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Jeremy Corbyn confounds his critics: explaining the Labour party's remarkable resurgence in the 2017 election

Dorey, Peter ORCID: 2017. Jeremy Corbyn confounds his critics: explaining the Labour party's remarkable resurgence in the 2017 election. British Politics 12 (3) , pp. 308-334. 10.1057/s41293-017-0058-4

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The result of the 2017 general election was widely expected to be a foregone conclusion, namely a comfortable, probably landslide, re-election for Theresa May’s Conservative Party, and an electoral disaster for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party which would irrevocably prove the futility of campaigning on a radical Left-wing programme in Britain: it would be like 1983 all over again. Yet when the Exit Poll was announced at 22.00 on 8 June 2017, it was apparent that the election had produced one of the biggest shocks in British electoral history. The Conservatives had actually lost their previous narrow parliamentary majority, while the Labour Party had made significant and wholly unexpected advances. Most of the opinion polls had entirely failed to predict this outcome. This article examines Labour’s performance in one of the most astonishing British general elections ever, and explains how the Party confounded expectations, and stunned Corbyn’s many vociferous critics in the process. In so doing, it will examine the critical importance of the election campaign itself, the extent to which Labour voters prioritised different issues to their Conservative counterparts, the scale of Labour’s support not only among younger voters, but more surprisingly among professions in the AB socioeconomic category, and the way in which the Labour leader’s television and social media appearances seemed to counteract some of the negative press coverage he received.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN: 1746-918X
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 11:47

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