I’ve had a break from the blog over the last few days, so I missed a YouGov poll of Labour members last week which suggested the first cracks in the hitherto solid support for Jeremy Corbyn among Labour members.

Back in May 72% of Labour members thought Corbyn was doing well, 27% badly; 60% wanted him to lead the party into the next election. Now 51% think he’s doing well, 48% badly and only 41% thought he should lead the party into the next election. However, for Labour MPs seeking to unseat him, their success of any leadership election is still questionable. 50% of members say they would probably still vote for Corbyn in a leadership election, 47% that they would probably not, and even that 47% relies upon finding a candidate who all those members unhappy with him could unite behind. Asked how they would vote in head-to-head contests between Corbyn and some potential challengers Corbyn still wins: he is ahead of Tom Watson by 50% to 39%, Angela Eagle by 50% to 40%, Dan Jarvis by 52% to 35%.

These figures are also just for fully paid up party members – an election would also include £3 supporters. Those £3 supporters from the last election would still break heavily for Corbyn, but in the case of an actual leadership election there would obviously be efforts by both sides to recruit new £3 supporters – we cannot tell how successful they’d be.

I can claim no particular insight into the mind of the Parliamentary Labour party, but I suspect one reason that none of Corbyn’s critics has yet triggered a leadership is that (as of last week at least) the polling of Labour party members did not suggest they could be sure of a victory in a leadership contest. Since then, of course, there has been another week of infighting and stand-off, and sooner or later there has to be some sort of resolution…

The tabs for the Labour leadership polling are here.


252 Responses to “Last week’s Labour Leadership Polling”

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  1. Syzygy

    Yes that was hilarious but also scary

  2. SYZYGY

    :”and effectively begin operating as a distinct Labour Party totally separate from Mr Corbyn. ‘

    Like Momentum then, who operate a Corbyn Party totally distinct from the Labour Party.

    This thread, with its detailed examination of the legal consequences of challenging Corbyn demonstrates beyond doubt that the Labour Party is now a husk. A dying body ,possession of which is being fought for by two rival parasites.

    Meanwhile , the Conservative Party is about to elect its second Woman Leader/Prime Minister; from Middle England , and implement a program of Infrastructure Investment in The North.

    …………whilst UKIP waves goodbye to Farage & the European Parliament to consolidate its appeal to the White Working Classes of England & Wales.

  3. ROGER MEXICO

    @”Labour’s real problem here is less one of politics than sociology. Corbyn is not acceptable to the Party establishment, mainly because he is not one of them”

    ……………and because of his shambolic lack of anything resembling Leadership & Organisation of The Labour Party ( the one 9 million people voted for at the last GE that is )

    Actually I think you are correct about the social gulf. Corbyn & his Momentum gang -“the London-centric hard left political class who sit around in their £1 million mansions eating their croissants at breakfast and seeking to lay the foundations for a socialist revolution’.” as one Labour commentator put it , are about as far away from those of their traditional voters now turning to UKIP is it is possible to get. Actually , I think it probably beats being an Old Etonian on that score.

  4. Colin

    We shall have to see whether Labour dies off now and Con flourish, these things go in cycles.

    Always makes me laugh when people quote unnamed sources. Smacks of “news management”. I think you are well aware that you are just spreading somebody else’s word for them.

  5. I like croissants to and live in the North but only at weekends.
    Why does the Andy Murray Poll not have both (Scottish and British) an option, I think that would score highly.

    Momentum gaining……well momentum and bringing in lots of new members many of whom seem to be joining the Labour Party but it is odd that they have meetings which includes (a minority) of Trots and others who have campaigned against Labour as recently as 2015. At these meetings they agree a line to take at LP meetings. It really is like the 1980s with caucuses and factions operating within the party but staying within the rules.
    History does not always repeat but often does.
    BTW – Agree that if JC does not resign he must be on the ballot and believe most LP members would the that view, regardless of who they voted for la year.

  6. Jim Jam “Momentum gaining……well momentum and bringing in lots of new members many of whom seem to be joining the Labour Party but it is odd that they have meetings which includes (a minority) of Trots and others who have campaigned against Labour as recently as 2015. At these meetings they agree a line to take at LP meetings.”

    They agree a line to take at LP meetings that, by all accounts, they don’t then bother going to…

  7. SYZYGY

    “Do they think that their constituents are going to happily accept such a UDI? And it will be the PLP rebels who will have destroyed the LP not Jeremy Corbyn. Their position is totally untenable.”

