On Sky News, legendary film-maker Ken Loach responded to the general election 2017 exit poll showing a 34-seat gain for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. The exit poll smashes media predictions of a Conservative landslide. Under the poll, the Conservatives remain the biggest party, but would lose 16 seats and their majority.
The award-winning director said:
If this is true, it’s an extraordinary result for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party – starting so far back and written off. I think people have recognised an authentic man of principle. As opposed to somebody who acted like a robot…
The exit poll indicates a huge turnout among young people, underestimated in many recent opinion polls. Loach continued, laying out the challenge the Labour leader has faced in the media:
Despite the press, despite the bias within the media, he’s actually managed to connect… That’s not only a triumph for him. That’s a triumph against the media presentation of him, which has been extraordinary.
The media bias Loach speaks of has sharpened throughout the election, according to an audit by the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture. The centre at Loughborough University has been assessing media coverage throughout the general election. The findings from a month of the campaign were weighted by newspaper circulation:
Still, if the exit poll is accurate, Corbyn would have presided over a historic swing in the polls. Only on 7 June, The Independent reported that a final poll showed May was on for the “biggest Tory landslide since Thatcher”. When the election was called, polling conducted for The Guardian also showed the Conservatives were on course for a landslide.
Exit polls since 2001 have generally predicted the largest party correctly, getting seat counts right within 20 seats.
Now, based on the forecast, The Times’ provisional front page currently reads:
— The Times of London (@thetimes) June 8, 2017
The BBC‘s verdict was also scathing for the incumbent Prime Minister. Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg said May’s “high risk gamble has gone badly wrong, and she is diminished” if the exit poll is true. Daily Politics host Andrew Neil said it would be “disastrous” for the Conservatives.
Sky News Political Editor Faisal Islam speculated that, if the result is the same as the exit poll, a progressive alliance could have the same amount of seats as the Conservatives (or more). Although the Lib Dems for one have claimed they are ruling out any deal.
Ultimately, the exit poll seems like promising news for progressives across the country. If true, it represents a big victory over mainstream media propaganda, as Loach points out, and a big fightback against the politics of division and fear.
Featured image via screenshot