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21 Apr 2017

Jeremy Corbyn under fire from his own party

Jeremy Corbyn should first convince the Labour party members to talk in favour of the win on the 8th June election, and then his voters. Except the Labour MPs that have denied taking part in the elections or tried to press Corbyn to vote against a snap election in the Commons, there are those members that say openly that there is no chance of winning!

Helen Goodman, a North East Labour MP, said in an interview on ITV that “I don’t think that this election is about changing the government. I think this election is about preventing the Tories from getting such an overwhelming majority that there is no possibility of dissent in this country.” Goodman practically admitted that the Labour party will engage in rearguard action, trying to hold the Tories advance, and not actually trying to get the win.

Goodman’s words depict the fall of morale in the Labour camp, in which only Jeremy Corbyn appears to be optimistic. Theresa May’s tactic of constantly denying the possibility of early election achieved putting the Labour leadership to sleep. When the British prime minister called for a snap election in June, asking for a clear mandate, her opponents were caught off guard.

Theresa May appears to be a better strategist and enjoys the support of the Tories, although she replaced the elected prime minister James Cameron, after he resigned due to the Brexit referendum outcome. In comparison, Jeremy Corbyn has a lot of open fronts inside the Labour party, which became apparent after the call for an early election. Alan Johnson and the chairman of the parliamentary business committee, Iain Wright, were among the first who said that they will not stand in the election. Tom Blekinshop, an MP from Middlesbrough, also confirmed that he wouldn’t stand because of “irreconcilable differences” with Corbyn.

According to the polls, the public senses the negative vibes from the Labour camp. Politico.eu, a website specialised in politics, said that an internal poll shows the Labour party losing almost 60 seats in the parliament. One of the last public polls, prior to May’s call for an election, put the Labour in second place behind the Tories, with 16 units of difference. Anyone would wonder how is this thing possible, since the Brexit referendum outcome was so close and Theresa May’s government has not yet presented yet a clear plan on the negotiations with the European Union.

The answer is the Labour leader himself, Jeremy Corbyn. John Curtice, a professor of politics in the University of Stathclyde, said that no opposition party has ever been in such a weak position, on the day of an election announcement. “They have a leader who hasn’t persuaded many people he would make a good prime minister, who struggles to maintain his authority over his party,” said Curtice. A research conducted by Opinium, which concluded that only 14% of the voters seem to consider Corbyn the right choice for prime minister, confirms his sayings.

Jeremy Corbyn was clear in his initial election campaign speech yesterday. He will try to gain support of voters who want to clash with the “establishment”, as he described the Conservative government, the companies and the media that support it. Theresa May gave him a very short time window to prepare for the elections and it remains to be seen if he will manage to present a convincing plan for a future Britain. A Labour defeat will mean the end of his political career.