Nick Cohen writes:
On current polling, Labour will get around a quarter of the vote. Imagine, though, how the Labour party will fare in an election campaign when its leaders are Corbyn, John McDonnell, Emily Thornberry and Diane Abbott, and its second XI consists of Clive Lewis, Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon and Rebecca Long-Bailey. The Tories have gone easy on Corbyn and his comrades to date for the transparently obvious reason that they want to keep them in charge of Labour.
In an election, they would tear them to pieces. They will expose the far left’s record of excusing the imperialism of Vladimir Putin’s gangster state , the oppressors of women and murderers of gays in Iran, the IRA, and every variety of inquisitorial and homicidal Islamist movement, while presenting itself with hypocritical piety as a moral force. Will there be 150, 125, 100 Labour MPs by the end of the flaying? My advice is to think of a number then halve it.
One senior Labour figure told me he thought Corbyn was endangering British democracy. It depends on the opposition being a government-in-waiting. Labour looks now as if it will never be in government again. The 60% of the population who do not want Conservative rule are faced with Conservative rule without end, with the only pressure for change coming from an ever-more audacious right.
On current polling Labour would drop from 232 seats to 186. And that is before you take account of the new boundaries and how Corbyn would do in an actual campaign.
Here’s how many seats Labour has won in recent elections:
- 1997 – 418
- 2001 – 413
- 2005 – 355
- 2010 – 258
- 2015 – 232
My pick is Labour will get reduced to around 150.