The rapturous applause Jeremy Corbyn will receive at Labour’s conference won’t just come from his hardcore supporters.
Even his critics in the party will credit him for the surprise surge to 12 million votes and wins in seats as unlikely as Kensington.
But there’s a nagging reality.
Labour's John Denham, pictured, claims Jeremy Corbyn needs to focus on the party's traditional support base if he wants to defeat the Tories at the next election
Labour MPs fear leader Jeremy Corbyn, pictured here at a pre-conference rally is alienating the party's traditional working class support by appearing at events such as Glastonbury
As Labour has nurtured new, younger, more middle-class and university-educated voters, the party is struggling among people who were once the core of its support. Without these lost voters, it’s hard to see how Corbyn can actually win. They live in every part of the country, but are a particularly big part of the English towns where the next Election will be decided.
They are mainly older; they’ve worked hard without the aid of a university degree; they probably voted Leave. They are patriotic; and they’re more likely to say they are ‘English’ than ‘British’.
In my work as a political analyst, I have tracked the emerging links between national identity and the way we vote.
In Blair’s second landslide in 2001, there was little difference between the votes of people who identified as English, equally English and British, or British. By 2015, Labour came third among the English, behind Ukip and the Conservatives.
In 2016, it was ‘English’ rather than ‘British’ voters who took us out of the EU. Ukip collapsed in 2017 and Labour recovered a bit. But Corbyn would probably be Prime Minister now