Corbyn’s electoral defeat: myths, causes and lessons

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    • #239812
      • Total Posts: 502

      Why did Labour lose so heavily in the UK? Partly it was ‘Brexit’, partly Corbyn.

      The UK general election was an unmitigated disaster for Labour, which managed to win the smallest share of seats at Westminster since the 1930s. The Conservative landslide means the party leader, Boris Johnson, has a very solid electoral mandate to ‘get Brexit done’.

      The succeeding hunt for the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has started: domestically and internationally, centrists accuse the radical left of being unelectable and even ‘the best ally of the populist right’. This seems, however, to rest more on ideological predisposition than the numbers.

      Brexit split

      Labour’s defeat had more to do with its Brexit position than its programme. While the party leaked votes in all directions, most seats were lost in the post-industrial, Leave-leaning northern regions. Indeed, in most cases, electoral choices mirrored very closely the Brexit split, thus transforming the 2019 election into a kind of second referendum—confirmed by the fact that Labour managed to win the otherwise unwinnable but Remain-majority seat of Putney in London.

      Cobyn’s biggest mistake was his electoral strategy: trying to keep together Leavers and Remainers, Labour managed to dissatisfy electors on both sides. It was, to a large extent, an impossible dilemma anyway: Labour, having the most heterogeneous electorate among the three main parties, would have lost votes whatever choice it had made. And the attempt to refocus the electoral campaign on the party platform, rather than Brexit, was a dramatic failure.


    • #239816
      • Total Posts: 1,472

      The article totally misses the propaganda effort by the media.  This is a very big reason.  Same reason that Joe Biden is leading the polls in the democratic primary and Clinton lead in the polls in 2016.

      • #239836
        • Total Posts: 502

        no, no it doesn’t, it does adress that


        Deeply unpopular

        What is, however, undeniable is that Corbyn’s leadership was detrimental to the party. His approval rating is one of the lowest in UK polling history and Labour’s internal assessment and stories from activists tell us how deeply unpopular he was. Yes, there was particularly biased media coverage and an unprecedented smear campaign against him—but that’s not the whole story.


        As far as alliances go, there is a very similar problem. Centrist opposition to a left alternative is crystal-clear: the Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson (who lost her own seat), famously rejected even the idea of a caretaker government, as an alternative to the then minority Johnson administration, if led by Corbyn. ‘Blairites’ never really accepted Corbyn’s victory and tried to sabotage his leadership at every turn—including Blair himself attacking Labour during the campaign. The continual assaults on Corbyn and his US counterpart, Bernie Sanders, from liberal-progressive media leave little doubt that the centre could ever really support a radical candidate against the right—while it expects the left to support a centrist alternative ‘in defence of democracy’.



    • #239890
      • Total Posts: 2,684

      As in all elections, he couldn’t convince enough voters to vote for him.

      Although not as bad as here, elections are more about advertising and showbiz than substance.

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

    • #239900
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 14,559

      Excellent analysis. Thanks for sharing. It’s good to see what people in Europe are saying about the British election.

      I would add only one thing. The Brexit Party ran candidates in every parliamentary district that had a Labour incumbent, but none in those with Conservative incumbents. If one looks at how the parties fared in those districts this year as opposed to 2017, Labour lost an average of 10%, the Tories gained maybe 3%, and the Brexit Party gained 10%.

      This pattern supports the article’s argument that one big reason Labour lost because it was divided against itself over the Brexit issue, and because Corbyn took a position calculated to please both Brexiteers and Remainers and alienated both.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #239945
      • Total Posts: 2,005
      • #240032
        • Total Posts: 502

        It went far beyond just the media, Labour is splitting into 3 groups before our eyes and the coalition cannot hold. The Tories have grabbed a shedload of the traditional working class base, especially in the north. They were Labour Leavers, now they are Tory voters, and I do not see a path to get them back barring a tremendous crashing of the economy and quality of life that can be easily blamed on BoJo and his thugs.

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