1. More Labour members
Analysis suggests that Labour membership rose by about 10,000 during August. It now stands at 540,000. On social media, people reported joining the party in response to “dreadful bias” in the mainstream media:
…and I'm off..thanks to your truly dreadful bias and constant smears @dailytelegraph I cancelled my long-term subscription (your call centre told me I am one of many) and joined the Labour party with the money I saved. Can see why advertisers leaving & readership 19% down. pic.twitter.com/Dr43lsPJjv
— Working on a Dream (@Workingonadrea1) September 4, 2018
I’m so upset with the way the MSM just keeping going on about @jeremycorbyn. I joined the Labour Party because of the vision of society he has. I have a chronic illness my husband works full time as a bus driver. Life is tough. JC gives me hope for a better future!!
— Jacqui Bayes (@sassy_wheels) September 2, 2018
Just joined the labour party
Cant just moan anymore im gonna jump on the corbyn train and defend him against these endless slurs halftruths and outright lies #Labour
— john wilson (@johnwil27669398) September 2, 2018
Officially joined the Labour Party today. Special mention needs to go to @SkyNews ….thanks for finally tipping me over the edge. Report for the many, not the few.
— David Bly (@DJ_Bly) September 4, 2018
2. Labour gains 4% lead in latest poll
In the most recent poll, Labour has a four-point lead over May’s Conservatives:
Westminster voting intention:
LAB: 41% (+1)
CON: 37% (-1)
UKIP: 7% (+4)
LDEM: 6% (-4)
GRN: 2% (-)
via @Survation, 31 Aug – 01 Sep
Chgs. w/ 07 Jul
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 4, 2018
It’s also worth noting that Survation was the most accurate polling company during the 2017 election.
3. Corbyn supporters win clean sweep on Labour’s ruling body
Supporters of Corbyn also won a clean sweep on the National Executive Committee (NEC) on 3rd September. That is very important because the NEC controls matters vital to internal party policy. Currently, that can include who gets to run to become a Labour MP, for example. But the upcoming vote on ‘open selection’ wants to hand that power predominantly to party members. Who controls the NEC holds critical sway over such outcomes.
The smear campaign
None of this is good news for the prime minister. And the boosts for Labour come despite what director Ken Loach calls a “well-organised, relentless campaign against Corbyn”. The Labour leader has faced accusations that he’s an antisemite from Blairite MP Margaret Hodge, hard-right former chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and the group the Campaign Against Antisemitism. The latter is currently facing a Met police investigation over accusations it has incited death threats to Corbyn.
But none of them have provided any contextualised evidence that Corbyn has ever said anything antisemitic. Nor do they cite any quotes from Corbyn that you could describe as antisemitic, because the smear campaign relies on misrepresentation.
That’s not to say there aren’t genuine instances and genuine concerns about antisemitism in Labour. There are. A Jewish study into antisemitism in 2017 puts the debate into perspective. While the report from the Institute for Jewish Policy Research emphasised that antisemitism is prevalent across society, including on the left, it concluded that:
On the political spectrum, levels of antisemitism are found to be highest among the far-right
In short, what’s predominantly a cynical attempt to add weight to an anti-Corbyn coup is backfiring. Labour has an increased membership, is ahead in the polls and Corbyn has internal support from the NEC.
It seems the more the establishment smears Corbyn, the stronger he becomes. That’s beautiful to watch.
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