Jeremy Corbyn has been elected the Labour leader in the first round of British elections. It was a landslide victory for the bookies’ favorite. There were cheers in the room as soon as the number of votes for the candidates were announced, indicating Corbyn had taken the majority.
Corbyn originally started as an outsider in the contest, according to the BBC. However, he quickly gathered supporters with his “down to earth” views, getting a number of younger people interested in politics. There have been some questions over some of his potential policy agendas, like possibly giving Argentina the Falklands, but most of his positions have resonated positively with the Labour voters.
A total of 59.5 percent of voters opted for Corbyn as a first preference. That was a total of 251,417 people. His nearest rival, Andy Burnham, received just 19 percent of the vote, with Yvette Cooper coming in third with 17 percent. Liz Kendall took 4.5 percent of first preference votes.
The Labour leadership voting worked in a set of rounds, with voters numbering the candidates in order of preference. If no leader had 50 percent of the vote, the person with the least number of votes would be removed and the second preferences for that person considered. This would continue until one candidate had 50 percent of the vote. No extra rounds were needed in this case as Jeremy Corbyn walked away with almost 60 percent in the first round.
Turnout was expected to be high for the candidate race, and 76.3 percent cast their vote. There were 422,664 votes cast in total. Channel 4 reports that this was around the same turnout as the London Mayor elections, which saw Boris Johnson re-elected.
Corbyn’s victory is all due to the Labour supporters, rather than the Labour MPs. The majority of MPs were in favor of other candidates, but trade unionists and party members favored the veteran politician. It was due to him that so many signed up to take part in the vote, spending £3 to become Labour party members.
During his acceptance speech, Corbyn thanked his three rivals, praising Kendall in particular. The two candidates had the most differences in policies during the campaign, which took three months to complete. Corbyn said he wanted to see a more tolerant Britain, offering more inclusion. One issue getting his immediate attention will be the refugee crisis in Europe. Jeremy Corbyn’s first aim will be to put together a shadow cabinet by Monday morning.
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