Polling and Labour’s prospects
Owen Jones

Up until the second leadership election, I had supported the argument that, no matter how many hundreds of thousands were now ardent Corbynite members of the Labour Party, translating this admittedly impressive figure to the 12–14 million voters necessary to win a general election was going to be something of a challenge. The arguments offered in return were about the party (and, by implication, every voter aligned to neither Conservatives nor LibDems) appreciating the new-Left politics of tolerance and Jeremy’s unique brand of niceness and honesty to the extent that he could win the next general election. The bulk of the targeted 12–14 millions of voters that would sweep Labour to power were to come from the 20-odd million that, generally speaking, do not vote.

Since the 2nd leadership election results were announced at the party conference, I have changed my views and am now firmly supporting the democratic choice of the party membership. I have several justifications for this volt-face: most importantly, the will of the members delivered a decisive -significantly increased - majority for the standing party leader. Almost as importantly, those that believe the, hitherto reluctant, electorate would respond to Jeremy’s inclusive bonhomie - to the extent that they would deliver a Labour majority at the next election - might yet be proved correct. Finally, with such an overwhelming mandate, Jeremy Corbyn must be given the opportunity to deliver at the next election - no later than 2020 but perhaps as early as next spring! Doing anything else would risk breaking up the Party which would lead to a longer period out-of-Government than even the most pessimistic pundits would predict.

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