Jeremy Corbyn has been leader of the Labour Party for under a year. Labour performed poorly but not disastrously in the 2015 Parliamentary election. Labour polled 32% of the vote. This was a marked improvement from its 28% showing in the 2010 Westminster election. Unfortunately for Labour the party lost seats in 2015 despites its increased share of the vote. This was partly due to a twin assault by UKIP and the SNP. The SNP took dozens of seats from Labour in Caledonia. UKIP took plenty of votes but no seats from Labour. This enabled the Tories to hang on to some 2010 gains.
Comrade Corbyn has always been a rank outsider in his party. He never approached the front bench. He was a thorn in the side of every Labour leader. His loony left ideas kept his party out of office for 18 years. He was the most rebellious leader ever. He cannot now expect loyalty. He called for annual leadership elections under Blair. Now he has got them. Even if he survives as leader he will probably face another coup next year.
Corbyn has reduced Labour’s support to 27% in the opinion polls. This is down to Labour’s level of popularity in the 1983 election. A year into his leadership he should be close to his most popular. The Conservatives have still not stopped bickering about the Brexit Campaign. Austerity has no end in sight. The junior doctors’ strike is about to recommence. Labour should be making the running.
Why is Labour so unpopular? Partly it is due to Corbyn. He has galvanised the party by attracting many far left activists. These are the sort of people who resigned in droves around 2003 due to the liberation of Iraq. Though Jeremy Corbyn appeals to the extreme left he has no appeal to the centre. He repels floating voters. His sartorial sense does not help him. People cannot imagine him standing at the door to Number Ten Downing Street. He has constantly proven himself totally unworthy to be Prime Minister. He said he would not authorise the police to shoot dead a terrorist gunman. He would not launch nuclear weapons. He proposed getting rid of them. He has no credibility. To some extent his unpopularity is caused by Labour moderates carping against him. His partly is bitterly divided. There is such acrimony that Labour MPs have chosen to wash their dirty linen in public.
Many foul and threatening messages have been sent to anti Corbynistas. This febrile and vicious atmosphere is deeply unattractive to voters.
Corbyn has been a calamitous Leader of the Opposition. The government has not been properly scrutinised. People are so busy scrutinising the parlous situation of the main opposition party. Corbyn has little time to fulfill his role in critically analysing the government. He is fighting to save his leadership. He is so out of touch with reality that he believes his leadership is viable despite the great majority of his own parliamentarians publicly denouncing him as unelectable. He is a massive vote loser.
J Corbyn is liked by much of Labour’s rank and file. It is probable that he will be re-elected. This is why only Owen Smith and Angela Eagle were willing to challenge him. The big beasts did not risk confronting him. If Corbyn is returned by the ordinary members – as is likely – what then? The Tories will then rule almost unopposed. A few Labour MPs will defect to the Liberal Democrats. Millions of moderate voters will plump for the Lib Dems. Labour can thank their lucky stars that the Lib Dems are left by the ineffectual Tim Farron. If the Lib Dems had a credible leader then Labour would be doing even worse. The Lib Dems may yet dump Farron and replace him with someone more convincing – such as restoring Nick Clegg. The Lib Dems have very few Members of Parliament to choose from.
The number of constituences is being reduced. Corbyn has said sitting Labour MPs will have to seek re selection for the new parliamentary elections. Some MPs retire anyway. Some moderates will be disgusted and demoralised. They will resign anyway. Some moderates who try to fight on will be de-selected by Trotskyite activists. Labour has wrecked itself and gone back the barmy leftism of the 1980s.