Ms May should be careful that her Thatcherite ways do not distance voters away from the Tories and into the sprawling arms of Corbyn and Labour
At Saturday’s Labour conference Jeremy Corbyn cemented himself firmly as the leader of the Labour Party — in name, at least. Having fought in perhaps the limpest leadership contest in recent memory, Corbyn beat obsolete Owen at roughly 60/40.
Before the far-left begin throwing their red books in joy however, the reality is that Corbyn still has a long way to go, and perhaps even further than that if he ever wants to be PM. With the current state of the Labour Party, Corbyn’s only real hope rests with Ms May.
‘We have much more in common than that which divides us’
Corbyn won the leadership back with 60 per cent, a seemingly impressive majority. However, this statistic is only taken from the 77 per cent of Labour members that actually voted — amounting to just over 500,000. That means Corbyn only won 313,209 actual votes, and when you factor in that 30.8 million heads were counted in the 2015 General Election, you realise he has quite a challenge on his hands.
As it stands, Corbyn has little hope of uniting the Labour Party around his policies. With four years however until the next general election, he may well just have some help from the leader of his opposition.
‘I want to address you directly’
Despite Ms May’s centre, even left-leaning speech, on the steps of Downing Street this summer, she runs the risk of strengthening Corbyn’s appeal if she slides too far to the right in her first term. Having been in office a matter of weeks however, her Thatcherite mannerisms seem to be putting that slide well into motion.
Appointing right-leaning Johnson as Foreign Secretary and challenging Junior Doctors, Trident protestors and ‘soft’ immigration advisors, shows May to be evidently taking her Government down one way, and one way only. Going down this road so soon however could be a case of her sealing her own fate.
‘It is time the Doctors put patients first, too’
It is instances like these; specifically, clamping down on junior doctors, that risk fuelling Corbyn’s popularity. With over 50 per cent of voters saying they feel safer with Labour controlling the NHS (according to a poll on Sky News), May projecting such a unanimous hardline with Jeremy Hunt could put her on shaky ground.
As things stand, Corbyn’s chances of uniting the centre with the Left are slim. If a week though, is a long time in politics, then three years is a lifetime. Who knows what state the country, the Conservatives or the Labour Party will be in by 2020.
Ms May should stay mindful however that every move made toward the right, is a move that potentially makes Corbyn’s magnetic rhetoric stronger.