    As an interested outside observer that looks spot on.

  8. If (some of) the Labour Party are worried about Trots etc, why don’t they have a rule like UKIP, where anyone who has ever been a member of BNP, NF, Britain First, etc etc is not allowed to be a member and is expelled if later discovered.

    Or is it too late? Has the infiltration gone so far that you couldn’t get such a rule implemented?

    I don’t think it’s a new problem. I seem to remember such grandees as Denis Healey began as communists.

  9. BBC is now reporting of no meeting between Watson and the unions. Could be true, could be false (although it is from one of their assistant editors).

  10. Pete – I would not want to exclude people who have changed their position, even genuinely regretful former BNP members; a system of open disclosure and vetting should work.
    The issue with momentum is different in that non-LP members are able to join with the laudable aim that they will go on to become members as many have. Whilst Momentum was just a discussion group that was fine but it is starting to run slates and take positions and ‘expect’ members to vote the agreed line.
    The sheer volume of momentum members prevents an entryist take-over as the small number of trots are dwarfed by non-trots ( as far as I can tell).
    The dilemma is that Trots are often articulate and persuasive so may have a disproportionate influence and they (and other non-LP members) do get do get to vote in momentum meetings and on matters concerning the LP which is just philosophically wrong imo.

    They ain’t Millitant or SO and have formed for genuine reasons but they need to sort out this dilemma at some point.

  11. Jim Jam
    Thanks for that explanation. My impression (and it is only that) is that Momentum is largely a young, London-based movement. If I’m right, how are they going to connect to a northern, socially conservative working-class family man who voted Leave, and might usually vote Labour out of habit? There’s an awful lot of those people.

  12. NICKP

    It is a seminal moment in UK politics I think Nick. The “old” is dying & the “new” being borne all over Europe-in Italy, Spain, Denmark, Greece, France-even Germany. Throw in Brexit & the gulf opening up between Integrationist zealots & Cautious Realists in the EU & you have a complete shattering of the Old Order in prospect .

    What will emerge , who knows. But clinging to the “old” is now clutching at a corpse. The swift of foot & the sensitively responsive politicians will be the beneficiaries.

    Sky News did a survey/trip/vox pop thing to the world of the Leave voters beyond London. Their main finding-a “visceral” dislike of & disillusion with all the politicians of our day.

  13. Gherkin here, reporting from South Thanet. Weather changeable.

    There has been much good lurking on these threads of late, keep it up chaps & chapesses it’s all very entertaining. Mostly too busy to comment, unfortunately.

    I thought I would chip in as a ‘Corbyn supporter and all of my friends are too’ kind of person – OK I exaggerate, that should be ‘a surprisingly large number of my friends are too including people I wouldn’t expect’.

    I don’t recognise any of the caricatures of Corbyn supporters as matching the profile of those I know, but I suppose they must be true of somebody somewhere. I was trying to think of a unifying description of the Corbyn supporters I know. Class or geography don’t seem very helpful. None are really ‘hard left’ in their political outlook and most are educated professionals from working class or middle class backgrounds. Most are middle-aged with kids. If I were forced to use a one-word description of a common trait, which may or not be an entirely coincidental correlation to their support for Corbyn, it would be ‘Geeks’.

    Why do we support Corbyn? I can only speak for myself here with confidence. It’s because if you ignore the media echo-chamber and actually examine what he & Mc Donnell have been proposing, they appear to want to implement something akin to the Lib Dem manifesto of 2010. Which certainly wasn’t decried as ‘hard left’ at the time.

    Has our support cracked? I’ve seen signs of a bit of fraying about the edges; but many are driven now by outrage at what the PLP have done, which is effectively, to slash the party’s own political wrists at exactly the worst time to do it in terms of national interest, though perhaps the best time to do it in terms of their own interest.

    I also am outraged, but privately, my support *is* fraying, and for one reason only: Europe.

    Having followed Corbyn’s actual words (rather than second hand reporting) during his leadership campaign, I was satisfied with his stance on the EU which was ‘Remain and Reform’ though there was a bit of wavering at one point. I am strongly pro-Remain (whilst recognising faults in the EU, they’re a distraction from the worse faults we have at home). I favour parliament striking down any motion to pass Article 50 (snicker at my ‘anti-democratic’ stance all you like – I didn’t even want the referendum to happen).

