Since the snap General Election was announced last week, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has begun his election campaign by proposing his plan for Brexit, which will strongly focus on keeping the UK within the European Union’s single market. It’s a good plan, the single market being of great advantage to the people of the UK, but is it enough to get him elected?
Opinions on Corbyn have always been divided, even within his own party. David Miliband, a former hopeful for the leadership position of the Labour party, dubbed Corbyn as ‘unelectable’ last year. It is undeniable that Jeremy Corbyn is as left-wing of a leader as Labour has had in a long time. Despite it being an inherently socialist party, Labour has been central (Or perhaps even right of centre) politically since at least the nineties, and it’s Corbyn’s hard-left approach that has some of his own party members turned against him. Mainstream media has similarly painted him as too radical to ever be elected. According to Miliband, ”Labour’s move to the left was a mistake” and has put them at the biggest disadvantage in a long time
Former Labour Prime Minster, Tony Blair, has also implied Corbyn’s lack of electability this week, telling the shadow PM to put party allegiances aside in favour of focusing on Brexit. According to Blair, Corbyn is too committed to his leftist value’s to deliver a successful Brexit plan, and that his election plan ‘risks failure’.
So, according to Tony Blair and David Miliband, Jeremy Corbyn is too unshakably left to be elected in our current political climate. Are they right? It’s tough to say. After the blunders of the last Labour government under Gordon Brown, you could say Labour may never be elected again. Furthermore, with the rising conservatism amongst young people, Labour might not be getting the liberal youth votes they predict. However, Blair and Miliband are not ones to talk about the left. Firstly, Miliband wants a return to the Blairite Era. Blair, despite being the leader of the Labour party from 1983 to 2007, is known to be distinctly right-wing, or at least right of centre. It was Blair himself who developed (under the pressure of Thatcher, you could say) ‘New Labour’, the right of centre party that it was before Corbyn took over and set it back to it’s left wing roots. So, of course, Blair would think him too left to be electable, as he abandoned his parties values in favour of being ‘more electable’ when in fact he just buoyed a political system where the two leading partied are more alike than different.
So Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable according to the right wing. Obviously. Though it simply does not make sense to call the leader of the left-wing UK party ‘too left wing’ to be elected. He is electable for his political experience, his policies and the fact that he is the first Labour leader in a long time to stay true to the origins of his party, the working man’s party. The answer to the question is simple: You don’t have to elect him, but he is electable.