Although Labour did not win the June 2017 general election, its result was astonishing. The party increased its share of the vote by 9.5 points, the biggest gain between elections since 1945 — all the more impressive as it had only been two years since voters last went to the polls. Jeremy Corbyn became the only Labour leader other than Tony Blair to break the 40 per cent barrier since 1970. A dizzying 12.9 million people voted for the party. Apart from the 1997 landslide, Labour had not won so many votes since 1966.

Instead of losing seats, Labour gained a net 30 (the first time the party had added to its tally since 1997), while the Tories lost 13 along with their overall majority. The resulting hung parliament — with the Conservatives occupying 317 seats and Labour 262 — gave Corbyn’s party great political clout in the House of Commons, reflected in the immediate dropping of noxious parts of the Conservative manifesto such as grammar schools and a vote on fox hunting.

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