    This of course now puts me at odds with what Corbyn & McDonnell are saying, on a major issue, because they immediately capitulated to ‘Leave’ after the referendum result was announced. Corbyn is pursuing that 1/3rd of Labour vote who voted ‘Leave’. Unfortunately he now risks losing the suppport of the 2/3 who voted ‘Remain’.

    And suddenly, on the matter of Brexit, I find myself agreeing with Blair. To be clear, I always weighed up the good things Blir achieved against the bad. The Iraq war was a tragic folly. Blair’s interventions against Corbyn have been damaging and anger-provoking. But ironically, Corbyn is the Labour leader who most robustly defends the better parts of Blair’s legacy. And I don’t follow either man as some kind of personality cultist.

    I now find myself looking at the Greens and Lib Dems with renewed interest as they appear to be the only unrepentantly pro-European parties still on the field. Tactically inadvisable before now, but Labour may have inflicted so much damage on itself that the old certainties no longer apply. I will wait and see how the dust settles.

  14. There are some very sweeping statements here forecasting the end of the Labour Party that seem more to be wishful thinking than grounded in fact.

    I have been a member of the Scottish Labour Party for 18 months now, and observe that communications are effective and frequent. I realise that many of the new joiners here were either far Left or independence supporters, but clearly within Scotland there are many moderate Left or independence-dubious, who are potential members for Labour to attract.

    The spectacle of the Tory leadership contest could well tip the scales back to Labour in Scotland. When Ms Leadson with her far-Right spin, Margaret-Thatcher-my hero, and offshore-tax-avoidance history, can attract 40 MPs, the great majority here will be appalled.

    Besides which we have daily evidence and press reporting of the bad behaviour of private companies, that neolibs are happy to tolerate.

    Like the Post Office selling off their sorting offices to maximise profits, and doing the sorting in public car parks. Now that people are getting mail totally soaked on wet days it has become a scandal.

    And it emerges that local councils haven`t given permission for this use of their car parks, and the Post office haven`t been paying for the space taken up by their vans, trolleys and wagons: the ca.

  15. In my constituency, they are mainly old lefties some stayed in the party through the Blair years and others who have returned, along with some young people who have been energised.
    Those who stayed are understandably annoyed that the ‘right’ are not letting the left have its’ turn which the returnees say the right can leave like we did if they dont like it.
    What they are not getting is that many centrists and soft left members also think JC is a poor leader.
    As, I have said before mounting the campaign to remove the leader after such a short time was crazy – the cons waited 2 years with IDS to give time for many of his supporters to realise he was not up to it.
    Of course JC may have proved me and others wrong in those 2 years and should have been given the chance.

    Difficulty is that people like me and more importantly many mainstream MPs (not the plotters are fellow travellors) have had to make a decision before they wanted to.

  16. Continued:

    The Post Office plead that the carparks are fairly empty in the mornings when they sort the mail, so they aren`t losing councils revenue!

    Doubtless Ms Leadson, following on from Margaret Thatcher`s first use of Scotland for nasty measures, will give an edict that all Post Office premises here have to be sold off, and the sorting of mail done in bus garages, laybys, petrol stations, as well as carparks.

  17. In my constituency, they are mainly old lefties some stayed in the party through the Nu-Labour years and others who have returned, along with some young people who have been energised.
    Those who stayed are understandably annoyed that the ‘right’ are not letting the left have its’ turn and the returnees say the right can leave like we did if they don’t like it.
    What they are not getting is that many centrists and soft left members also think JC is a poor leader.
    As, I have said before mounting the campaign to remove the leader after such a short time was crazy – the Tories waited 2 years with IDS to give time for many of his supporters to realise he was not up to it.
    Of course JC may have proved me and others wrong in those 2 years and should have been given the chance.

    Difficulty is that people like me and more importantly many mainstream MPs (not the plotters are fellow travellers) have had to make a decision before they wanted to.

  18. @LG
    ” his stance on the EU which was ‘Remain and Reform’”
    Delusional. But then I voted out back in 1972 because I thought that the “United States of Europe” was a bad runner and should have been a non-starter, but they will keep trying.

  19. As someone who was involved in politics in the 1980s, as a member of what was then the Liberal Party, I can still remember canvassing for the Liberal-SDP Alliance in the 1983 GE.

