The labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, buoyed by the recent success at the GE17 was understandably now very confident, this is reflected in all his appearances and his speech at the first parliamentary session today, while he “congratulated” the returning prime minister, he then veered straight into political jibes at the PM and concluded by saying “I must let the House know – and the rest of the nation know – that if that is not possible, the Labour Party stands ready to offer strong and stable leadership in the national interest” He was referring to the ongoing discussion between the TORY and DUP.
Jeremy Corbyn, in a meeting with his MPs, said the following “Last Thursday, we turned the tables on Theresa May’s gamble and gained seats in every region and nation of Britain, so now the election is over, the next phase of our campaign to win power for the majority has already begun. We must remain in permanent campaign mode on a general election footing.” And then went on to declare Labour as the Government in waiting.
Let’s put this in perspective, indeed, there is no scuffing at Labour’s performance at the just concluded election, this is considering that Jeremy Corbyn defiled all odds, his reputation as terrorist’s sympathiser, sustained media attacks, vote of no confidence from his own MPs followed by a leadership challenge and an abysmal poll rating that suggested Labour will be obliterated at the poll, but, indeed this is a big but, Labour did not win the election. Yes, Conservative did not win either, but labour is the focus of this article.
Jeremy Corbyn might have won the battle of personality between himself and the PM, he might have won the battle and loyalty of his MPs who have now unanimously agreed that he is a deserved leader, but Labour was 56 seats fewer than Conservative’s and 64 fewer than what is required to be a single majority party. Perhaps, one might argue that if the election was conducted few days or a week later, Labour might have won by a Landslide.
Comparing Jeremy Corbyn’s 2017 performance with David Cameron’s 2010 performance may give us a hint.
David Cameron won additional 97 seats to give Conservative 306 seats from 210, the number enough to take them into power by coalition with Lib Dem. Jeremy Corbyn, on the other hand, won additional 30 seats to give Labour 262 seats and not enough to take Labour into power even if all the other parties are to support them in a “rainbow coalition”. Thus, Jeremy Corbyn attempts at unseating the prime minister by asking her to resign and offering Labour party as a replacement with 262 MPs with no arithmetically possible coalition sounds like a coup.
So, the victory for Jeremy Corbyn came solely because of his starting point and very low expectation from everyone, and I suspect from himself.
The question is, can he and the Labour party build on this performance and go on to form a majority government if another election is called?
Although another election is not likely to be on the card, conservative party will rather have a weak leader prop up by DUP than hand Jeremy Corbyn the opportunity to take power, thus these questions are hypothetical.
However, in an uncertain political landscape, one cannot entirely rule another GE out.
Never the less, Jeremy Corbyn has permanently placed his party on election campaign mode and aim to park Labour’s buses in marginal seats won by the Conservatives with the aim of turning them red at the next election.
These are good strategies, but was the reason for people’s switching of votes that simple?
Did he run a populist campaign by splitting the country into 5% and 95% income earners?
And will this line of argument continue to hold at the next election, whenever that may be? Or the votes of students and the young continue to be there if they turn out like they did this time?
It would be interesting If the two most accurate pollsters at the last election, SURVATION and YOUGOV continue to conduct polls to test the theory of Labour victory.
BREXIT hangs over everything
Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong eurosceptic, who appeared to grudgingly support the remain campaign and now back to fully supporting leaving was not clear on the strategy he would adopt, he managed to go through the entire campaign by brushing the topic on the surface, this was largely because Mrs May was in retreat, vacating the public space.
If election is to come sooner as Jeremy Corbyn wishes, he will need to make his position very clear. It is hard to be everything to everybody. BREXIT continue to polarise the nation, a lot of people still want to leave the EU, a lot of these people voted Labour because Jeremy Corbyn affirmed he fully support BREXIT, if he makes his position clear, and he appears to be a soft BREXITEER, will he maintain the votes of the hardliners? And vice versa? Or even let UKIP back into the game?
if conservative put themselves together and put forward a credible candidate, Jeremy Corbyn march towards a landslide may be reversed, just as Mrs May’s landslide never happened.
Labour now have a chance of forming a government by winning majority seat if an election is called, but it will be an almost impossible task to deliver on his promises without running the country aground financially, the first objective however is to win and if the political landscape continues to shape the way it is right now, we may be looking at Prime Minister Corbyn.