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Labour: The party that’s too weak to win but too strong to die

January 2nd, 2017

More good news for Theresa in Fabian society report

The first working day of 2017 opens with a gloomy report on Labour’s prospects from the Fabian Society covered in the Guardian.

The overall conclusion is that the party could drop to fewer than 150 MPs, driven by difficulties articulating a BREXIT policy, the ongoing Scottish disaster and Jeremy Corbyn’s unpopularity. Labour, it declares, has virtually no chance of an outright majority. Based on current polling and performance in by-elections that must be right. The Guardian goes on:

“.The Fabians’ report identifies a coherent response to Brexit as one of the main obstacles facing Labour. Using YouGov data, it calculates that the party has lost a net 400,000 votes since the last election among pro-leave electors, and 100,000 among those who backed remain, making its backing more strongly pro-remain than before.

This poses a “Brexit dilemma”, the study says, pointing out that Labour needs to somehow appeal more to leave voters without alienating existing supporters who opposed Brexit.

In such a landscape, the report stresses the need for Labour to accept the impossibility of outright victory in the next election and prepare instead for an era of “quasi-federal, multi-party politics”, where it relies on the assistance of other parties…”

My main caveat is that we are in such a period of uncertainty that we really have no idea what the world is be like. How is BREXIT going to be viewed once the extraction process begins and we get a clearer idea what is involved. How will global politics evolve in the Trump era? How is Europe going to look after this year’s big elections in several major countries?

Mike Smithson