Jeremy Corbyn Predicts His ‘Diverse’ Support Will Help Labour In The 2017 Local Elections

Referring to the big attendances at his 50-plus leadership events this summer, he said: “I don’t know what the aggregate in attendance is but it’s tens of thousands.

“That means that there’s an interest in politics..and it’s a pretty diverse crowd. There is an interest in politics…that then becomes surely a very strong campaigning base for the Labour movement, becomes a campaigning factor in towns and cities where there’s never been very much activity before.

“And that does begin to change the debate and the national mood. I think you’ll begin to see that play out, particularly in local elections next year and after that.”

The 2017 local elections will see polls in all 27 non-metropolitan or ‘shire’ county councils, which are traditionally dominated by the Conservatives. Seven unitary authorities including Northumberland and Shropshire will also be up for grabs.

Labour last did well in the English county elections under John Smith and Tony Blair, but under Gordon Brown saw some dire results across the south and the north.

When put to him by the BBC’s Nick Robinson that previous mass rallies in the 1980s and 1990s failed to oust the Tories, Corbyn said that this time was different because he was engaging people who had never been involved in politics before.

“Because of the diversity of the crowd. Yes I’ve been at political rallies all my life, of various sorts. And what I’ve found exciting and nice but slightly depressing is when I know half the people at the meeting I go to.

“I go to these events all over the country and at some of them I don’t know anybody. Anybody at all.

“There are people who come up to me and say ‘I’ve never been involved in politics before, I’m interested in what you have to say, I’m interested particularly  in the economic argument that you have to actually rebalance society away from inequality towards equality’.”

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