Forget the Projections! It’s a Corbyn Landslide in Islington North!

Overcoming all odds, Jeremey Corbyn secured a successive 11th term, after winning by a large margin in the early hours of Friday morning.

By Matt Ingham

A man with white hair and glasses (Jeremy Corbyn) speaking at a lectern. Also in the photo is a woman in mayoral attire and other political candidates with different coloured rosettes.
Photo: courtesy of The Telegraph

Little more than a week ago, Survation’s crowd-funded Islington North constituency poll casted doubt over the re-election of 10-time parliamentarian, Jeremy Corbyn. The poll, which was funded by Jeremy’s campaigning team, has Labour’s candidate, Praful Nargund at a 14-point lead over the former Labour Party leader. However, overcoming all odds, Corbyn secured a successive 11th term, after winning by a large margin in the early hours of Friday morning.

With the seat on a knife-edge, neither Corbyn nor Nargund were bold enough to suggest they were certain of a win, and spent the day pleading the importance of every single vote in the Islington North constituency. The Survation poll, which had Labour 14 points ahead of Corbyn, excluded ‘undecided voters’, leading many to conclude the margins were tighter than they looked, and, for Team Corbyn, it was all still to play for. After slowly rising through the headlines to become one of the big subplots of the general election, alongside the likes of Farage and Clacton, many nervously awaited the verdict of the exit poll at 10 o’clock on Thursday evening. As Big Ben chimed and an exit poll predicting a Labour landslide was released, it was finally time to find out if Nargund was going to oust Corbyn after 41 years of continuous service. The verdict? Too close to call.

When the BBC went live to Islington North just before 3.30am, the moment of truth was upon us. Counts and press rooms up and down the country fell silent, those watching at home leaned in, poised on the edge of their seats ready to watch history happen in real time – all of us hanging on to the returning officer’s every word.

“Jeremy Bernard Corbyn, commonly known as Jeremy Corbyn, independent – 24,120”, applause erupted through the Islington North count, with even some of the other candidates on stage struggling to hide big smiles. “Praful Nargund, Labour – 16,873”.

Corbyn had successfully secured another term, winning his 11th general election with a vote share of 49.2%, 14.8% more than the Labour candidate – and pretty much the complete opposite of what the constituency poll suggested would happen.

A graph showing the percentage of the votes for each candidate in the Islington North seat. Independent: Jeremy Corbyn - Votes 
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Praful Nargund
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Sheridan Kates
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Karen Harries
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Reform UK,
Martyn Nelson
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Liberal Democrat,
Vikas Aggarwal
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Paul Josling
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In a victory speech much more hopeful than the one he gave in 2019 after leading the Labour Party to their worst general election result in recent history, he said that his re-election is “a resounding message from the people of Islington North that they want something different, they want something better”. He told the crowd that he ran “a positive campaign, trying to bring hope to people”, which “did not get into the gutter of politics, as is too often happening in this country”. “I owe my life, my learning and my abilities entirely to the people of Islington North”, he affirmed, thanking them for his re-election and promising to champion unity in his constituency, as well as in politics more broadly.

He issued the following statement on social media:

“Tonight, our community made history. This election was never about me. It has always been about our community and the values we share. And it’s about our undying belief that there is an alternative to inequality, poverty and war. Tonight’s result in Islington North gives us a glimpse of a different future, which puts the interests of the many ahead of those of the few.

It is also a warning – a warning to the incoming government that dissent cannot be crushed without consequences. That ideas of equality, justice and peace are eternal. That hope for a better world can never be extinguished. Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we organise. The energy we have unleashed will not go to waste. We are a movement made up of all ages, backgrounds and faiths. A movement which can win with and for people all over the country.”

Labour hopeful, Praful Nargund, thanked those who voted for him and triumphed the wider victory of the Labour party; he wrote, “while it wasn’t the result we hoped for, I’d like to thank every resident of Islington North who cast their vote for me. That was a huge act of faith in me, and I’ll always be grateful… I’m proud to have run a genuinely positive campaign, one that has been full of joy, smiles and hope for a better future for Islington North, and for our country. Of course there were tough times, and I would be lying if I said it was easy to hear and read things about me in this campaign that simply weren’t true.  Sadly, these sort of tactics are rapidly becoming a regular part of our politics now – and that can’t be good. But today, Britain has voted for change. I’m incredibly proud to have stood on behalf of changed Labour Party that now has the opportunity to serve in government”.

His statement, which incidentally doesn’t congratulate Corbyn, in the way that many other concession speeches did on Friday, presumably alludes to allegations surrounding his wealth and his stances on private healthcare, as well as an alleged ongoing criminal investigation into the Barnsbury councillor, which has been gaining lots of attention on social media.

Jeremy Corbyn is expected to be sworn in as early as today, as the Commons jumps quickly back into action with just a few weeks remaining until summer recess begins.

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