7 must-know facts about Jeremy Corbyn - when was he first elected?

What do you know about the man who could end up becoming Labour’s next prime minister?

1. Over 500 rebellions

Before taking over the Labour establishment, Jeremy Corbyn was a serial rebel, with Sky News reporting that he rebelled against his party over 500 times during his backbench years.

2. The largest swing since Attlee

Contrary to almost everyone’s expectations, Labour under Corbyn advanced significantly at the general election. Their seat increase was a moderate step forward, but the party’s swing achieved under Corbyn's leadership of 9.6% was the largest swing since Clement Attlee’s leadership in 1945.

3. Jeremy Bernard Corbyn

The Labour leader’s middle name is Bernard, which is also the full first name of the independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. The two men have been compared a great deal over the last few years, due to them rising from relative obscurity to coming close to getting their respective country’s top jobs.

Will either of them reach the top in the next few years?

4. Corbyn voted against EEC membership in 1975

Ahead of Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 leadership election win, the Telegraph reported that Labour’s most electorally successful leader since Tony Blair voted to leave the Community way back in 1975. He supported the remain campaign in last year’s referendum, but is now committed to respecting the referendum result.

5. Manhole covers

Labour’s leader has a baffling hobby. According to Sky News, Jeremy Corbyn is a collector of manhole covers.

6. Some of his so-called “hard-left” views are in line with the public’s thinking

A recent Legatum Institute report found, using Populus polls, that when it comes to some of Labour’s key election policies on nationalisation, the vast majority of the public agree with Corbyn. 83% said they favour the nationalisation of the water industry. 77% said the same for gas and electricity while a further 76% said the same for the train industry.

But come their respective general election, Ed Miliband’s Labour lost seats and David Cameron won a majority while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour gained an unprecedented ten percentage points, and its leader has become more likely to end up prime minister than ever before.

There are likely a number of reasons for this outcome. Leadership is an important factor in influencing how members of the public vote. Ed Miliband could not shake off his “goofy” image right until the end while Corbyn managed to cut through as a statesman-like figure with confidence and gravitas not seen in Ed Miliband. On top of that, Miliband’s 2015 manifesto, while it was a break from New Labour, was a very light centre-left document. Corbyn’s manifesto – and his simple and powerful “For the many, not the few” slogan was all about radical change, something which clearly inspired millions to go out and vote Labour. Fourthly, with Brexit guaranteed and the Liberal Democrats making only limited progress, the 2017 election became a presidential battle between May and Corbyn while 2015 was all about the threat of UKIP. Fifthly, whatever you think of David Cameron he was smooth, brilliant politician. Theresa May on the other hand, pushed out a repetitive “Strong and stable” message and hid from the television debates. With a presidential-setting, Corbyn was able to contrast himself against the floundering May whereas Miliband was faced with an experienced leader, David Cameron.

This brings us back to Ed Miliband, who retained his seat at the 2017 election with an increased majority much like most Labour MPs. But could Miliband work under Corbyn?

The way back in 1974 for the Haringey Borough Council when he was aged just 24. Four years later, he won again, and did the same four years after that. Then in 1983 he was elected to serve as the MP for Islington North, a position he has held ever since.

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