22, September 2016
Jeremy Corbyn is set to be reelected as the leader of the UK’s Labour Party as polls close, his campaign says. Officials at the Corbyn campaign predicted a comfortable win for the 67-year-old despite accusations from fellow lawmakers. Corbyn, however, is predicted to gain less support than the 59.5% he managed to get in the previous round last year.
“I think it’s going to be really tough to get the 59.5% that we got last time around because of the numbers that have been prevented from voting,” shadow chancellor John McDonnell told a meeting of supporters in Clapham, south London, on Tuesday night. “Some will argue if we dip below the 59.9% that somehow Jeremy’s mandate has lessened. If we win, no matter what, his mandate is still in place.”
The election was held after the party’s national executive committee (NEC) excluded people who joined the party since January from taking part in the leadership election. “The ruling out of 130,000 members was a disgrace, to be honest, an absolute disgrace,” McDonnell said. “And the way it was done was even more disgraceful… We lost, I think, a large group of people who were Jeremy Corbyn supporters. I think never again should we allow that to happen.”
Corbyn himself sounded confident about the election results, set to be released before midday on Saturday. “We, all of us, have mounted a most incredible campaign, mobilized a lot of people and we’ve actually changed the political discourse in this country,” he said. According to Reuters, Owen Smith, the Labour lawmaker challenging Corbyn to the leadership, “looks set to lose.”