LONDON - (Labour Buzz) With a renewed sense of purpose, Corbyn declared, “I’m leading this party to go into an election, we have hundreds of thousands of members determined to win that election. I am utterly determined to get a message out there, it’s only Labour that is going to end austerity and invest in the future, a better future for this country and I want to lead the party to do that."
Earlier this week the Shadow Chancellor had indicated that both he and Jeremy Corbyn could stand aside if Labour were to lose the next general election. Responding to this, the Labour Leader said, “We’re not expecting to lose the next election. It’s a hypothetical question.”
In his recent interview with Alastair Campbell, the Shadow Chancellor said that the next Leader of the Labour Party ought to be a woman. The left of the party is rallying round Laura Pidcock, the Shadow Business Minister or Rebecca Long-Bailey the Shadow Business Secretary. Others have tipped Emily Thronberry.
Other names that have been mentioned include Angela Rayner the Shadow Education Secretary. The backbench Labour MP, Jess Phillips also announced that she “might” consider a run for Labour Leader. Commenting on the possibility of a future woman leader, Jeremy Corbyn said, “It's not for me to decide who the next leader is. Obviously, a woman will be a candidate, of that I am very sure.”
Some opinion polls have shown a consistent Tory lead, but Labour is convinced it will be able to close the gap and overtake the Tories in the general election. Labour demonstrated exceptionally poor polling prior to the previous general election in 2017. At that election Labour confounded experts and delivered a fantastic result with Corbyn outperforming all leaders on the campaign trail, delivering the biggest swing to Labour since the 40s with 9.5%. This was a similar vote share to the Tony Blair winning election campaign of 2005, 40%. Unfortunately, too many of the new votes came in areas that were already held by Labour, and under the first past the post voting system, this meant that Labour fell very short of a majority with only 262 seats. But this was enough to deprive the Tories of a majority and far better than pollsters had predicted.
When you look at the most recent average polling, (the average of all polls) the data seems to be telling a similarly negative story.
Conservatives: 34% | Labour: 26% | Lib Dems: 18% | Brexit Party: 12% | SNP: 4% | Greens: 4% | Change UK: 1% | UKIP: 0% |
Of course, these polls do not predict the wildcard Labour have with their compassionate, ambitious and determined expert campaigner, Jeremy Corbyn, who is likely to turn this around significantly once the campaign begins. He has done so before and is likely to do so again, given he is the best campaigner any political party has in the UK today.
During the interview, Corbyn outlined Labour's radical policies for government that would end austerity with a focus on social justice and protecting the environment. Responding to the extinction rebellion protests, Jeremy Corbyn said the country needs, “A radical change in the way in which we generate electricity. It does mean a huge investment in green energy and also means a huge number of jobs created in green energy. It also means significant changes to agricultural and industrial practices.”
He attacked Boris Johnson’s government’s poor performance on the environment and for failing to take the issue seriously. “At the moment the government is often not including airlines and shipping, aircraft and shipping and the measurement of emissions and we are not including the emissions created through imported goods that we have, but let’s be serious about this, the world as a whole is suffering [from] global warming, the world as a whole is destroying the natural world at a very rapid rate.“
He added, “Extinction Rebellion have woken people up to the seriousness of this and I think all of us have to recognise that. Yes, does it mean in the long term more efficient aircraft and fewer flights? Probably yes, it means moving towards more efficient railways. Railways in this country need[s] more investment I believe, but also it’s very easy to take Eurostar to London to Brussels or Paris, it is actually incredibly expensive to take a train anywhere else in Europe and a flight is often a fifth or less than the cost of a train.”
(Written by Brendan Chilton and Michael O'Sullivan, edited by Michael O'Sullivan)