The problem I have with this analysis is that it assumes that we are in a politics-as-usual environment. All this stuff about polling and the historical evidence that no-one ever won anything with a bunch of kids (or is that football?) all assumes that what we are seeing is in in some way normal. In fact we live in interesting times where normal doesn’t cut it anymore. Polling doesn’t work, historical evidence is at best unhelpful, and the waters ahead are uncharted.
The radical jump to the left that was the election of Corbyn was, and remains a game-changer in how we do politics here. The losing candidates in the last Labour leadership election had no response to the scale and depth of the grassroots wave of passion and excitement. And the Labour MPs who don’t agree that they are part of a democratic socialist party still have no response.
We are in the midst of a major re-shaping of the political landscape, a ripping back of the veil that Thatcher and Blair after her drew over the country over the last 25 years or so. It’s not something that will be completed quickly, but as other commenters on this piece have already noted, we’re already seeing important signs of the shift towards a more human-centred politics, even from hard-nosed types like Theresa May.
For too long our political system has failed the majority of the electorate, working only to feather the nests of political and business elites. First past the post is catastrophic in its impact. I’m not particularly a fan of Corbyn, although I’ve no doubt that he is an honourable man. The job he’s trying to do is hugely difficult, and for that he should be praised and supported.
So, while the questions you ask are reasonable, I don’t think they are the right questions yet. Maybe in a year or so they’ll be the right questions, or maybe it will take longer than that.