We live in strange times. Scandals that would have been once in a presidency type stuff rock the Oval Office every single day. Closer to home, Ed Miliband’s performance in the 2015 general election, which let us remind ourselves involved the Labour Party losing 26 seats and handing the Tories a majority no one thought they could get, is now considered a roaring success. At least, inside of the upper echelons of the Labour Party itself that is.
Corbyn and his inner circle are briefing that, regardless of how many seats the party loses on June 8th, if Corbyn manages to match Ed Miliband’s vote share from 2015 this will demonstrate that “progress is being made”. Put aside the fact that we have a First Past the Post system which means that success must be measured in seats gained or lost for a moment to ponder the idea that matching the vote share of a hideously unsuccessful campaign represents “progress”. At least if they had made the 35% Blair got in 2005 the benchmark for success, it would still be bollocks but at least it would have some, vague connection with reality. But they don’t think that’s really achievable, so that wasn’t considered.
The other excuse being warmed up for Corbyn’s approaching failure is that it has nothing to do with Labour, really; it’s just that all the UKIP voters moved over to the Tories, handing them a stonking victory. For a start, a lot of those ex-UKIP voters used to be Labour voters, so the fact that Corbyn has pushed them to the Tories is not something to celebrate but yet another mark of Corbyn’s failure as a leader. Also, wasn’t the whole point of voting for Article 50 to be triggered without any amendments that Labour could get these people back? Is a 0% return on this investment a good thing as well?
While we’re here, shouldn’t the inability for Labour, across the leaderships of both Miliband Jnr and Corbyn, to convert seemingly any 2010 Lib Dem voters to the Labour side represent a colossal failure of epic proportions? This was the entire basis of Miliband’s 35% strategy, one that was going to gift Labour a victory in 2015. Why have the ex-Lib Dems seemingly gone UKIP then Tory? Shouldn’t the Corbynistas have an explanation for this, and not just scoop it up into a narrative which goes, “steady ship from Ed Miliband’s time, which despite the failure of that project we’ve rebranded a success. Not our fault that 0% of ex-UKIP and ex-Lib Dem voters find us appealing in the slightest”?
I’ll close on this: Ed Miliband stepped down immediately following the loss of 2015. So how is repeating his performance, just with a lot more seats lost, now being used as an excuse for Corbyn to carry on as leader?