As of right now, all the polls indicate that the Tories will absolutely demolish Labour in the 2017 UK general election. Will Corbyn resign?
Corbyn doesn’t seem to really be interested in becoming Prime Minister, an odd trait for a leader of a major political party. If he was Green Party leader, then he could happily continue on ‘raising awareness’ and engaging in feel-good protests. But, he’s not.
Corbyn does seem to have developed a fondness for his cult adulation, similar to Bernie Sanders in the USA. He’d stand a decent chance of surviving another leadership challenge should he not resign I’m afraid he’ll want to stay on for the sake of ideological purity because anyone that doesn’t agree with him is a ‘neo-liberal Blairite.’
The PLP should make it clear that if Labour gets an butt whipping in June, that Corbyn has to go or the PLP will leave him and form a common sense alliance with the Lib Dems.
Len McCluskey has suggested that 200 seats for Labour would be a success. I wonder if a showing worse than that would cause McCluskey to abandon Corbyn and effectively bring Corbyn down.
I expect he will continue until the Labour conference in September, where there will be moves to further reduce the influence of the parliamentary party in selecting the party leader. That’s the achievement the Corbynites want to unlock.
If the Corbynistas want to further reduce the role of the PLP (the people who actual campaign and win elections) in choosing the party leader, then they’ll be holding their party conferences in an appropriately colored red phone booth! Doing so would surely split the party permanently.
Students twenty years from now will wonder in awe how a minor party like Red Labour ever won elections in the 1990s and 2000s.
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They see themselves as the vanguard of a grassroots movement that will further the struggle etc etc. Which is all well and good, and Lord knows Labour really does need to reconnect to its roots, but I’m not sure it’s working out terribly well so far. I honestly don’t know what the path to an *effective *left-ish opposition in Parliament, and thence to a government-in-waiting, looks like from here.
The Kremlinology is that Corbyn’s campaign strategy seems to involve holding rallies in constituencies large Labour memberships rather than winnable or defendable seats, and that is a means of building up internal party support in preparation for another leadership defence. Whether that’s a fair description of the kind of constituencies he is visiting or ignoring I don’t know, but he does seem to be doing more rallies with Labour members than other public appearances.
The question is how he performs in the election. If he loses 30+ seats as per earlier predictions, even supporters might ask if someone else should do it. If he’s around the Miliband mark, he’ll probably be able to argue that that shows he’s not the problem. Currently, polls are “tightening” from a 20% deficit to a 13% deficit, so he may do better than predicted. That said, this YouGov analysispoints out that the increase in vote share comes from much less solid voters.
Stephen Kinnock would be an excellent choice as Labour leader. He does seem quite brilliant during his interviews and I could see Labour winning under him, especially after the economic disaster Theresa May’s hard Brexit is going to cause.
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I wonder if part of Corbyn’s strategy is just to make sure he keeps Labour’s percentage as high as possible, regardless of the number of seats lost. In a first past the post electoral system, the percentage of votes won nationwide is irrelevant, as UKIP 2015 and the various incarnations of the Liberal Party can attest to, but it might give Corbyn and his supporters a reason to try to cling to the leadership.
I doubt he will step down. He’s popular enough among the rank and file of the Labour Party that he won the most recent leadership contest even after losing the confidence of so many MPs for screwing up so much.
If he was honorable, he would have stepped down already. Of course, if he gets spanked worse than before, maybe his supporters will turn against him.