Despite huge crowds appearing at last night’s Jeremy Corbyn rally, his support amongst local party members may be waning, Labour sources say.
About 1,500 people from Brighton and across the south east came to see Mr Corbyn in the latest of a chain of planned rallies around the country to defend his leadership against rival Owen Smith – who came to Brighton himself last month to help canvass in Whitehawk.
But initial polling by the local party of its membership shows that Mr Corbyn’s support has dropped to less than half those polled so far – with a substantial chunk of members undecided as to how they will vote.
A local Labour source said: “Initial polling of local members suggest Corbyn’s lead is not as big as many assume.”
Recent national polls also show that Corbyn is losing support amongst some of those who previously supported him, with much larger support amongst new members than older ones.
This mirrors many of his former advisers, including economic gurus Danny Blanchflower and Richard Murphy, as well as columnists Owen Jones and Zoe Williams expressing doubts over his leadership abilities.
Before his appearance at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, Mr Corbyn went out and about in middle-class Kemp Town, part of the East Brighton ward where Labour candidate Lloyd Russell-Moyle is standing in tomorrow’s by-election.
He pulled a pint at the St George’s Inn in Upper Sudeley Street (although as a teetotaller he himself drank an apple juice) and doorknocked in Sudeley Place.
Later, at the Metropole, he said: “I want to say congratulations to the Labour party and the Labour movement in Brighton for having the largest membership unit of the Labour party anywhere in the country. Six thousand members.
“And I am very concerned about the suspension of the party in Brighton. I have asked for that to be investigated and dealt with immediately.
“I want the party back in Brighton back and functioning and full democracy for everyone in Brighton as soon as possible.
“But that hasn’t stopped Brighton party members doing campaigning work and I was out this afternoon with Lloyd trying to get the votes.
“We’re getting a great response and a great reception from everybody all across East Brighton this afternoon.”
His full speech can be viewed here.
Mr Corbyn was referring to the suspension of the local party and the voiding of the election of pro-Corbyn candidates, including former Fleet Street journalist and Brighton and Hove Independent owner Greg Hadfield, who greeted Mr Corbyn on his arrival at Brighton Station earlier in the afternoon.
The elections were overturned following hotly disputed allegations of ballot irregularities and eligibility of some of the candidates, including the new chair Mark Sandell, committee member Phil Clarke and secretary Greg Hadfield.
Two Labour councillors were present at the rally – Cllr Kevin Allen spoke and criticised Hove’s Labour MP Peter Kyle for his disloyalty to Mr Corbyn, and Cllr Daniel Yates was in the audience.
Cllr Yates later said that while he was undecided, he was now swaying towards supporting Mr Smith, saying: ” I can’t really put a fag paper between them on policy and although Jeremy works at rallies I have seen that Owen’s style suits mainstream media well.
“Jeremy has certainly got the ability to motivate people in a room. But I am left wondering if there are enough people like those 1,400 in Sussex who came along tonight.
“Overall. It’s half time. And I’m 57% smith. 43% corbyn. But it’s all to play for and my idealistic side might win over my pragmatic half.”
Other Labour councillors said they had not been invited to the rally, which was organised by Momentum.
The candidate himself, Lloyd Russell-Moyle is staying neutral, saying he welcomes support from both leadership candidates in what has been one of the most scrutinised council by-elections in the city’s history:
Pleasure to have @OwenSmith_MP & @jeremycorbyn canvass with me in E.Brightion – Whoever you want as @UKLabour leader we’re united in action.
— Lloyd Russell-Moyle (@lloyd_rm) August 2, 2016
I was at the event. I am 58 . A Hove resident and a political cynic. I went to see what all the fuss was about. I left after witnessing the most honest speech I have ever listened to.
A remarkable man and the only person capable of leading labour at this moment.
Thanks for coming, I have some videos of the day on my facebook page, I was with him the whole day. Just click my name to see the videos 🙂
As a local member I am looking forward to being polled! As yet I have heard nothing from the party.
I am even OLDER than Mr D!
Isn’t it funny that Mr R-Moyle is a Progress member? And a previous Lib Dem. And told his Lewes branch he was a Lewes member, but actually now changed his mind and now he’s a Brighton Kemptown member? Progress member but supported by Momentum and previous Lib Dem. The Labour Party truly will take anyone at the moment it seems.
Corbyn gathers crowds from the obsessive and rabid Momentum kooks. I wonder, if the same people turn up to all of the Corbyn events, will new people get a chance to see him and hear him? I hear all of the 1000 tickets were snapped up, no doubt by the same mob that turn up each and every time.
