Labour is falling apart, all thanks to Jeremy Corbyn and his dithering over Brexit. But now is not the time for hesitating — resolve and a rethink are required if Labour is to have a chance at power.
Jeremy Corbyn attracted young voters in the last general election to vote for the Labour Party. However, has the leader really been a Labour success story so far? A strong, likeable Conservative Party leader could end Corbyn’s hopes of ever becoming the Prime Minister.
The two major parties have seemingly fallen apart on the issue which has divided the nation for three years now: the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Speaking of Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn’s strategy (or lack of it) has bemused the electorate across the country. Despite the rightful scrutiny over the Tories’ negotiations with the EU and their eventual deal, there’s no guarantee that Corbyn would have done any better.
His desire to be in a type of Customs Union would have been rejected by both the Conservative Party MPs and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, Green Party and SNP MPs would also all have rejected his deal on the basis that he’s very reluctant to campaign for a second referendum.
He still seemingly has no clear plan for Brexit — something that will severely damage his chances of becoming prime minister in the near future if a general election is called. This dithering by the Labour leader has now been spotted and highlighted on by the media. But, a strong Conservative leader could get this country out of the Brexit mess.
Corbyn’s domestic policies may not do him any favours either, especially when his European ones are largely seen as being atrocious. Some of his domestic policies are too far to the left, which would probably not appeal to centre-left labour voters. In all fairness, that’s probably the reason why he did not win the last general election, despite May’s weak campaign leaving the door wide open for Corbyn.
Although the general election in 2017 was seen as a victory for Labour, they could have truly been the winning party if only their policies were slightly more to the centre. Tony Blair, although he made huge mistakes in terms of the Iraq War, won three consecutive general elections as a centre-left Labour leader.
A centre-right Conservative leader could draw in more voters for the Tories from the Labour Party. Therefore, appointing a leader like Rory Stewart or Sajid Javid may be the way forward for the Conservatives. After all, policies which are quite far to the right on the political spectrum aren’t exactly popular; with the exception of European policy, as demonstrated by the Brexit Party.
The 2017 vote was probably Corbyn’s most successful election as Labour leader. He did not do as well in some others. For instance, his 2016 EU referendum campaign for Remain wasn’t exactly strong. I remember David Cameron being more vocal for the Remain party — which of course ultimately led to the Prime Minister’s downfall. However, Corbyn needs to take some responsibility for the small part he played in the Remain camp.
In recent elections this year, Corbyn, as well as the Tories, has lost a lot of seats.
Labour lost 82 councillors in the Local Elections — nowhere near as bad as the Conservative Party though, who lost over 1000. However, that’s still a very poor result for Corbyn given that there was a clear chance to capitalise on the huge losses made by the Tory Party.
And now, Labour’s EU election results were poor too because of Corbyn’s fence-sitting on Brexit. The party won just 10 seats, losing 50 per cent of their places in the European Parliament after winning 20 seats in the 2014 election. The party ended up coming 3rd in the country, struggling behind the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party. Labour also had a particularly difficult night in Wales, where Plaid Cymru’s vote share increased.
Corbyn will need to steer clear from any more controversy if he’s to have any chance at getting into Number 10. During his time as a politician, he reportedly had links to the IRA, called Hamas and Hezbollah his ‘friends’ and has poorly managed the anti-Semitism charges that have been plaguing the party for years.
I personally do not think Corbyn is an anti-Semite, but he handled the cases poorly. All it takes is a strong new leader, and a further surge from the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party to decimate Labour for years to come.