Gary Heather

A view from the count

Gary Heather

AS A LABOUR PARTY counting agent in Islington North, I witnessed the unfolding of truly historic and seismic events following the General Election on 8th June.

First, Jeremy Corbyn was returned as Labour MP for Islington North with a massively increased majority of 33,215 votes. And, second, 40% of the British electorate voted Labour. This result was against all the odds, and defied the polls and the predictions of the naysayers.

While this was a very significant achievement both for Jeremy and the Party I was left to reflect on what could have been - a socialist Labour government in power.

That could easily have been the outcome of the election given just two additional factors. First, media coverage of the election that was more balanced and honest. And, second, the unequivocal backing from the whole of the Party behind Jeremy’s fantastic leadership of the Labour campaign.  The early leaking of the Labour manifesto only aided rather than hindered the communication of very popular Labour policies. And post-election, even the Daily Telegraph sang the praises of Jeremy and his leadership of the Labour election campaign.

Jeremy’s message from the count podium was that politics had changed fundamentally, and “it isn’t going back into the box”, adding: “People have had quite enough of austerity politics.” He called for the Tory Prime Minister, Theresa May, to go, and make way for a government that would implement Labour’s manifesto for the many and not just the few.


Finsbury Park branch
organiser in Islington North CLP,