Corbyn and Moyle went door knocking in the most middle class part of East Brighton did they, possibly because if they had rocked up in Whitehawk the posh gits would have been told EXACTLY where to stick their middle class nonsensical, visionless, joke of pretend socialism.
Last night was the first time I had ever attended a political rally as an adult…actually there were quite a few people I know that also turned up who had also never attended a political rally before. So it seems it’s not the ‘same old mob’ that turns up time and again. I wonder do you think the same about the crowds that turned up in Liverpool …or better still Hull, a place that hasn’t seen a political gathering on that scale in 20 years!!
While they may not have canvassed in Whitehawk yesterday, Lloyd and his team have had a regular presence in the area over the last few weeks.And there has been a good response from the area’s residents.
i was one of the mob that snapped up a ticket and it was the first time i see him speak live, we were made to wait whilst he spoke to the people that could not get in, so anyone could have come to listen to him
I am 64 and not some kind of kook. I have never been to a rally before, and neither had my daughter and her friend who came with me. I’m sick to death of comments suggesting that only nutjobs and rabid lefties support Corbyn. It simply isn’t true – there was a huge variety of different kinds of people at the rally.
The crowds are us, we are speaking, JC is the catalyst . . . One thing which seems to be happening is the media is inadvertently exposing itself, I love that JC doesn’t rise to it, the media attacks with it’s lies and tricks, he carries on with his work, the media then falls on it’s own sword, showing itself to be just part of the corporate propaganda machine along with the Tories and (apparently) much of the PLP. Whilst it is true that he does not resemble any leaders we’ve had for quite a few generations, he surely showing us all what we have been missing, I think a person with his determination and knowledge can do ten times what we expect from a standard career politician, it will involve some big change, but we either change on purpose or we find ouselves coping with the changes we have laid on us by the businessmen posing as politicians. I for one have been invigorated by his vision of real civilisation for society instead of the Tory+ (fascist/neo-liberal) farm we have become. He talks about the things we need to address if we are to avoid utter dark catastrophe.
Am guessing this is the Owen Smith phone bank polling – the story perhaps really should say that – “Labour source” lol. And Lloyd Russell-Moyle neutral, errrr yeh I guess if you don’t count he spoke at the Jeremy for leader rally last night
Pooling by local party? The Executive committee involved in these polls we not elected this time, they were reinstated. I am in the party and have not been approached to complete any surveys. Who were the people polled? how were they shortlisted? what questions were they asked? Jo I have to say that whilst people are questioning due to smears, lies and councillor intervention, more have joined in support, which is what this rally shows.
We need to remember that there are two sides to every story, I am happy that I am on the right side, with the membership and looking forward to having true labour in government. Investment, Housing, Rail, NHS, Schools, Basic Pay, Defence, these are all important and Corbyn is our only solution, Owen Smith will conform and get into line, Corbyn questions the establishment, just like we do.
You are most firmly on the wrong side. The side of splitters, the side of ineffective opposition.
I love you too Harris lol
The only candidate talking regularly of a split within the party is Smith, who bizarrely postures as the unifying candidate. Talk about double think.
I went along last night with the sole aim of hearing what the man has to say, unfiltered. Corbyn is the real deal – sincere, convincing and his policies are exactly what this country needs. I hope he gets the chance to put the policies into practice.
I was at last nights event and am a member of the Labour Party. This is the FIRST I am hearing about a local poll of membership. Can you please provide the details of this poll, for instance, who commissioned it and how many people were polled.
Who has done a survey, what was the sample, who paid for it?
Corbyn gave a sermon telling his flock that we should all treat better the poor, the disabled, and the the mentally ill. Of course we should, but that’s what anyone would say, including every priest or vicar. Meanwhile, in the real World, politicians need to address the huge problems of the 21st Century, which include, massive overpopulation, resource wars, global warming, dealing with Brexit, resurgent Islamic extremism and sectarianism, Putin’s expansionist Russia, China’s military might, nuclear proliferation, Turkey, migration, EU and Euro collapse, maybe Trump, the Middle East in flames, biological and chemical warfare in the hands of terrorists. Corbyn doesn’t talk of these and has no ideas – they didn’t exist so starkly in his 1980s comfort zone. Thatcher can’t be blamed.
A poll so confidential that no one knows who conducted it or who was polled. This is not Brighton News it’s Brighton misinformation.