Remember Corbynmania? The memes, merch, reality TV appearances, gushing admiration from Stormzy, JME and other celebrities, and who could forget the spontaneous eruptions of "Oooooh, Jeremy Corbyn" at festivals and football matches. New mothers were even (apparently) naming their babies after the Labour leader. The height of Corbynmania in 2017 – which may not have actually resulted in the electoral youthquake that was widely reported at the time – was monumental for many left-wing young people. Still reeling as they were from the Lib Dems' betrayal over university tuition fees, many genuinely believed that, finally, Corbyn was the man to give voice to their desire for a more equitable future. Just as Bernie Sanders had done for a time in the US, a cardigan-wearing, sixtysomething, vegetarian backbench MP had made socialism cool in the UK.
But if a week is a long time in politics, two years is an eternity, and the shine has worn off Jeremy Corbyn for many young voters. They overwhelmingly backed Remain in the EU referendum (around 75% according to estimates), and between Corbyn's wishy-washy stance on Brexit and his non-handling of anti-Semitism within the Labour party, many feel let down, angry and betrayed by the Labour leader, and some have quit the party as a result. Labour (and Jez himself) saw the biggest drop in support among young people than any demographic group in 2018, according to a YouGov poll in December last year, while a poll in January this year found that just 23% of 18- to 34-year-olds approved of his handling of Brexit. Ahead, five young broadly Labour-supporting women explain why they've turned their backs on Jeremy Corbyn.