Registered On: September 7, 2015
The tabloid headlines focused on his portrayal as an IRA sympathiser/anti-Semite etc though. These are the things which dogged him more than scruffy clothes in the press. You could say the tabloid headlines on such were simplistic, but given his track record on such I can’t see how they could have been honestly defended, which was the problem.
He energised a following, mostly in the cities and among the young, but not outside, as seen in the collapse among the left behind towns outside of Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Durham’s student population probably helped there too. Bishop Auckland, Scunthorpe, Morley and other safe seats went Tory.
Those who think it was nothing to do with Corbyn, and solely to do with Brexit, are fooling themselves: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/18/key-points-from-review-of-2019-labour-election-defeat
There’s no way someone with those figures was ever going to win an election. The exit polls suggested some highlighting the anti-Semitism as one reason why. I am not naive enough to think it’s because everyone is clued up on it, but when he couldn’t address it in his own party it was a signifier that he is unable to get a grip on party issues and is a weak PM potential. The argument isn’t that the public were discussing the intricacies of Luciana Berger being bullied out by anti-Semitic bullies, but more “he can’t address these party problems after how many years?! Why should we trust him to run the country?” and people don’t want to associate themselves with people labelled as anti-Semitic.
There are far more who have ill memory of the IRA than fond in this country. Door stoppers have consistently said, from Scotland to Brighton, that members of the public were not happy about having an IRA sympathiser in charge of the opposition. And there was a dip in the polls after the Skripal poisonings and Corbyn’s weak response to it, showing some care, and it did not rebuild. These are all bigger issues than tabloid headlines about scruffy clothes on Remembrance Sunday and far more insurmountable than Brexit alone.
Like I say, you have to assume that many MPs, the door stopping activists, leadership ratings and exit polls on why people voted which way are all lying to assume it was solely a Brexit thing.