[Illustration by: Charles Rawlins, FRSA]
Starmer’s flaccid performance in the polls is worrying for Labour.
Despite the fact that Brexit is well and truly ‘done’ and the fact that the country has suffered horrifically at the hands of shocking Tory ineptitude at handling the COVID pandemic, Labour is still dragging in the polls. Why?
We’ve taken the liberty of compiling polling results on Westminster voting attentions for the last 4 months and found that Starmer has not only simply failed to cut through, Labour are falling further behind…
When Labour centrists, like Starmer, colluded with the LibDems, the Greens, the SNP, ChangeUK, the Tories and the Brexit Party to frame the 2019 election as a 2nd referendum on Brexit, what they did was send a loud message that they were prepared to fight to stop Brexit and campaign for remain. Did they imagine that Leave voters would forget or forgive that in time?
When Labour centrists, like Starmer, took the decision to attack and purge left wing members of the party and slander them as thugs and a anti-Semites and then spent years cultivating the myth that Labour had a serious anti-Semitism problem, did they think that voters would just forgive and forget all that and did they assume that the party could just brush off that label with the appointment of a new leader?
The number’s do not lie and Starmer knows this but his response has been to panic and simply double down the attacks on the left and try to out-Tory the Tories, with calls for more flag waving and outspoken patriotism – implying that Labour, traditionally, have not been patriotic enough. If anything, this strategy has backfired as February’s polling, to date, has seen an average 2 point drop. So desperate is the situation that Labour centrists are now actively working towards forming a coalition with other centrist political parties.
The Labour centrists strategy is the same today as it was under Blair – emulate the opposition when in campaign mode to attract traditional Tory voters and then do whatever you like when you’re in office. They might be hoping that Tory voter’s will have forgotten what a Labour centrist government looks like. In reality, it’s Labour centrists who have forgotten that while they had amazing election success in 1997, they lost over 2.8 million votes in 2001 and then lost a further 1.2 million votes (approx) in 2005. In fact, by 2010, the Labour party had lost almost 5 million votes.
In another effort to appease Tory voters, Starmer made a massive about-turn and declared that he now supports the Brexit deal and that Labour will no longer be fighting for freedom of movement – again hoping that Tory Brexit voters might have forgotten or be prepared to forgive the fact that he colluded with Remain supporting parties and openly campaigned for Remain during the 2019 election.
The irony is that Labour doesn’t even need to go after traditional Tory voters at all and, by pursuing Tory voters, they are distancing themselves from traditional Labour voters. The fact of the matter is, Jeremy Corbyn had consolidated the left vote back in 2017…
The 2017 election brought Labour to within a hairs breadth of winning and, in fact, if certain bad-actors within the centrist faction of the party hadn’t sabotaged the Labour election campaign, Labour would have had an extremely good chance of winning the 2017 election. The fact is, centrist campaign managers siphoned off campaign resources and funds to support safe centrist seats rather than vital campaigns in key marginals.
I don’t believe I could find another example in British politics where a faction within a political party took the decision to sabotage their own general election campaign and then to continue for a further 3 years to publicly attack, slander and further damage their own party’s prospects at subsequent elections. As a result, Labour has gone from an average 3 point lead, under Corbyn, in 2017 to lagging an average 4 points behind the Tories in February 2021, under Starmer. You might be forgiven for imagining the party had been infiltrated by a Tory Trojan horse with a remit to make the Labour Party utterly unelectable for the foreseeable future.
Labour has just 3yrs to turn things around before the next general election but what’s clear now is that unless the left can regain control of the party the future is looking extremely bleak, both for the party and for British voters.
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