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The Electoral Record of Jeremy Corbyn’s Leadership: A Very Brief Summary

14 December 2019

I wrote this initially as a Twitter thread, but here it is all in one place.


  • Worst ever Scottish devolved election result
  • 2nd worst ever Welsh devolved election
  • Decline in local elections (when the main opposition normally gains)


  • Major decline in English local elections
  • Major decline in Scottish local elections
  • Slightly less large decline in Welsh local elections
    (Reminder: the main opposition at Westminster party normally gains in local elections)


  • Only a modest rise in council numbers in local elections (much less than main opposition party would normally have been expected to do)


  • Major decline in English local elections
  • Dreadful result in European elections
  • Worst general election result since 1935

The conclusion: the 2017 general election (when Labour still lost, remember – just much less badly than expected) was the outlier, not the norm.

2019 wasn’t an exception, but part of an overall dreadful election record for the party under the Jeremy Corbyn leadership.


  1. Graham Harries

    I don’t disagree – though Labour’s GB share ended up at 33.2% – compared with 29.7% under Gordon Brown in 2010 and 31.2 under Ed Milliband in 2015! It is also worth pointing out that in respect of England & Wales Labour performed worse in both 1983 and 1987. In 1987 whilst Labour did win 229 seats , 50 were from Scotland leaving just 179 in England & Wales. In 2019 Labour has 202 seats outside Scotland – excluding the Speakers seat in Chorley.

  2. Mr Rogers

    It’s probable that Corbyn was unelectable, but I’m very sceptical that a return to the centre is the answer. If centrist policies are more palatable, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will address the underlying problems in society – most namely the climate crisis, the state of the NHS and social care and the lack of home ownership amongst people under 40. The left’s attempt to appeal to these these issues may not win votes, but that doesn’t mean they can be brushed under the carpet altogether. I genuinely can’t see how a centrist liberal economic policy will address the issue of change change, just look at Macron and Trudeau. As someone under 30, I worry that the trade off of commitment to change for electability (especially with regards to climate policy) means that I may not live into old (or even middle) age, and I genuinely don’t think most people over 50 understand this – that includes you Professor Scully. It may seem alarmist, but climate scientists seem to be unambiguous on the matter – huge change must happen soon and the reality is that it won’t come from the political centre.

  3. John Ellis

    No getting away from the utter direness of the outcome for Labour this time, But my sense is that insufficient attention’s being paid to the state of the Labour party generally. You’d hardly be inspired to buy shares in a company in which a sizeable chunk of the directors repeatedly proclaim their lack of confidence oin the chief executive. So why would voters want to invest in a party when so many of its MPs make it so clear that they want to see a different leader?

  4. YoungHenry

    Mr Rogers, I’m under 30s as well but I don’t think you can look down on older generations, as if the young were not the easiest to be fooled, as if catchphrases and buzzwords we’ve heard a hundred times were worth the experience, the wisdom and the common sense of a fifty-something who knows how to spot nonsense.
    You may be interested to know that many people do not believe a word of this apocalypse propaganda, and not just on the right. Jeremy Corbyn’s own brother, Piers, is a climate skeptic. Given the climate (of hysteria), he wasn’t taken up by Jeremy. But Jeremy called for a “green +industrial+ revolution” (my stress) which was an attempt to bridge the gap between old Labour, the unions, and the Green brand of ‘progressivism’. But that has never materialized and here’s why: industrialization has never been the goal of Green agitprop.
    The IPCC was created by Mrs Thatcher in 1987, while she and others in the West were planning to ship production off to China. And off it went, we’ve lost 2 millions industrial jobs and China is now emitting 29% of all man-made CO2. But they never get the blame, do they? It’s never been about climate emergency, but about financial emergency. See how Mark Carney leads this fight. Thence the corruption, the hysteria, but also the professional skills of the movement. Of course, there is the ‘science’… like in neoliberal economics, some experts are called in to tell us: ‘there is no alternative’.
    I wish Wales doesn’t fall for this. I don’t want a green Labour, or a Green party, to mandate the building of hundreds of windmills that are producing almost no watts per hour, but many problems for the locals.
    Perhaps Corbyn’s great legacy is to have (unconsciously or not) prevented a coalition of the young, foolish, liberal, metropolitan voters, who cared about an EU that didn’t care about workers. Once we assume that losing was his goal, it gives a new color to the list of Professor Scully!

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