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Can Jeremy Corbyn save the Labour Party?

Chris | 18.09.2015 22:24 | Workers' Movements | Sheffield

Attached is a recording of a meeting titled "Can Jeremy Corbyn save the Labour Party?" which was addressed by Martyn Mayer, Dominic Riddler and Simon Hardy and was organised by Sheffield Open Socialist Forum and Left Unity, held in the Central United Reformed Church, Sheffield on September 16th 2015.

Regarding the background noise at the start, no children were harmed!

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last I checked

19.09.2015 16:09

The ORB survey of 2,000 people found only 28 percent agreed with the statement: "Jeremy Corbyn looks like a prime minister-in-waiting," while 72 percent disagreed.

The survey found Corbyn's election has made one in five people who voted for his party at the May general election more likely to vote Conservative next time.


so the issue is, how much can Corbyn get done in that period before he loses the leadership?

some numbers

Unelectable Left myth

21.09.2015 11:38

Big survey shows that Labour going Left will put on votes but will not overcome the public view that Labour caused the recession.


The economic crash in 2007/08 appears to have done for Labour what the exchange rate mechanism crisis did for the Conservatives more than 20 years earlier: it fundamentally altered the public perception of which party could be trusted on the economy. Given how long it took the Conservatives to recover a lead, it must be questionable whether Labour could have undone this shock to its ratings between 2010 and 2015.

We have to emphasise and then re-emphasise that Labour gained support in 2015. In an election in which a party won a substantial increase in support, it is necessary to drill down to why that support didn’t win the party seats. Why did Labour increase its vote share in England by 3.6 per cent and see a net gain of 15 seats, while the Conservatives increased their vote share in England by 1.4 per cent yet gained 21?

The second point to note is the much greater successes Labour had among former Lib-Dem voters compared to the Conservatives: Labour won about the same proportion of former Lib-Dems as the Conservatives, Greens and Ukip put together. The third is that the Conservatives lost much more support to Ukip than Labour did.

That is to say, it was Labour’s vote gains that helped to deprive Labour of an overall majority or largest party status. There was a tactical unwind that cost the Liberal Democrats seats but delivered those seats to the Conservatives.

The question of why former Lib-Dem voters shifted allegiance to the Conservatives in cases where they could have voted for and elected a Labour MP is more puzzling. Among 2010 Lib-Dem voters in our sample, 7 per cent were former Tories and 25 per cent were former Labour voters. There should have been a much greater potential Lib-Dem-to- Labour switch than Lib-Dem-to-Conservative (at least if we look at the campaign). We need to better understand what motivated these voters.

The first is the ‘SNP threat’. As discussed above, we currently find little robust evidence that attitudes towards the SNP and expectations about a hung parliament resulted in gains for the Conservatives from Ukip or in vote losses for Labour from former Lib Dems.

The second red herring is Labour’s left–right position – that is, the question of whether Labour was either overly or insufficiently left-wing.30 Generally, our data shows that people were more likely to vote Labour in 2015 when they thought the party was more left-wing, and less likely to vote Labour when they thought it was centrist.

This suggests there is very little to the argument that Labour was too left-wing to attract voters. At the same time there is not much to support the argument that Labour was not left-wing enough. There was very little difference in the likelihood of voting Labour between someone who thought Labour sat at the left-most end of the scale (0) and someone who saw it as just left of centre (4) – it is only when people saw Labour as sitting to the right of this point that support really drops off.


Moving public opinion to the left

24.09.2015 18:32

The most Mr. Corbyn and anyone who supports him can hope for is that the Labour Party is reclaimed from the disgusting middle class New Labour mob who have infected it. The Labour Party is a working class organisation created by us to represent working class interests within parliament. Like so many of our immediate interests it has been hijacked and sold back to us for a price. Now there is an opportunity for those who believe in the Party to move it back to a positive and progressive position that reflects the real views of working class people everywhere.

For BAMN we feel our work supporting this is done. Now is the time to explain and support working class interests that reach far beyond any existing state or capitalist institution..


Ask the question

01.10.2015 09:36

Why were so many Tories keen to see Corbyn elected ?

Why did so many Tories join the party and then vote for Corbyn ?

Why are the Tories in Parliment so pleased to see Corbyn as leader ?

Why did the Tory benches all cheer loudly when Corbyn took his seat on the front bench and why did so many Labour MPs look glum at the same time ?


The tories did nothing of the sort Lenny

04.10.2015 17:12

Most tories are too old to even know what day it is.

Working class people came back to guide the the Labour Party.

They're not they're more concerned about who will be their new leader.

They didn't Lenny that was just what you wanted to see.

Lenn as in Benn


05.10.2015 06:03

Thanks for posting this. Listening with interest, as someone who campaigned for Labour up to and including 1992, but put political energies elsewhere since. Now trying to assess meaning of recent events and where now, after voting JC as union affiliate.


Age shall not weary them

21.11.2015 17:23

"Most tories are too old to even know what day it is."

Cameron 49, Corbyn 66.