By this time next week a large part of Labour’s selectorate will have cast their votes

By this time next week a large part of Labour’s selectorate will have cast their votes


Time is running out for the ABC (Anbody But Corbyn) campaigners

Although it will be just over a month before the result in Labour’s leadership election will be announced the ballot packs go out on Friday.

The experience of postal voting is that electors tend not to leave their ballots hanging around and fill them in very quickly. So a week today we must assume that a sizeable proportion of the selectorate will have filled in their ballots and put them into the post.

Unless today’s YouGov polling is totally wrong then it is hard to see anything other than a Corbyn victory.

In his commentary on the poll Peter Kellner made a number of points which might indicate that it is not so overwhelming for Corbyn as the number suggest. He observed:-

“Our raw data finds that slightly more people who voted in the last leadership election backed Ed Miliband rather than his brother David, even though David won more votes among individual party members. We have weighted our data to reflect the votes cast five years ago. As Ed’s supporters are far more likely than David’s to back Corbyn, this adjustment has the effect of slightly reducing Corbyn’s overall vote share. If, as some people have suggested, more of David’s supporters have left the party since 2010 than Ed’s, that slight adjustment might be wrong; Mr Corbyn’s support could be slightly higher than we think.

On the other hand, we have three times as many Guardian-reading (and heavily pro-Corbyn) party members as Mirror readers (who divide evenly between Corbyn and Burnham). Could we be exaggerating the power of the Guardianistas and missing some traditional Mirror-reading, Burnham-supporting voters? To explore whether this might affect our findings, we adjusted the data to equalise the number of Mirror and Guardian readers in Labour’s selectorate. This reduces Corbyn’s first-round support by just two points, to 51%, and raises Mr Burnham’s support to 23%…”

All of that could be correct and in the final 2010 leadership polls David Miliband was understated by some margin but nothing on the scale of what would be required with the change required from the current numbers.

Mike Smithson

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