'They underestimated us': Jeremy Corbyn fires up huge Labour rally before polling day

Posted On: 
6th June 2017

Jeremy Corbyn has urged a massive rally of Labour supporters to convince voters to “change the political direction of this country” when polls open on Thursday morning. 

Jeremy Corbyn addressing a rally in Birmingham
Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The Labour leader addressed a crowd of thousands in Birmingham this evening, while his speech was beamed to other events in Barry, Brighton, Glasgow, London and Warrington.

The line-up at the rallies featured musicians, other members of the Shadow Cabinet, and comedians – including Steve Coogan, who remarked that Theresa May had the “charisma of a pancake”.

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Mr Corbyn, whose party has closed the gap in the polls to single figures over the course of the election campaign, said the Conservatives had consistently misjudged the power of the Labour movement.

“They just imagined everything was going to be over by 8 June,” he said.

“Well, I’ll tell you what, they underestimated us, didn’t they? They underestimated us and the campaign we would mount. Do you know what the turning point was? When we produced this.”

He then brandished a copy of Labour’s manifesto and led the crowd in a chant of “For the many, not the few. For the many, not the few”.

Conservative politicians have claimed Labour’s spending plans are unfunded, but Mr Corbyn insisted it was not a “wish-list”.

“This election on this programme gives us all an opportunity to change the political direction of this country,” he added.

He finished with a rallying call: “Have those conversations wherever you go. Ask people what kind of country, what kind of world, what kind of society they want to live in. Do they want us to go down the road of a greater gap between the richest and the poorest? Do they want to go down the road where our public services are underfunded, our young people have unrequited ambition and our older people are isolated and alone for lack of support? Or do they want to do something differently?

“There’s a human warmth in all of us, there’s a sense of community in all of us, there’s a sense of creativity and caring in all of us.

“Let’s work together to win the election. Let’s work together to bring those people together. Let’s work together across the whole country to show them that our programme is real, serious and here and we are real, serious and here.

“And do you know what? We are going to change things!”

Mrs May has run a more low-profile campaign than Labour, focusing on smaller campaign visits to target seats rather than large public rallies.