Sunday, February 03, 2019

That Labour sinking feeling

In 2015 and 2016, Labour's starry eyed members voted overwhelmingly for Jeremy Corbyn as their leader. The 2017 general election rather disguised the problem Jeremy Corbyn is for Labour. What appeared to be a good election result (it looked good only because the assumptions about the outcome were so bad for Labour), turned out to be a much less generous picture for Labour. While there had been a significant increase in share of the vote, Labour failed to turn most of that into a significant increase in the number of seats they hold.

Two years ago, Labour behaved as if they had won the general election. I heard lots of Labour councillors in Gateshead drooling about the forthcoming socialist revolution. All they needed was another general election and they will sweep to power to implement the red revolution (which amounted to forcing Britain to relive the 1970s) and a fantasy Brexit that would give the UK all the benefits of EU membership without the costs.

Nowadays, I hear nothing from Labour councillors about Corbyn walking on water. They can barely bring themselves to mention his name. That's hardly surprising. His fence-sitting on Brexit and his total failure to hit the Tories hardly inspires Labour members (or anyone else). The guy is a waste of space who has significantly helped to reduce Labour's poll ratings to be 6% below what they achieved at the 2017 election. That's quite an achievement for an opposition party that is facing a governing party that is tearing itself apart.

So, as I said last year in this blog, Labour need to be careful what they wish for. Their answer to every policy vacuum is "Hold an election." The danger now is that they could get exactly what they ask for!

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