    But I had doubts then that there was really any need to form a new party, and as subsequent events have shown, the ‘gang of four’ would have done far better if they’d simply joined the Liberals. However, David Owen’s vanity meant that didn’t happen.

    I can see history repeating itself with the current Labour ‘rebel’ MPs. They won’t be able to oust Corbyn under LP rules, and any challenger they put up probably won’t win a members’ ballot.

    So will they learn the lessons of 1981 and join the LDs, or will they split the anti-Tory vote, thus ensuring many more years of Tory government? As an outside observer, it will be interesting to watch.

  20. On EU nationals, the SNP MSPs have written to every EU national in their constituencies, regions telling them they are ‘welcome, valued etc’ of course with immigration policy reserved they can’t guarantee their status but it is a nice thing to do. Contrast with indyref when Project Fear told them they’d be deported.

  21. It is obvious they should join the Liberals if they do go, but I think the Blairite right of Labour have even less political acumen than Corbyn.

    They are just as bad as the hardcore Corbynites in not having any flexibility in their attitudes or strategy.

  22. @Dave

    No.

  23. Lurkin
    “Most are middle-aged with kids. If I were forced to use a one-word description of a common trait, which may or not be an entirely coincidental correlation to their support for Corbyn, it would be ‘Geeks’.”

    Are they in Momentum though? Also, though I’m sure they are all estimable people, they are still going to have the problem of connecting with northern and midland working class voters. I think both Labour and Tories have been relying on ‘habit’ voters for years. Now that there are some viable alternatives – SNP, Green, UKIP etc, I agree with Colin that we could be near the beginning of a major realignment. It’s already started, most obviously in Scotland of course.

  24. Just catching up with things this morning.

    I was surprised to see that the Welsh Poll had REMAIN 6% ahead of LEAVE now, almost the reverse of the result on the day. Presumably some regret but it’s a bit late – the train seems to have left the station with all Tory contenders ruling out a snap election.

  25. The problem here is that many in Labour still haven’t forgiven the Lib-Dems for their betrayal of the centre-left in 2010. Therefore I am unsure as to how many Labour centrists will move to the Lib-Dems, if any. Many Blairites still hold out for some kind of internal revolution, however unlikely. With UKIP actively hunting down white working class voters, especially in the north, there is little prospect of Labour ever recovering. The Corbinesque Labour left will become a party of special interest, mainly attracting trade unionists and ethnic minorities, while UKIP will take the white vote. This leaves the Blairites, who will have to choose between forming a new party and merging with Lib-Dems. Whatever happens, this fragmentation of the Labour vote base will be excellent news to the conservatives, who are now set to be the permanent party of government.

  26. @Pete B

    “Are they in Momentum though?”

    With perhaps one exception, it’s highly doubtful.

  27. @Pete B

    Agree on the major realignment thing, though.

  28. @BAZINWALES

    Not surprising that some people have changed their minds, but all too late now. The political decision has been made.
    I just hope that whoever becomes PM is fully aware that there is a need to for national unity and reconciliation. It will be hard.

  29. @TANCRED

    “The problem here is that many in Labour still haven’t forgiven the Lib-Dems for their betrayal of the centre-left in 2010.”

    That may be true, I don’t have any insight into the Labour activist mindset.

    But it’s a completely illogical position. After the 2010 GE, the LDs would have preferred a coalition with Labour, but the numbers simply did not add up.

    The only realistic way forward was a Con-LD coalition, and one in which the LDs put the national interest before party interest, to the detriment of their party, and the unjustified demonization of a very able politician in Nick Clegg.

  30. @DAVID CARROD

    For once, I am in full agreement with you. The Lib-Dems had to work with the leading party, even if it was the Conservatives. And Clegg was unfairly demonised for the university fees backtracking and the backing to the austerity programme. All he did was to put the country first, as you said, but the electorate was unforgiving. Maybe now, if Labour implodes, we will see a realignment.

  31. David C: “So will they learn the lessons of 1981 and join the LDs,”

    Probably not. But one thing that’s different now is that many will be staring down the barrel of the CLP deselection gun. An MP faced with the certainty of redundancy come the next election may well suddenly acquire the courage of his/her lack of convictions.

    If 113 or more Labour MPs took the LD whip, their new party would become the official opposition, and able to form a shadow cabinet entirely free of Corbynista influence.

