During the Labour leadership hustings on Thursday night, Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn clashed about the nature of the polls. Corbyn said Labour were ahead in the polls before his shadow cabinet decided to resign. But Smith countered: “I know we live in a post-truth era, but it’s not true.”
In fact, Corbyn’s Labour party was ahead in a YouGov poll from March, when the Tories were tearing themselves apart over cuts to disability benefits. But by mid-April, the Tories had regained their lead, according to this ICM poll. In June, on the eve of the EU referendum, an Ipsos Mori poll found just 19 per cent of voters saw Labour as having the best leadership team, compared to 36 per cent who preferred the Tories.
It is perhaps topical, then, that the Corbyn campaign team decided to launch a new website, Corbyn Facts, midway through the leadership debate.
“Is Jeremy Corbyn electable?” demands a headline on the homepage. Answer: “Yes he is.”
Since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in September last year, Labour has won every by-election, won key mayoral campaigns in Bristol and London, and increased its share of the vote in the local elections, matching Ed Miliband’s best result in 2012 under much less favourable conditions.
Labour is currently not doing well in the polls. This is because the party is very publicly divided. Sadly, some MPs and others opposed to Jeremy Corbyn have actively undermined not just his leadership, but the party’s credibility as a whole.
Before the recent attempt to remove Jeremy, we were neck and neck in the polls.
Jeremy Corbyn’s policies are overwhelmingly popular. Ending austerity, creating a million new jobs and building a million new homes, taking the railways into public ownership, tax justice, and reversing the privatisation of the NHS – all of these carry majority popular support.
While many of Corbyn’s supporters concerned about media bias may think this website fills a need, social media users from across the Labour spectrum couldn’t resist having a joke about #CorbynFacts.
Momentum Worthing tweeted: “In happier days, Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson once toured the nation as a UK wrestling troupe. #CorbynFacts.”
— MomentumWorthing (@MomentumWorthi1) August 11, 2016
— I was a JSA claimant (@imajsaclaimant) August 11, 2016
Jeremy stays trim by pole-dancing in his cellar using a pole donated by the Fire Brigade Union #CorbynFacts
— Sean Jones (@seanjonesqc) August 11, 2016
Meanwhile, some Corbyn critics made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion the website had been hacked, or was simply a spoof (The Staggers understands it is genuine).
— Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) August 11, 2016