Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
9 June 2017

General election 2017: Jeremy Corbyn’s job as Labour leader is safe

The Labour leader has done well enough not to face any questions about his job from the rest of his party.

By New Statesman

With only a handful of seats declared, one winner from the 2017 general election has already emerged – Jeremy Corbyn. 

The Labour leader was predicted to march his party towards a catastrophic defeat. When the election was called, Labour were double-digits behind the Conservatives in the opinion polls, and Jeremy Corbyn lagged far behind Theresa May in leadership and “best PM” ratings. 

But since then he has had an impressive campaign, addressing big rallies and coming across well in television interviews. The Labour manifesto – which had big-ticket items such as the abolition of tuition fees – was also well-received, particularly in contrast to the disastrous “dementia tax” proposed by the Conservatives. All this has re-energised Labour members and activists, who felt they had popular policies to sell on the doorstep. 

These two factors – Corbyn’s impressive campaign performance and rock-bottom expectations – mean that even a hung parliament tonight feels like a huge achievement to most people in Labour.

This is the power of narrative in politics: David Cameron gained a boost from securing an overall majority in 2015 when a hung parliament was widely expected. Theresa May, by contrast, is being judged against the 100+ Tory majority some expected when she called the election. 

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Whatever the final shakedown of seats, it will feel to members as though Labour has made significant progress since 2015 – and a vindication of their choice of Corbyn as leader. That points to one thing: Jeremy Corbyn will be neglecting his allotment a little longer, if he wants to. 

Content from our partners
How automation can help telecoms companies unlock their growth potential
The pandemic has had a scarring effect on loneliness, but we can do better
Feel confident gifting tech to your children this Christmas