    As you (almost) said, I doubt they’ve got the nous or cojones to do it, but if ever there was a time to countenance a paradigm shift in UK politics, this is it. Carpe diem!

    Totally agree re David Owen, too. His vanity single-handedly destroyed the last attempted realignment of politics. Hopefully he’s too much of a busted flush and not-so-closet Tory to have any influence this time round.

  32. TANCRED
    The problem here is that many in Labour still haven’t forgiven the Lib-Dems for their betrayal of the centre-left in 2010.

    I suspect you’re correct, but the trouble is that it’s completely untrue. The LDs did discuss the possibility of a rainbow coalition with Brown in 2010, but his cabinet was opposed to any deal which brought the “minor” parties into government, and particularly the SNP. I’ve managed to wipe most of their names out of my memory, but Reid [now Baron Reid of Cardowan] is one I recall taking that position.

    Characteristically, Brown dithered for a few days, resulting in the rose garden love in which nearly destroyed the LDs when they bet wrongly on which of their policies could be discarded. Given that set the scene for GE 2011, if ever there’s a Scottish equivalent of Yad Vashem, Reid, Clegg and their associates may get a mention as “righteous brits”.

  33. @LurkingGherkin
    Yes, that accords with my view of Corbyn supporters, particularly those who joined since last year. A lot of middle-aged ‘Old Labour’ types who found Blair etc hard to stomach. Not dissimilar to me actually, though I rejoined in 2010 to support Ed Miliband. Actually, I think the profile is similar with longer-standing members too.

    There may be a lot of younger ones but they are rarely seen and the one or two Momentum events I’ve been to have been distinctly middle aged (or elderly) as well.

    How all this plays out I have no clue, but it won’t be pretty whatever happens. As to ‘the plotters’, there may be a few who have worked all this out in formerly smoke-filled rooms but I’m sure the majority were not in on any plot, nor are they particularly careerists. It amounts to about 80% of the PLP so whilst some will be Blairites they quite obviously come from all sections of the party except staunch Corbynites. They may be misguided but the motivating factor is a belief that Corbyn can’t win: some believe he is too left wing, some that he lacks leadership skills, some that he simply lacks voter appeal, or a combination of all three.

    If it comes to a leadership ballot, I’m pretty certain JC will be on the ballot paper (IMO he must be) and will win, probably quite comfortably. I don’t know whether that will pull the PLP in behind him (if so, it will likely be only temporarily) or cause a final split. Either way, it’s a mess.

    If he does end up resigning – which looks increasingly unlikely – there’s just a slim chance that a leftish leader could emerge who could unite and lead, but I don’t know who that would be. If a right wing leader emerges I think a lot of us will be looking hard at the Greens.

  34. Jimjam

    I haven’t been to a momentum meeting yet, but when I do I’ll be sure to report back and let you know if its as you describe. I suspect you are exsagerating but couldn’t possibly comment on something I have no personal knowledge of.

    I mean I always imagine tory party meetings as a bunch bigoted men sitting in leather armchairs drinking brandy and smoking fat cigars. While there wives sit quietly in the corner doing their needle work. But not having been to a tory party meeting I wouldn’t present my biased imaginings as solid fact.

  35. @Barbazenzero

    Brown opposed bringing in the SNP and minor parties because he beleived that this would be political poison with the electorate. Indeed, it could be argued that Labour’s losses were due to a fear of SNP involvement in politics – the Tories capitalised on this fear. Unfortuantely the Lib-Dems paid the price for this.

  36. Tancred
    “Whatever happens, this fragmentation of the Labour vote base will be excellent news to the conservatives, who are now set to be the permanent party of government.”

    Not necessarily good for the country though. Any party which is almost unchallenged will become lazy, arrogant and even more out of touch. And I say that as one who is more inclined to Conservative rather than Labour.

  37. First of all to declare I have no particular preference in the outcome of the current Labour party shenanigans, other than that it would be extremely useful to have at least a half-functioning HM Official Opposition at the present time.

    I’d also observe the irony that most of Corbyn’s platform – nuclear defence and Europe being the obvious exceptions – could have been lifted directly from the SDP / Liberal Alliance Manifesto of 1983. How politics has shifted over the intervening years.

    However, many here wish to claim there is absolutely no ambiguity in Labour Party rules regarding leadership elections. This is not the case.

