Archive for January, 2016

Why Corbyn’s support may not be as secure as it seems

Posted in Labour leadership, Politics on January 15th, 2016 by Leo – Comments Off on Why Corbyn’s support may not be as secure as it seems

This was originally published on the New Statesman.

The resignation of four shadow ministers – one of them on live TV – would normally prompt speculation about a leadership challenge.

But Labour’s rules seem to protect Corbyn from attempts to unseat him. Even if MPs were to force another leadership election, it’s assumed that the membership would vote him straight back in, perhaps with an even greater majority. I’m not so sure though.

Those who think Corbyn can count on members’ support point to polls of those eligible to vote in leadership elections, which seem to show deep support for the new leader. The most recent, a Times/YouGov poll in November, found that 66 per cent think he’s doing well, compared with 30 per cent of the general public who said the same.

The explanation for this support among members, it’s argued by those who are baffled about how anyone can say he’s doing well, is that many Labour members prefer their party to be pure than to be in power. The same poll found a 24-point lead for those who prefer Labour to put forward policies they really believe in, even if that means being unelectable.

If that’s true, it may not matter how unpopular Corbyn is with the public. In fact, the worse Labour’s poll score becomes, the more popular he might become with some members who take the opprobrium as evidence that they finally have a ‘real’ Labour leader.

But this wrongly treats Corbyn voters as an undifferentiated block, when the reality is that many aren’t indifferent to his struggles.

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The countries where you’re most likely to be having a good day

Posted in International on January 4th, 2016 by Leo – 2 Comments

I recently came across a fun question buried* in Pew’s annual global poll. For several years the poll started with a question asking respondents whether they were having a typical day, a particularly good day or a particularly bad day.

Since they ran the poll in so many countries and asked this question for a few years it gives us a nice insight into cultural differences. Nigerians, it seems, usually have good days, while people in Jordan and Egypt are the most likely to be having a bad day – and even there just as many say they’re having a good day.

As a species, it seems, we tend to have good days (or at least to say we do).

Good day or bad day

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