On Monday 8 May, Jeremy Corbyn was out and about on the campaign trail. And his appearance in one Tory-held town caused a bit of a storm.
A typical marginal seat?
Leamington Spa is in the constituency of Warwick and Leamington. The seat is held by Conservative Chris White, who got a 6,606 majority at the 2015 general election. An increase of 5.4% on the party’s victory in the 2010 election. But historically, the area in Warwickshire has been a prime marginal seat, with Labour only managing a majority of 266 in 2005. So everything is to play for on 8 June. And the constituency is a target seat for Labour.
With this in mind, Jeremy Corbyn showed just how marginal the seat may well be with a walkabout in the town. In a speech, he urged supporters to help out in Warwick and Leamington. Because if the party did, he said:
That’s a message to the whole country. We are strong. We are healthy. We’re in great heart. We’re going to go out there with a message. Simply put it this way: for the many, not the few!
And as social media showed, there was a large turnout for the Labour leader:
Jeremy Corbyn campaigning outside Theresa Mays Back door leamington spa turn out in force 👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/fQSQhC5LJm
— Jezwecan (@JezWeCan) May 8, 2017
"Tories out, Corbyn in!" is the chant at this pretty big Jeremy Corbyn rally in Leamington Spa. He's on his way from Worcester pic.twitter.com/OPAbkt8QEi
— Arj Singh (@singharj) May 8, 2017
— prince symrun (@Symrun) May 8, 2017
Maybe. Just maybe…
But crowds alone cannot be a barometer of Labour’s current popularity. Because while the opinion polls are still looking difficult (at best) for Labour, the party’s supporters need to be reaching as many people with Corbyn’s message as possible if the party stands any chance of victory on 8 June.
There’s something interesting about the scenes in Leamington Spa, though. If this is the groundswell of public support for Corbyn in one marginal seat, then who knows what could be achieved in others. So it’s currently ‘game on’ in the 2017 general election. And the buoyed-up Corbyn above certainly looked like he has a lot of fight left in him yet.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election. If you don’t have a national insurance number, a 5 minute phone call on 0300 200 3500 will get it sent to you in ten days.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
Featured image via screengrab