    I sent several years professionally reviewing the M&As, constitutions and rule books of NGOs, companies, Unions, industrial and provident societies, clubs and assorted other organisations and having had a cursory glance at the Labour Party’s set this morning I have to say they are a pretty shoddy piece of work. The result, I daresay of too many committees and too much re-drafting.

    It should therefore come as no surprise that an ambiguity does arise with reference to leadership elections in the second clause:

    ii. Where there is no vacancy, nominations
    may be sought by potential challengers
    each year prior to the annual session of
    party conference. In this case any
    nomination must be supported by 20 per
    cent of the Commons members of the PLP.
    Nominations not attaining this threshold
    shall be null and void.

    Everyone has put emphasis on the use of the ‘sought by potential challengers’, to indicate that it is only said challengers who need to obtain the requisite nominations.

    However, the clause breaks with a full stop and then continues “In this case any nomination must be supported by 20 per cent….” and so on.

    The ambiguity arises from ‘any nomination’. As this is a discrete sentence as opposed to a sub-clause to the previous statement on challengers it cannot automatically said to refer specifically to nominations from challengers but could be claimed to relate to ‘any nominations’ for the leadership, including by incumbents.

    The clause as a whole could, therefore, be interpreted to mean that the instigation of a challenge places an obligation on ‘any nominations’ to achieve the requisite support from the PLP.

    Now, the counter argument would be that this second (ii) clause deals exclusively with challengers – maybe, maybe not. Had a comma been used in stead of a full stop, or the second sentence read ‘any nomination for a challenger to the leadership’, the rules would have been absolutely unambiguous and there would have been no case to argue. However, they do not, and an ambiguity therefore exists.

    This is, I suspect, along with the ill-defined powers of the NEC, are the reasons why different lawyers have given opposing opinions on the matter.

    As to whether the courts would become involved? In the case of a legal complaint, they would have to consider whether this was a matter for their involvement. Courts can and do frequently become involved in such matters. Would they in this case? Quite possibly as the organisation in question has recourse to public funds – ‘short money’ – establishing a public interest in the case.

    If the courts agreed that there was sufficient ambiguity in the current rules, they would – as English law is based on precedent – consider whether there was any precedent from the past proceedings of the organisation that could help the court determine the intention that lies behind the rules.

    This is why the Kinnock v Benn matter might be relevant.

    I’ve no idea which way a court would go; however, I’m fairly certain that it’s subject to argument and most courts would allow the losing side leave to appeal, meaning the case could drag on for quite some time.

    It’s this last point that I’m quite sure weighs heavily on the minds of all concerned – how damaging would it be to both the losers and the victors, and ultimately the party, to be dragged through the courts over months and months?

    So it may not be the clarity of the rules, but their ambiguity that is putting the so-called ‘plotters’ off.

  38. PS to my last post…..

    See the BBC’s Election 2010 Timeline: How coalition was agreed under the heading TUESDAY 11 MAY, which includes references to Reid, Blunkett & Burnham.

  39. SOMERJOHN

    I suspect if 113 Labour MPs took the LD Whip, it’d be the end of the lib dems and they would be assimilated into “labour in exile” despite the continuation of the name. How long before they install one of their own as leader?

    I assume the lib dems activists are in the lib dems because they want to be in the lib dems and not because the filled in the wrong form by mistake. The dynamics of the party won’t be as simple as having a whole bunch of new MPs who have suddenly converted their views.

  40. Barbazenzero

    I was one of those hoping desperately for a Lab/LD coalition in 2010. The scales fell from my eyes when I heard an interview with John Reid. It was filled with the venom of a machine politician totally unused to compromise, and it became clear that he – and by extension a large part of the PLP – would rather be in opposition against the old enemy than in government with LDs. It wasn’t just tribalism; the party was tired, disillusioned and ready to rest and regroup. They got their wish and could luxuriate in the purity of opposition; unfortunately it looks like being a very long rest!

  41. The problem with the rebel labour MPs joining the Dems is the liberal Democrats are even more democratic than the Labour party.

  42. I’m a working class man in my 40s from The North Of England. My Facebook timeline nowadays seems to be filled with people of all ages who previously showed very little outward interest in politics, and now support Corbyn, voting Labour at the last local election. A few of them used to vote Labour in the past but most would have previously, and maybe even now, not consider themselves overtly political.

    Not sure most of them even know what a Trot is, few have any real notion of what Momentum is and I imagine the majority really couldn’t care less. They see someone who speaks their language.

