At 10:10pm last night, the shadow chancellor began the inevitable firefight against claims that it was Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership itself that lost the party this election. John McDonnell told Andrew Neil:
‘We knew it would be tough because Brexit has dominated this election… As I say, I think this was a Brexit election… I hate to use this expression but I think [the voters] most probably did want to “get it done” and that will be it.’
This has set the tone for the fierce debate that has followed. While prominent pro-Corbyn figures have blamed the media, tactical voters and even global political forces, it is Brexit that has received the lion’s share of the blame. Even the Labour leader himself has come out and denied that he was the problem.
Such claims have now been conclusively refuted. The polling company Opinium carried out research on election day itself, to discover why voters were rejecting Labour.
Of those who backed the party in 2017 but failed to vote Labour this time around, 37 per cent of them said it was because of the leadership – compare that to the 21 per cent who blamed the party’s stance on Brexit. The results of that 5,641 person poll are set out below in all their grisly detail: