top of page

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour is finished

Photo by Franz Wender on Unsplash

SOME commentators still cling to the belief that the outcome of this week’s UK general election is unpredictable. They are wrong.

On Friday morning our unelected prime minister, who has no formal relationship with the truth, will finally claim an actual mandate having persuaded roughly 40% of the electorate to vote for him.

I'll buy you a beer if I'm wrong.

And the Labour party, as we know it, will be finished.

Jeremy Corbyn had one job - to defeat a deeply unpopular Tory government - and he’s made a monumental balls-up of the task.

How can I be so sure?

Unlike Corbyn, I’m a fan of markets. They’ve been doing the whole wisdom-of-crowds thing since long before the term became fashionable.

They’re better than surveys at predicting things because they reflect what people really think when they have skin in the game.

To this end, I have spent more hours than I would ideally have wanted to trawling all the betting odds for all 650 parliamentary constituencies.

One by one.

It's been a pain in the ass, but informative on many levels.

If the bookies are right, and they often are as they don’t like to lose money, we’re about to ‘elect’ 352 Conservative MPs, against 212 for Labour, to our 650-strong House of Commons.

On this reading, the dear old Lib Dems also look set to lose three seats, dropping to 18, while the SNP are looking at gaining eight, to a total of 43.   

That’s broadly in line with the predicted outcome of the MRP poll, widely billed as one of the most accurate.

With that majority, the rest of us will effectively become the silent 60%.

In effect, we might as well have 650 Conservative MPs. There’s some worrying writing on the wall.

In one respect, this is right and proper. As I have previously argued, the next few years are going to be a nightmare for the next occupant of 10 Downing Street. And no-one deserves a nightmare more than Johnson and his right-wing band of hang ‘em high acolytes.

Either way, Corbyn is finished. We should expect a resignation on Friday afternoon.

But the world goes on, and in the world beyond Jezza, Labour must take the opportunity over the next five years, hopefully sooner, to reflect on the prospects of its tired and outdated policies and on the political power of its enthusiastic but, in the grand scheme of things, small army of hardcore lefties.

Labour party members who identify as or with Momentum must surely now see that the rest of the country is just not as radical as them.

We Brits like our social democrats to be a little bit less socialist, and for Labour's own good, they ought to be a bit more democratic.

That’s a crucial observation for Labour because these days centrists and progressives have alternatives; the SNP in Scotland and the Lib Dems across the UK, not to mention Plaid Cymru and the Greens.

Even in this Tory Landslide, it’s quite likely that in the lanscape outlined above, most voters will have cast some kind of progressive vote, yet had their voices ignored.

Speaking of voices, there are already some in Labour who know what needs to be done.

In this thoughtful article, Labour activist Theo Morgan warns his party that they must embrace electoral reform in order to survive.

He’s right, although tellingly, the editor of Labour List, a Labour-leaning website funded by trade unions, didn’t share the article on social media as she does its other contributions.

Labour, especially the Corbynista mob, needs to get with the programme.

The political cleavages that divide Britain have changed permanently.

Labour has lost Scotland. And there will always be a dispersed but resilient liberal vote with pockets of strong support throughout the UK. That makes the maths under first-past-the-post all but impossible for Labour.

Labour doubtless clings to first-past-the-post for the same reasons as the Tories: thirst for outright power, puritanical self-belief, etc.

But unlike the Tories, who agree on little other than their desire for power, the arithmetic is stacked against Labour and that will be painfully illustrated on Friday morning.

They are on the verge of being as locked out of power as the Lib Dems always have been.

Welcome to the club! Sucks, doesn't it?

Under a fairer voting system, a progressive coalition led by Labour could stand up to the amply funded Tory juggernaut, giving the country a proper democratic choice every five years, rather than having to tactically vote for the party you dislike least.

Maybe such a system could even persuade the Tories to fight for the votes of the many and not the few. In fact, that's inevitable.

But as it stands, Labour is lost to power, and with it, the aspirations of the country’s progressive majority.

Many see electoral reform as a nerdy distraction from the important daily grind of political squabbling - as leaving the EU once was - but the issue is at the absolute heart of the disfunctional politics we are subjected to right now.

The war that is only just beginning is a fight for the soul of the nation.

The only way to unifiy this divided island is to give everyone a voice; a voice that is heeded rather than ignored.

Brexiteers used to whinge at length about the democratic deficit in the EU, but the EU’s democracy problem is as nothing compared to the UK’s, which scrapes in to the global democracy rankings at number 14.

I repeat, this week most of us are going to vote for someone other than Boris Johnson and get lumbered with him regardless.

That's not democracy, never has been, and in that light it's no wonder the British people are so disillusioned with their 'leaders'.

Yours truly is no Labour supporter, but for all its numerous and serious failings, Labour remains the biggest force of opposition to a right-wing cabal that is dragging the country backwards against its will.

Labour needs to start doing its job.

If the party wants to maintain any future chance of being in government, it needs to embrace fair voting so that maybe, just maybe, some faith will eventually be restored in British politics.

Until then, everything else is a distraction.


bottom of page