Can it be long before deluded Corbynites start blaming the voters for being engaged in a conspiracy against Jeremy? The calamitous Labour leader – the worst leader of a major British political party in decades – potters around the country grinning away, burbling far left platitudes, only meeting those who agree with him, yet normal people across the UK are somehow immune to his charms. What is wrong with these people? The voters, I mean.
Meanwhile… back on planet earth: A new poll for ICM has the Tories on 43% (+4) and Labour on 27% (-2). That is Thatcher 1983 landslide territory. UKIP is on 13% (-1). The Lib Dems score 8% (-1), the Greens 4% (no change) and others 5% (no change). Corbyn is leading Labour to disaster, as should be obvious to anyone not a far left fantasist.
There are no easy ways out of this for the Labour party, but if as seems likely Corbyn wins the ongoing leadership election, because of the votes of far left supporters, then the moderates trying to save Labour as a serious force have been warned by the voters where this leads. They will have to split and establish a new mainstream centre-left party, or wait to be deselected by the Corbynites.
For the Tories under new leadership watching this meltdown the temptation must be to find a way to hold an early general election, but that is not quite as straightforward as it looks. If Theresa May did find a way to dissolve Parliament (or to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act) this autumn, in the campaign she would find herself having to explain exactly what her plan is for Brexit and the triggering of Article 50 when she wants room and time for a deal to develop via diplomacy. If her pitch was for a mandate, voters would ask what the mandate involved.
Uncertainty in such a contest would create scope for the emergence of a “leave means leave” remodelled UKIP, channeling the narrative of imminent betrayal, which is what the Faragists are working on. Yes, of course that would damage Labour in the north and a Tory landslide would probably result. But there are too many variables in the EU negotiations right now. Too much could go wrong ahead of an early contest.
It seems more sensible for May to stick to her promise of no early election, or at least to delay until the Brexit deal is agreed in several years time. The chances of Labour having sorted itself out by then and having banished the Corbynite far left seem slim.
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