Jeremy Corbyn has undoubtedly shaken up UK politics ever since he became leader of the Labour Party in 2015. He is the primary example of the underdog; with a divided group of MP’s, extreme left polices, and not exactly looking very statesmen like! Nonetheless, his 2017 General Election campaign was absolutely brilliant, and the fact that Labour gained 30 MP’s can only be admired. However, Labour still lost the election by quite some way, and here’s why Jeremy Corbyn or any other Labour leader is going to struggle to ever get into Number 10 Downing Street in the foreseeable future.
There are many areas to show why Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party won’t win the next General Election. Let’s take you through each reason, and by the end of the article it will be obvious to see why Jeremy Corbyn or Labour CAN’T WIN!
Jeremy Corbyn is certainly a populist figure; he attracts people with his charisma, charm, and his anti-blairite stance. However, current Prime Minister Theresa May still beats Jeremy Corbyn on image, determination, and leadership. Theresa May is seen as the safe bet, as she has been in government for the full amount of time that the Conservatives have been in power since 2010.
On the other hand, Jeremy Corbyn has never been in government, or in the shadow cabinet, and voted over 300 times AGAINST his own party’s government from 1997-2010 under the Blair and Brown years, so not very trustworthy!
Furthermore, Theresa May has recovered from her 2017 election gamble, and it now appears as if she is showing genuinely strong leadership in the toughest of periods for any Prime Minister. Opinion polls asking who is the stronger leader blatantly always show that the public trust Theresa May more than Jeremy Corbyn. Regardless of the fact that the UK system is a parliamentary one, people still vote for leaders of a party and not just their policies.
The Labour Party’s 2017 General Election manifesto contained policies and radical ideas that no one had seen since the 1980’s under Neil Kinnock. However, Labour’s plan proved incredibly popular; with their plans for mass nationalisation, and their determination to tackle poverty. These policies were certainly inspirational and no one could criticise the actual hopes of the Labour message. Nonetheless, the UK is still recovering from the world-wide global economic crash in the late 2000’s, and people worry about how much these policies will cost. During the 2017 General Election campaign, the common phrase Conservatives used to describe Labour’s economic promises was that they had a “magic money tree”.
Labour themselves have admitted that they will have to borrow money in order for their policies to be implemented, and that is always a worry for the public. One of the reasons David Cameron surprisingly increased his vote share and gained a majority AFTER 5 years in power in 2015, was because he had produced record numbers of jobs, and halved the deficit. The public want to be sure that there is not another credit crunch, and for John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, to admit that a Labour government would prepare for a ‘run on the pound’ isn’t exactly reassuring.
Labour policies are exciting and different, but that is not what wins elections in the UK.Swing voters want to be able to climb the wealth ladder, and therefore they want to be sure that their taxes are being spent on genuinely necessary causes which can improve their own lives as well as the rest of the population’s. As we will see in the next couple of reasons as to why Labour can’t win, these policies are simply too risky and too radical for the UK public in this time, especially in aspirational marginal constituencies.
Everyone would admit that the last two General Elections have produced some dramatic results. The Labour Party have not been in power for the last 8 years, and this could primarily be down to Tony Blair. However, Jeremy Corbyn is the complete opposite to a blairite, yet he still lost the 2017 General Election. From 2010-2015, Ed Miliband failed to recapture the voters that Labour lost in 2010, and this was mainly down to his cringe-worthy charisma and mediocre policies. Throughout the 2015 General Election campaign the polls had Labour and the Conservatives level, but then people failed to turn out for Labour when it came to election day.
If we analyse the 2015 General Election, it is clear to see how much Labour have to improve in order to come close to a majority government. The SNP (Scottish National Party) won all but 3 seats in Scotland in that election, and in the process removed 40 Labour MP’s from their position. Despite the SNP losing 21 of those seats in 2017, the Labour Party have to regain those seats lost to the SNP in 2015 AND gain around 30 other seats to even attempt to form a government.
Moreover, when looking at who and why various leaders have won elections, it is because they dominated the centre-ground. Tony Blair was successful for Labour because he shifted the party to be an economically credible alternative to the Conservatives. David Cameron did exactly the same, managing to gain the centre from Labour after the economic crash. All of these leaders won key marginals; such as Peterborough, and Nuneaton. If Labour fail to win these seats, then they stand no chance at forming a government.
Jeremy Corbyn’s extreme left-wing policies simply won’t connect with voters in these key marginals. The last thing those voters is to have higher taxes and more state intervention, as they are hoping to climb the wealth ladder. The only option for Labour to win these seats, is to have blairite centrist policies, but under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership that is never going to happen.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
The current political situation seems almost identical to John Major’s first term. At the time, Major and the Conservative party were expecting a defeat in the 1992 General Election, but Kinnock’s arrogance and complacency cost him. Mrs May and the Conservative party are going to be quietly confident when the next election looms, as mathematically it is very hard for the Labour Party to come close to the amount of seats needed for a majority government.
Despite the current government’s confusion about Brexit, it will be a success in the end. The 2017 General Election campaign was fought under special circumstances, and when it comes to a normal General Election, currently set to be in 2022, focusing on the national economy, then the Conservatives will return to parliament with a majority government.