Jeremy Corbyn retains leadership of Labour on an even stronger footing, but the long winter ahead may still prove tricky for a man fighting against a hardened Conservative Government

 

At the end of a Summer of confusion for the Labour Party, today came the end of a titanic struggle between Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn. The results have been released on who will lead Labour into the winter, tasked with the arduous job of reuniting a divided party.

With a landslide victory of 313,309 votes to 193,229, (a magnificent 61.8 per cent of the vote) Jeremy Corbyn retains leadership of the Labour Party on a bigger mandate than when he was elected sixteen months ago. On September 15, 15,506,438 people cast their vote. And while it was expected to swing in favour of Jeremy Corbyn, few expected him to win with a higher mandate than when he first became Labour Leader last year.

Taking the stage he wasted no time in thanking the 300,000 people who had voted for him in a leadership election fraught with tension. Yet while clearly enjoying the satisfaction of retaining the Leadership, Corbyn is well aware that this is only the beginning of a long road for the Labour Party as it seeks to act as a suitable opposition to Theresa May’s Conservative Government that Corbyn described as ‘David Cameron’s …with a hard-edged package’.

However, as much as the limelight was on Corbyn this morning it was likewise on Owen Smith — the first to shake the hand of the new Labour Leader. Smith is someone who should be admired for picking a political fight and standing by his policies throughout the contest (even through his pathetic attempts at banter during the live debates).

There are many questions facing the Labour Party as they go into the winter months. How will they regroup? How will they face up to the ever more hardened Conservative Government? Will they even be able to transform themselves into a party that the masses can get behind in four years’ time?

All these questions will be answered in due course. For now, Corbyn wants to wipe the slate clean; whether that slate remains in twelve months though, is another question that will have to wait its turn.

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