’s supporters last night, as they Tweeted a ‘snap YouGov poll’ showing Smith edging out Corbyn by a point based on last night’s performance. The only problem with this, as YouGov’s own head of political research pointed out, was that the poll was entirely made-up. If you’re only giving yourself a one point lead in the polls that you make up, that may be a sign your campaign is in trouble.

Corbyn also continues to lead in the CLP nominations race. Last night, figures show Corbyn with 100 CLP nominations to Smith’s 21, around half of which were in London. Just six CLPs have switched from nominating Corbyn in 2015 to Smith in 2016, while an incredible 55 of Corbyn’s 100 CLP nominations gained so far either nominated another candidate last year, or did not nominate at all. CLP nominations proved to be a good indicator of support last year, while in 2010 David Miliband earned the most CLP nominations, and subsequently secured the most support among members.

Corbyn has also collected another significant nomination last night, that of Young Labour. Seats on the 33-member committee were largely won by Momentum-backed candidates earlier this year, so this result was to be expected. Corbyn is also still the only candidate to hold any trade union nominations, having picked up official nominations of both the CWU and UCATT, with others expected to follow.

  1. No one ever points out the party lost in an election even the winner had expected to loose.
    Possibly he was expecting the reception his Chancellor received when presenting the medals at the Olympics to have some bearing on the outcome. That the Laour party managed to forget how the people felt toward the Conservative party when attempting to present itself as an alternative to the Conservtive Party, but only just, remains hidden.
    Fighting for the few people who voted Conservative last time is always going to be unproductive, there is always the real thing to vote for.
    As for whatshisname, he is begining to look more crazy by the minute. As each debate passes he must appear less and less relevant. No one argues about Trident, no one cares.

  2. The other repeated mantra of Smith of course, was something like: ‘but Jeremy we need to win, for this to happen; Jeremy, ‘but we are not winning’; ‘We need to win power, Jeremy’. Besides being in common with Progress’ mission statements and changes to the Labour Party’s mission, this taps into frustrations about not doing better without actually saying anything about what specific contributions the (contrived) earnest manner and ‘Bank manager’ stereotype projection brings to the table.

    Unless I am missing something, I cannot grasp how giving constant emphasis to a Labour failure contributes to a winning strategy. It can surely only serve a purpose if you are going for the long haul. I find it hard to believe that Owen Smith would be a happy man if Corbyn was projecting electorate support. To me he doesn’t seem to want to be happy. He has in common with Owen Jones, just frustration, at not being able visualising an electoral breakthrough. I agree with arguments about the need for the Shadow Cabinet to develop coherent policy and a strategy for the next four years plus a possible year following electoral success. But what can you do about feelings of frustration? I would suggest that this is where Corbyn’s optimistic disposition wins so much support amongst the newer politically engaged on the margins of organisation, e.g. Momentum. But can others in the newer Shadow Cabinet add to the policy and strategy?

    Community Union (the Executive that is) has now of course come out in favour of Smith, I wonder what can be done with Right Wing trade unionism! Maybe this amounts to the chipping away that forms the Right’s alternative strategy, i.e. to lay the basis for a further election attempt after several more years of frustration in political advance. This will require more than Corbyn’s optimism. I would suggest that Corbyn will not change in most respects over these next four years – he will be the same for good and bad in four years as he is now. We have been tied to a model of, ‘await the leader’. I must admit to never quite getting this idea of ‘a leader’, it is more of a disposition than a position. But I do now see the beginnings of an alternative in the form of high performing and high contributing Shadow Cabinet. We need the ‘President’ plus a cohesive and strongly performing team. For me there are early signs of this. Maybe, allowing space for the breadth of the opposition was wrong, for once. As a for instance, except for the appearance of seeming revengeful, do we really need the ‘Owen Smiths’ in a new Shadow Cabinet when current members are starting to look quite impressive.

  3. Today(Saturday) Peterborough Labour Party took a vote and Owen Smith got 16%, Jeremy Corbyn 84%. I’d say that was a good indication what we thought of Owen Smith’s challenge.

  4. I am a left wing democratic socialist and I would suggest in the particular 174 CLPs our bothers and sisters should vote for left wing democratic socialist Parliamentary candidates.
    Let ideas and democracy decide.

  5. Owen Smith says we need to win then perhaps presents himself as part of the ELITE arrogantly calling for a second EC referendum (against the democratic will of the British people) and at a stroke loses 17.4m Out voters!
    He also says he would press the nuclear button- so there goes another 2m anti-war voters!
    Then he abstains on cruel Tory welfare cuts – there goes millions of low-income voters!
    And the context for the coup was the EC result but in JC’s constituency 73% voted to Remain whilst Mr Smith in his area had 56% for Out!
    Not very good at winning this Mr Smith.
    But Smith pretends to be Left to CON members that they can be Left and vote for him too.
    Smiths Masque of Pandora is slipping!

  6. There’s a fight in Corbyn in this election, hitting Smith where it hurts. No more Mr Nice Guy, Jez.

  7. Andrew Marr: The nuclear deterrent (sic) only works of course if the Prime Minister of the day is prepared to press the button and annihilate
    possibly millions of people. As Prime Minister, would you press the button under certain circumstances?

    Owen Smith: You’ve got to be prepared to say yes to that, Andrew.


    Even Theresa May was not prepared to go that far. She was only prepared to kill 100,000 people!

    • Nice. This is what UK democracy has come to. A bidding war on how many thousands or millions of innocents our leaders are prepared to slaughter.

      May and Smith have announced to the world that they are potential war criminals. The whole point of those sealed envelopes was so that you didn’t have to announce this sort of thing and cede the moral high ground to third world tyrants.

  8. Great news – Left slate for NEC sweeps board with all 6 elected.
    With court ruling saying members who joined recently should have a vote, a good day indeed.
    Although it is being appealed.
    Meanwhile has anyone found out the name of the Labour MP who as a Shadow Cabinet Minister (according to the Observer) after resigning apparently went to their ex-office and wiped the computer clean of Labour’s considered position on the Finance Bill?

  9. My constituency, Brentford & Isleworth, nominated Corbyn last night by 124 to Smith’s 64.

    Our MP, Ruth Cadbury, voted for the Parliamentary Party’s no confidence motion and claimed that this was supported by the majority of communications she received. Last night’s vote should therefore give her cause to reflect. To be fair to her she has said that though she supports Smith she will work with whichever leader is elected.