End of Corbynmania

End of Corbynmania

The Decline of Corbynmania

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s hard-left leader, had a tough night as the results of the recent local elections rolled in. While it may be too soon to declare that the wheels have come off the Jeremy bus or that the Jeremy Express has hit the buffers, it is clear that the shine has definitely come off Mr Corbyn’s halo.

The Conservative Party, with its eight years of low growth and public-spending restraint, has been in power either in its own right or as the dominant party in a coalition. After foisting a referendum on the country to solve an internal party battle, the Conservatives are now struggling to successfully navigate Britain’s exit from the European Union. The past few weeks alone have brought crisis after crisis, from the Windrush scandal to the breast cancer screening blunder and the division within the party over the customs partnership with the EU. And yet, despite these issues, the Labour Party failed to make the electoral breakthrough it had hoped for.

Labour did manage to consolidate its position in the big cities, with gains in London and taking control of Plymouth. However, it failed to make advances in smaller towns and lost ground in traditional working-class areas. It also failed to capture key Conservative strongholds in London and even lost Barnet, a borough with a significant Jewish population, to the Conservatives. While Labour may have won the night in terms of pure numbers, they fell short of their own expectations.

These results raise significant questions about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Critics argue that a more moderate Labour leader would have likely fared better. They suggest that a moderate leader would have been able to rally support in the big cities, especially London, where moderate Tories are furious about Brexit. A moderate leader would have also made gains in smaller towns, where people are tired of austerity measures, and solidified support in traditional Labour strongholds. There are concerns about the “Corbyn ceiling,” suggesting that Mr Corbyn may be too far left to appeal to significant parts of England, particularly Middle England. Additionally, the “Corbyn effect” comes into play, as his hard-left reputation for bullying may give liberal voters who turned to him in the last general election second thoughts.

These local election results come after a month of bad news for the Labour leadership. The anti-Semitism row dealt a severe blow to Mr Corbyn’s reputation, with leading Labour MPs joining Jewish protesters to express their dissatisfaction with his handling of incidents within his own party. This not only damaged his reputation for sanctity but also exposed the darker side of his far-left supporters. Furthermore, his handling of the Salisbury poisoning raised questions about his judgment, as he repeatedly questioned Russia’s responsibility and refused to support joint military action in Syria. Throughout this difficult time for the government, opinion polls consistently showed Labour and the Conservatives neck and neck.

Two of Mr Corbyn’s most valuable assets, his reputation as a secular saint and the political capital gained from the last election, are on the wane. The time factor played a role in his decline, as being a party leader entails compromising with reality and engaging in regular political activities. This has eroded the image of him as an outsider. Additionally, attention has shifted to the question of why the Labour Party isn’t overwhelmingly beating a seemingly hapless Tory government.

A weakened Mr Corbyn could lead to a more fractious atmosphere in Westminster. His strong performance in the last general election put an end to attempts by Labour MPs to replace him with a more moderate figure. However, a resumption of such attempts may be on the horizon, leading to a renewed struggle between the parliamentary party and pro-Corbyn activists like the Momentum group. This could embolden rebels within the Conservative Party to push their own causes even harder.

Despite these challenges, Mr Corbyn has a history of surprising pundits and experts alike. He possesses charisma when needed and a remarkable ability to keep fighting regardless of the circumstances. He also benefits from a deeply divided Tory party, an establishment that views Brexit as a disaster of their making, a generation struggling to afford housing, and a sense that the country’s infrastructure is on the verge of collapse. Nonetheless, Corbynmania is now officially dead.

In conclusion, the local election results have exposed the limitations of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Despite the government’s ongoing troubles, Labour failed to make significant gains. Criticism of Corbyn’s left-wing politics and alleged bullying tactics are growing, and his past successes are losing their relevance. A more fractured atmosphere in Westminster may be on the horizon, and the question of why Labour isn’t decisively surpassing the Conservatives is becoming more prominent. Overall, Corbyn’s leadership is facing an uncertain future, and the impact of these election results could have broader implications for the political landscape in Britain.