A strange theory is floating around that has emboldened the UK’s desperate media. Because they think it’s the factor that could sink Jeremy Corbyn on polling day.
The media’s newfound hope lies in a bizarre convergence of voters and mother nature. Because, according to a now much cited poll, Corbyn’s potential voters are less likely to vote if it’s raining. And our always-accurate weather forecasters say there will be rain on 8 June.
So, the theory goes that Corbyn isn’t going to have the turnout necessary to propel him into Number 10. Unfortunately for the media though, people shattered this premise pretty swiftly.
Pray for rain
As Corbyn continued to close the poll gap with Theresa May, The Telegraph consoled its readers by declaring “Corbyn’s election hopes could be hit by bad weather on Thursday”. Because, it said, forecasts of “persistent” rain could keep his supporters at bay.
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for every one-inch increase in rain above its election day normal, the Republican presidential candidate received approximately an extra 2.5 per cent of the vote
But, as Channel 4 pointed out, there are differences between US and UK voters. The travel distances to polling stations vary widely, as does the mode of transport to get there. This has an impact on whether rain can affect candidates’ chances. Furthermore, commentator and academic John Curtice said that the notion is “one of the most common theories of turnout but nobody has ever found evidence to back it up”.
And there’s also another very clear reason to distrust the theory.
Come hell or high water
Corbyn spoke in Birmingham on 6 June. And despite the rain, people turned up in their thousands:
— Keir Mudie (@mudiek) June 6, 2017
And it wasn’t just the people who turned up. Mother nature also rustled up a couple of rainbows to get in on the act:
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) June 6, 2017
People, of course, may show the same determination at polling stations on 8 June. And why might they do so? Because for many, the discomfort a few drops of rain would bring is nothing in comparison to the benefits they believe a Corbyn-led government will yield.
For Corbyn-supporting voters, the choice is simple. Choose to stay in your home or get a free university education. Don’t get wet or earn a £10 minimum wage. Stay dry or save the NHS. Choose shelter or reject more Tory cuts, which have been linked to 30,000 excess deaths in the UK. Avoid a few soggy moments or elect someone who’s willing to ask the “difficult questions” about foreign policy, Saudi Arabia and terrorism funding that could derail Daesh (Isis/Isil) and the messages they send out.
That’s why people turn up to these rallies regardless of the weather. And it’s why many will surely turn up and vote as well. Because they choose change. They chose hope. And they are determined to have a say in a society that has let them down for too long.
– Get out there and vote on 8 June. And encourage others to do the same.
– 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 Chatham House/Flickr
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