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Confidence for Corbyn? Islington North Constituency Poll Casts Doubt on Re-Election Chances

Since 1983, Islington North candidate Jeremy Corbyn has fought 10 general elections as the Labour Party’s candidate. However his future as an MP seems much more uncertain than usual.

By Matt Ingham

A man with white hair and and glasses (Jeremy Corbyn) holding a white voting slip with an 'x' in the box for voting for Corbyn
Photo courtesy of @jeremycorbyn / X

Since 1983, Islington North candidate Jeremy Corbyn has fought 10 general elections as the Labour Party’s candidate. However, after being banned from standing as a Labour candidate in 2023, and being formally expelled from the party last month – his future as an MP seems much more uncertain than usual.

It’s safe to say Islington North is a fairly safe Labour seat, returning only Labour candidates since 1937 with a majority which has never smaller than 10.4%. Corbyn has played an undeniably large role in this impressive feat, winning his smallest majority at his first election in 1983 – 15.3%, and his largest in 2017, during his time as party leader – at a very strong 60.5%. However, following expulsion, Corbyn’s decision to run as an independent candidate, against Labour’s Praful Nargund, a councillor representing the Barnsbury ward, there’s less of a guarantee than ever before that he’ll be returned as the MP for Islington North in the early hours of July 5th.

An infographic showing voters' polling intentions with Labour on 43%, Corbyn on 29%, Lib Dems 7%, Greens 7%, Reform 6%, Conservatives 6%, Independent Paul Josling 2%

Following a crowd-funded constituency poll for Islington North, opinions have been split as to whether the results should fill Corbyn with confidence, or make him concerned about his chances of re-election. At a quick glance, it would be easy to assume that Labour’s Praful Nargund is in pretty good stead, with a lead of 14% over Corbyn; however, it isn’t quite as clear cut, with Novara Media suggesting “it’s down to the wire” in their analysis of this same data.

Whilst Nargund has a strong 14-point lead, it’s particularly unusual to see an independent candidate poll so well, especially in a constituency where all major parties are represented, this would suggest that the rapport he’s built in Islington North is deeper and more complex than the population just simply voting for the Labour candidate. The poll has also excluded any participants who voted ‘undecided’, lots of which are likely to be conflicted between voting for Corbyn as a long-time server of Islington North and a strong voice of socialism, or for Nargund as the Labour candidate.

Nonetheless, Corbyn’s campaigners have described the poll as a “wake up call”, expressing fear that Corbyn isn’t guaranteed to be returned once again in Islington North, with vote shares as high as he’s had in the past.

A table showing voting figures for 2019 in Islington North

However, it isn’t all bad for Corbyn, with Electoral Calculus (see infographic above) projecting a victory for the independent candidate next week. The independent projection company have forecasted a 3.5% majority for Corbyn, giving him 36.5% of the vote share, compared to 33.1% for Labour. According to Marwan Riach, a pollster at Electoral Calculus, “a lot will depend on the ground game in the weekend ahead of the general election”, he explained to the Echo that “Islington North is an idiosyncratic seat. Never before in recent history has the former leader of the opposition ran in the subsequent election against the party they used to lead. Jeremy Corbyn posters are legion in the windows of Islington North’s constituents, but the access to voting history data is what team Corbyn lacks and team Labour has in abundance.”

With less than a week to go until polling stations open, it seems that even with Labour’s 14-point lead over Corbyn, it’s all still to play for in Islington North. But with more uncertainty than ever before, it all a bit too close to call for Praful Nargund and Jeremy Corbyn.

The full list of candidates standing in Islington North:

  • Vikas Aggarwal – Liberal Democrats
  • Jeremy Corbyn – Independent
  • Karen Harries – Conservative
  • Paul Josling – Independent
  • Sheridan Kates – Green
  • Praful Nargund- Labour
  • Martyn Nelson – Reform UK

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