We may have to get used to the idea of a Corbyn-led party

Whilst an election conducted using the Alternative Vote system means that being ahead on first preferences is no guarantor of success, there comes a point when that lead is strong enough that it becomes more than possible – it becomes likely. The two recent opinion polls (conducted amongst Labour members) show the following :-

Burnham Cooper Corbyn Kendall
28 July Mirror 20 22.6 42 14
21 July YouGov 26 20 43 11

By any measure this is a commanding lead. However, it is only a poll, conducted on a most unusual electorate.

Nevertheless, there is no getting away from the fact that the campaign that has had the most impact is Jeremy’s. In my, admittedly biased, view the campaign that has the most new ideas belongs to Liz Kendall, but if this polling is at all accurate her campaign is gaining little traction.

I have struggled to envisage a Jeremy victory, but when his poll leads are so great then that has to be considered. Of course, it will always come down to how the second preferences are allocated. Is it likely that Corbyn will get enough second (or even third) preferences? When he is so close on first preferences then this does not seem at all improbable.

I think we may have to get used to the idea of a Jeremy win and a Corbyn-led Labour Party.

What will this look like? I do not think anyone can accuse Jeremy of not being clear on where he stands, although I think he will have to revisit some of his ideas when faced with actually running the party. He will also have to somehow argue that despite years of lacklustre loyalty to the Party, the Party should do as he says (and not as he did). The temptation for some to argue that he has no claim on loyalty should be resisted – not only would this signal anarchy, it would wreck any chances of making advances in the long run-in to 2020.

His campaign has attracted new members, and I hope they will be encouraged to become activists. The left has always been better at marching than door-knocking, and yet if they want Jezza4PM then they will have to embrace the concept of actually engaging (and not lecturing) the electorate.

I also think that those who have stated that they will not serve in a Corbyn administration need to think again. It is not Jeremy who will suffer, it will be Labour – and it will be those who need us as an effective Opposition.
I am not voting for Jeremy Corbyn, but if he wins I will work as hard for him as I would if Liz Kendall wins.


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