Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected Labour Party leader on Saturday with a massive mandate. As expected, Corbyn crushed challenger Owen Smith, receiving 61.8% of the vote.
The outcome of the contest didn’t come as a surprise. However, YouGov research into how Labour members and affiliates voted by age group produced something really surprising — young people backed Owen Smith.
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YouGov surveyed the Labour selectorate in the days before Saturday’s announcement. As the graphic below shows, the Labour leader was 10-points behind Smith among 18-24-year-olds.
This is a really interesting statistic.
Conventional wisdom says one of Corbyn’s largest and most loyal voting groups is young people due to his liberal stance on issues like university tuition fees. YouGov’s research indicates, though, that the Islington North MP is much less popular with young Labour members than previously thought. He performed much better among 40-59-year-olds (+25% lead) and the 60+ group (+11% lead).
Shadow chancellor and Corbyn-ally John McDonnell told ITV’s Robert Peston that he didn’t believe this particular finding was correct on Sunday morning. YouGov, though, is perhaps the country’s most reputable polling firm. After all, it correctly predicted Corbyn’s margin of victory — 62% to 38%.
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