Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has confounded his critics by turning a 24 point Conservative lead in the polls into a hung parliament. His startling turnaround has already been hailed as one of Labour’s biggest victories in years.
Corbyn was laughed at by his own MPs, ridiculed by former Prime Minister David Cameron and vilified by rival Theresa May.
Since his first election to the Labour leadership in September 2015, the majority of the UK’s press has routinely dismissed the Islington North MP as unelectable, incompetent and unpatriotic.
Over the past two years he has endured a vote of no confidence, fought a successful re-election campaign, battled rebellions within his own partly and withstood embarrassing leaks to the media.
In short, Corbyn’s mettle has been tested to the limits of most politicians, and he has not been found lacking.
Now it looks like the Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition is the strongest politician in the country with a hitherto unseen momentum behind him.
A Labour source told the Guardian: “If [the] exit poll is correct, Labour has had biggest increase in popular support during campaign by any party in British political history.”
“If exit poll is correct, Labour has had biggest increase in popular support during campaign by any party in British political history.”
— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) June 8, 2017
While Labour will not win more votes than the Conservatives, it has already won 30 more than it had before the election was called.
The Tories meanwhile have lost 12 seats, a damning verdict on a snap election some Conservative supporters are belatedly calling a mistake.
Corbyn’s achievement is all the more remarkable given his perceived lack of support from the Guardian, Britain’s only left-leaning broadsheet.
Shortly after the snap election was called, Guardian acolyte Polly Toynbee warned the Labour Party faced “annihilation” and launched a scathing attack on Corbyn.
“Was ever there a more crassly inept politician than Jeremy Corbyn, whose every impulse is to make the wrong call on everything?” she asked.
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