Blaire Labour was effectively a social democrat platform, with at least some pretentions of fiscal prudence - relatively speaking, anyway. It squeezed the Liberal Democrat vote by being more centrist, putting it between the LDs and Tory policies on the usual one dimensional scale.
Previously, Labour was dominated by Union block votes, which gave them the likes of the unelectable Michael Foot, a Corbyn precursor with better manners and worse dress sense.
Thatcher's reforms broke the union stranglehold through what the US calls right to work policies, but most particularly, allowing union members to opt out of mandatory subscriptions to Labour in their union dues.
Anyway, Corbyn was elected by the Labour membership, largely against the wishes of the parliamentary party (ie Labour MPs). Obviously, since he became leader, there has been a migration of support towards him in the parliamentary party because of how Look about selects candidates.
It's unclear to me how his rank and file support will change on a defeat. If he had been electable, he'd have won the last election. That didn't shift him, do why should this?
Yeah, the Labour Parliamentarians didnt want him. OK, a few nominated him to give what they figured would be a broadband of respresentation in the election runoff. But none of them expected him to win. It really was a Trump like result nobody saw coming.
He didnt shift last time because he increased the Labour share of the votes, and gained seats. Its not uncommon in those circumstances in the past for Labour leaders to remain in harness. Even a defeat is not necessarily a bar. For example, Wilson whilst being removed from forming a Government remained in leadership of the Labour party, and eventually took it back to Government, albeit briefly before his alzheimers really started kicking in.
Its a very modern idea that a losing candiate for PM should vacate the leadership, but its not always been like that. I think Corbyn is likely to stick like shit to a blanket, with all the predictable effects its going to have on Labour. And if he does leave, it will be only to leave the seat to an accolyte like Keir Starmer or McDonnell.
I used to respect Foot, even though he was a complete dinosaur, at least he was intelligent and at least he was passionate. That was before I discovered he was a proven KGB source of course. Some of the outlandish conspiracy theories that Frederick Forsyth came up with about Labour in the early 1980's were not so far off base. We really dont need to go back there and repeat the same tired mistakes, but it seems thats where they are going.
Edited by Stuart Galbraith, Yesterday, 08:22 AM.