The electable Mr Corbyn


Originally published at:


If the election were held today, the governing Tory party would lose seats. Labour is in striking distance of winning a majority, and the momentum appears to be with Labour. So, what on earth happened?

Somebody drifted off into cloud cuckoo land is what happened. Even in the most optimistic polls, the Tories still lead by 5%, and several have them up by more than 10%. The best estimates say they’re practically certain to expand their majority by at least another 40 seats.
It’s also important to note that Labour’s program was already more popular than the Tories’ back in 2015, when they lost resoundingly. While voters liked the policies, they had little confidence that Labour would be able to implement them, and a substantial majority wanted to retain Cameron as PM. The same factors are at work now, and the Tories have the added benefit of UKIP’s demise. So no, Corbyn won’t become PM, and I hope for Labour’s sake that he doesn’t stick around as leader after his trouncing.


I’m going to stick with my plan to vote for Larry Sanders, but about the only way that the Conservatives stand a chance of winning here (the last time they came close to winning was in 1987) is for the left wing vote to be equally split four ways, and there aren’t that many left wing candidates standing.

Other than situations like that, I think that voting for the candidate most likely to keep the tories/kippers out is a good move. In most places that will be Labour.


Would you mind keeping your beak out of our election, please?
You’re really not helping anything.


I am a British citizen. In what way is this “our election” but not mine?


I’m British and happy for @doctorow to “keep his beak in our election”, thank you.

As he points out, he is already a British citizen. Should every other British ex-pat not get involved as well?


Has Corbyn changed his tune on Brexit? I’d love to see Labour win, and it would only help if the party leader signalled that he’d do everything possible to reverse the process and negotiate with the EU. I know that particular train is very difficult to stop now, but just trying to do so would demonstrate Labour’s solidarity with the young people whose futures were sold out in the referendum.


Don’t cock it up!


Labour have accepted Brexit as inevitable, because the majority of voters want it and if Labour adopted an anti-Brexit policy they would lose a huge chunk of their base. They say that they aim to keep Britain in the single market and protect the rights of EU citizens already resident in the UK while abolishing freedom of movement between the UK and the EU. (Current EU policy is that countries wanting to be part of the single market must accept freedom of movement.)


You do realize that lots of people here are British, right? I mean, I’m not (which is why I tend to listen to these threads and maybe ask questions), but lots of people actually are.


I am, for one. I’ll be voting Corbyn/Labour, and so will most people I know. Polls be damned, vote for yourself.

Always worth voting for the nice guy rather than the obviously mean-spirited u-turning politician…


As true in your country as in mine!


Some rules work everywhere :relaxed:


I cringe.


A shame that they accepted it as inevitable, given the slim margin and so many people openly expressing regret after the fact. But I can also understand that there might be a protectionist element in Labour’s working-class base that cancels that out.

Lack of freedom of movement is what hurts young people the most in all this. The EU also doesn’t seem inclined to allow the UK to remain in the single market without it. I suppose Labour can make a compelling case that being stuck in a labour market run by them is better than the alternative of one run by Tories who clearly intend to use Brexit to exploit young workers.


I have been looking at this. I have just sunk two stiff gins based on what I have seen. There is an enormous possibility that the Tories will get back with a 130+ majority. There is a significant chance they may get back with an increased majority. The maps for how England will vote is almost solid blue. The Conservatives are getting a free tow from the media Trump truck. My local Lib Dems have put up a candidate who has said that gays don’t get into heaven (if he really thought so, he could have kept his gob shut, so this doesn’t say much for his fitness for office). The Labour candidate is not exciting, but not a Blair supporter, hooray for small mercies, but polled about 13% last time. Workers! You have nothing to lose but your zero hours contract in the local chains factory! But, no, it is almost impossible my constituency won’t return anything that moves with a blue ribbon.

Corbin may look a bit like Obi-wan Kenobi. But it won’t be enough. It would be nice to vote for the greens or the pagan alliance, but unless they really stand a chance of getting in, this isn’t the time. Please at least vote for an opposition that might cause them some trouble. And maybe, just maybe, we can avoid the unavoidable, just as France has done.


When I travelled from Oxford to Newcastle last week, for some unknown reason the satnav took us on a tour of rural Cheshire. The absence of signs saying vote Conservative, in a strongly conservative area, was notable.

I don’t know what that means, but I can’t imagine it is good news for the Tories.

I don’t know if that was directed towards me, but I do live in an area where voting for them will make no difference to the Conservatives chances of winning here. If Labour don’t win here it will be the Lib-Dems or Green. You could split their combined vote three ways and each one would have a larger share of the vote than the Conservatives would have, and that is true for every election since 1997.

And if it comes down to Larry Sanders, Darren Hall, and Caroline Lucas deciding who is the government then it isn’t looking good for the Tories.


Apologies, I didn’t know you had taken citizenship. Are you voting? You did do an epic flounce after the last election.


Although foreign websites attempting to influence elections have a record of producing negative outcomes:


Your polls, @doctorow sound a lot better than mine. The ones I’m looking at say that, yay, Corbyn can hope for a mere slaughter rather than a massacre, come the election. I much prefer yours, but I find them difficult to believe.

I’m not British myself, but I am from one of those tiny little countries that must always keep a weather eye out on the elections of our betters just to see if I should start digging a shelter.

Look on the bright side. It might kill the neoliberal colossus that is the EU and in its place something better may arise.

Look, I said bright side. Not probable side.