Just because Corbyn’s LAB almost closed a massive poll gap at GE17 is no guarantee that it’ll happen again

December 31st, 2018

LAB’s got to stop looking at next time through the prism of 2017

The extraordinary performance at the last election of Labour continues to dominate thinking about the next one with an assumption in many quarters that because the party was able to come from a huge poll deficit to within 2.5% then the same will happen again.

Labour activists rightly point to the fact that during a general election the party gets more equal media coverage and that is one of the big reasons, they believe, why the 2017 happened.

Therefore, the argument goes, the same will happen at the next election so they can ignore current less than good ratings where they are just about level pegging with the Tories. There’s a danger that this creates a level of complacency.

Well the campaign might see a massive GE17 scale campaign switch to LAB favour but my guess is that it is more than likely that it won’t. The Tories will have a different and likely more popular leader and you can bet that the party won’t make the mistakes of 2017. The manifesto will not contain huge hostages to fortune, it will be much better prepared and there’ll be no leader boycott of the TV debates.

The Tories are working hard in their key targets already which I know from the level of consituency specific polling that they are doing where I live

    The threat of a Corbyn-led government is taken very seriously by the Tories and their lesson from GE2017 is that there’s no danger they’ll be complacent or take voters for granted.

Corbyn has three issues. Firstly retaining the estimated 8% of LAB GE17 vote that made Brexit the most important driver. Secondly it cannot be assumed that the damaging antisemitism row won’t reappear and thirdly, we need to see signs of recovery in Scotland where for decades it has been dominant.

Mike Smithson