• Of those who would disclose their least favorite candidate, all but two said Rebecca Long-Bailey. The other votes were for Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry.
• Labor leaders in six of the 13 longest-held Labor seats that fell to the Tories said they were backing Starmer or Nandy. They are the Labor leaders in Rotherham, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Wigan, Bassetlaw, North East Lincolnshire and Bolsover. The other four leaders had not responded to requests for comment.
(Charlie, a) (trade union campaigner who helped campaigning in Harrow East, Battersea and Putney in the general election, said Momentum’s strength was publishing a public-facing strategy in advance so members knew why they were knocking on doors – mirroring US Democrat Bernie Sanders’ transparency.
“When we got to Putney, for example, people could explain why we were targeting this particular road and people had bothered to go through the data,” he said.
He has no intention of turning away from the movement. “A lot of us went through a politicization through the Corbyn period and I don’t think that’s going to go away.
“One thing I’ve noticed is the Corbyn movement brought people together, different movements and campaigns. The Labor party was a pretty blunt tool coordinating that activity and Momentum hasn’t always done that as well as it could do, but you don’t want to go backwards.
“But the National Coordinating Group isn’t working. There needs to be a place members can come together and plan at a variety of levels. New regional structures perhaps. ”
In a sign there is still enthusiasm, this past weekend dozens of Momentum activists met in Bradford to discuss mini-festivals planned under The World Transformed banner. Its main political, literary and arts festival held at the same time as the Labor party conference has been a huge success. The spin-off events are expected to attract – plus people in locations.
Momentum’s head office naturally remains optimistic about the future, with senior figures reluctant to signal a winding down. They are wedded to Long-Bailey and, like the activists, there is a feeling the organization can do more to embed itself in local communities.
Long-Bailey has likely returned the favor of winning Momentum’s endorsement with her announcement she would
back open selections of MPs . The left see this as the best way of getting MPs in parliament who are most closely aligned with the membership’s view.
A spokesman for the organization said after the election result came through they were hugely disappointed, but “not for a minute” did they think about giving up.
He said: “We always knew there would be no short cuts to socialism and the rise of the nationalist right as well as the huge crises of climate change and inequality only make our mission more urgent. Our movement has transformed Labor. ”
Immediate plans are pushing the Long-Bailey campaign and seeking more “member power” to help organists, councillors and MPs in the future.
Sophie, who quit her job the week before the election, thinks Momentum will keep going and successfully outlive Corbyn’s leadership.
“There’s a place for it now more than ever in terms of where we need to be putting our efforts. Momentum is barking up the right tree. I’m sad to see Corbyn go, but now we can move on to the next thing and it will be even better. ”