A rapid volte-face from the Labour Party means the UK may be headed for a Christmas time General Election.
For those of you following, this is the second proposed GE in a just a few weeks. Labour voted down the other, claiming that they would only vote for an early GE once No Deal was off the table, and an extension had been approved by the EU.
The equivalent of declaring “I’ll only drive this car if you take the steering wheel off first!”
Nevertheless, those two eventualities came to pass. The UK will not be leaving the EU until January 31st 2020, and they won’t be able to leave without a deal.
Why this is at all a desirable state of affairs I do not understand, but Labour have got what they want, so Corbyn is prepared to back a new GE.
We’re ready to kick start the most radical, hopeful, people-focused campaign that this party has ever mounted.
We’re totally united. Totally determined.
It’s time for real change. #GeneralElection2019 pic.twitter.com/LJC8ETYJka
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) October 29, 2019
The rest of Labour seems less sure, whether that’s because they fear losing or are still actively trying to prevent Corbyn becoming PM is unclear. For whatever reason, a portion of the PLP is still (allegedly) trying to prevent the election happening, or even resigning in protest.
If it does go ahead, then what?
Well, unfortunately from Labour’s POV, that’s nothing like as clear as it was. A few months ago I would have said Labour would win at a canter, but they’ve busied themselves in self-humiliation since then.
Whether through incompetence or design Labour have spent a decent amount of the last 12 months actively disenfranchising their base.
The on-going campaign to undermine the Palestine issue by forcing anti-Israeli sentiment to mean “antisemitism” has weakened the Party’s standing, as has the loss of Chris Williamson – a charismatic and forceful speaker on the side of Corbyn’s socialist manifesto.
More than that, the slow and steady betrayal of all Lexit voters in the North will really hurt Labour in what is traditionally their stronghold areas.
In short, Labour’s chances rely on two things:
1) That pro-Brexit working-class voters in the North can look past the Brexit issue and vote on austerity and protecting the NHS instead
2) That each Northen vote lost is countered with a Vegan teenager from Brighton voting for the first time.
Neither seems likely.
That said, and despite deep misgivings about an awful lot of “progressive” causes, the Green New Deal, banning Private Schools, the Gender Pay Gap and all sorts of other issues…Labour stills seems the only way to vote.
They are the only party (notionally) dedicated to ending austerity, decreasing military spending and increasing taxation on big companies and the super-rich.
Only Labour have a shot, or even the ambition, to actually make things better for everyone. No one else will even try. The Tories and LibDems will actively make it worse.
Somehow, it’s hard to see that saving Labour. Beset as they are with an ever dishonest and corrupt media, and a PLP that doesn’t want to be in government.
In 2017, despite the constant press doom and gloom, it really felt that Labour had momentum and opportunity. It’s hard to sense that same energy this time around.
Saying that, the Tories could easily lose a lot of Leave voters to the Brexit Party, or hard remainers to the Lib Dems.
It’s hard to see anyone coming out of this with a clear majority. Assuming it isn’t rigged.
- Will there be an early election?
- Will the Brexit Party split the Tory vote?
- How will the Lib Dems fare?
- Does Labour stand a chance?
- Does it matter anymore?
- Will the UK ever really leave the EU?