It didn't matter whether a candidate supported "Leave" or "Remain"—what mattered was their partyby Isaac Delestre / June 22, 2017 / Leave a comment
As the polls closed on 5 May 2005, the then little-known MP for Islington North must have felt certain of success. Not only did Jeremy Corbyn enjoy a plump majority, but he also held the honour of being the Labour Party’s most disloyal MP, having defied Tony Blair’s increasingly unpopular leadership on issues ranging from the Iraq War to university tuition fees.
His constituents, however, had different ideas. That year, Corbyn’s share of the vote fell 10.7 percentage points; a far worse showing than in London as a whole, where the Labour vote fell by only 7.9 percentage points.
However much it might bruise parliamentary egos to admit it, the simple truth of British general elections is that voters have never cared a great deal about the voting records of their MPs. A raft of statistical studies on the subject has repeatedly produced results showing that—even on issues as divisive as the Iraq War—MPs’ voting records have a negligible influence on their electoral fortunes.