    Anecdotal evidence? For sure. An echo chamber? Something is happening and I’m not sure those of us who are involved and sometimes obsess about politics have worked it out yet.

  43. TANCRED
    Brown opposed bringing in the SNP and minor parties because he beleived that this would be political poison with the electorate

    Quite so, and it was proved he was right given the anti-SNP campaign the Cons ran in 2015, but it cost Lab 40 seats in 2015 and marked the beginning of the downfall of Scottish Lab, leaving the Scottish polity markedly different to England’s.

    And those 40 lost MPs would have had much more in common with the current PLP than the Corbynistas. Not that they would have been any more effective than the lot, of course.

  44. Alan: “I suspect if 113 Labour MPs took the LD Whip, it’d be the end of the lib dems and they would be assimilated into “labour in exile” despite the continuation of the name. How long before they install one of their own as leader?”

    Well, it would be history repeating itself, and certainly the SDP-Liberal Alliance was a fairly bruising experience for Liberals. But the LDs are the product of that merger; half their political genes are Social Democrat.

    If 113 Labour MPs did switch, they would be a self-selected group disenchanted with the dysfunctional Labour party, and presumably ideologically least incompatible with LD values.The Shirley Williams types, if you like. I think it could work, and the LDs I know are pretty open-minded. And not so uninterested in power that the prospect of being the official opposition and prospective next government wouldn’t be appealing enough to overcome fear of takeover.

  45. Assiduosity,

    Thank you for the summary.

    If a legal challenge was mounted, would it automatically mean a leadership contest would be suspended pending the outcome? Or could we see a leadership contest being run regardless and then declared void by the courts at a later date?

  46. Just an aside to the current Labour issues.

    It might be useful to recall that 25 Labour MPs are already joint representatives of the Cooperative Party in Parliament.

    The Cooperative Party has been in existence since 1917 and is registered with the Electoral Commission.

    They stand as Labour & Cooperative in elections, a name which is jointly registered with the Labour Party at the Electoral Commission.

    The NEC is chaired by Gareth Thomas MP, who, I think, has thus far not resigned from his shadow cabinet post, but also includes Gavin Shuker MP – who refused to serve under Corbyn last September, and Anna Turley MP, one of the more recent resigning shadow cabinet members.

    I believe the Party is funded by the Cooperative movement, so has some resources of its own.

    I wonder whether, if there were to be a defection by MPs, this might represent a ‘place of exile’ where they could ‘escape’ the current regime, without leaving the Labour movement entirely.

  47. ALAN @ SOMERJOHN

    I fully agree with that post. It would be putting an army of cuckoos into the LD nest.

    SOMERJOHN
    I was one of those hoping desperately for a Lab/LD coalition in 2010. The scales fell from my eyes when I heard an interview with John Reid.

    Snap. That’s probably why I remembered his name.

    It wasn’t just tribalism; the party was tired, disillusioned and ready to rest and regroup. They got their wish and could luxuriate in the purity of opposition; unfortunately it looks like being a very long rest!

    Quite so.

  48. Markets jittery today and BofE has said this morning that Brexit risks to the economy have begun to crystallize. It has loosened capital controls on banks and has pointed to the risk of reduced capital inflows to the UK ‘s current account deficit. Service sector also slowing.

    If there is a significant economic slowdown it will be interesting to see which party takes the polling hit.

  49. @ Edge of Seat

    “If a legal challenge was mounted, would it automatically mean a leadership contest would be suspended pending the outcome?”

    This would be the normal course of events.

    However, a court would have no power to prevent a very large cohort of MPs leaving the PLP – or at least refusing the whip – thereby meaning that the Labour Party relinquished its role as HM Official Opposition (subject to the numbers).

    That role would then pass either to the SNP or to another grouping of previous Labour MPs.

  50. SOMERJOHN

    I’m reminded of the spitting image sketch “We’ll take ‘Social Democratic’ from our party, and from yours we’ll take ‘party’ “.

    I’d rule nothing out in today’s climate but there really would have to be a total impasse with no way forward for this to happen. Once all other options have been explored then who knows how much realignment would take place.

    Who do you see as the new leader if this did come to pass? If there were to gain electoral traction they would need a leader who could convince former labour voters that the best way forward is their way. Without an electable leader (at least someone people can see as leader of the opposition) it might turn into a busted flush.

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