Jeremy Corbyn faces an uphill battle to become Prime Minister, but opposing Brexit could give him the keys to Number 10.

Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of coming to power are a lot smaller than they seem. On the surface, it would seem as though he is in prime position to win the next election as;he is ahead in the polls and has many potential coalition partners, such as the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party. However, there are many obstacles that Labour needs to confront if they are to take power.

By the time the next election comes around, the Conservatives will likely have a new leader. In all probability, this leader will be more popular than Theresa May and have better approval ratings. This alone could be enough to give the Conservatives a ‘strong and stable’ lead over their opposition.
In 2017 Labour gained the support of many who had been considering voting third party, but there was little change in the Conservative vote

In 2017 Labour gained the support of many who had been considering voting third party,
but there was little change in the Conservative vote.

Moreover, Labour will face an uphill battle persuading Tory voters to change their allegiance. With the drama surrounding last year’s election, it’s easy to forget that the Conservatives support remained stable throughout 2017. They began the year on 41% and ended it on 39.5%, suggesting that Tory voters are pretty steadfast in their support of their party.

By 2022 (which is when the next election is due) we will have strongly felt the effects of our vote to leave the EU and Labour’s wishy-washy Brexit stance will not suffice. And, while deciding what stance to take on Europe, Labour would be wise to consider the possible electoral benefits of standing on an unapologetically pro-European platform.

“It's going to be extremely difficult in my view for Labour to deliver on its promises if it puts itself in exactly the same position as the Tory government's going to be on Brexit - because it will find it has less money to deal with the country's problems, that it's distracted by dealing with Brexit rather than the health service, jobs and living standards.” — Tony Blair

(Dreamstime / Dc1975)

There is substantial evidence to suggest that Labour would benefit from taking a pro — remain stance. For one, the majority of their voters want us to remain in the EU (63% say they’d be delighted/pleased if the party’s policy was to stop Brexit). Secondly, Labour’s core demographic - students, are currently supporting the party on the assumption that they are anti — Brexit. Recent polling shows that 55% of students think Labour want to remain in the EU, and another 32% think they want to leave the EU, but stay in the Single Market. However, NEITHER are the party’s position, raising the prospect that Labour’s support could wither away over their support of Brexit.

Moreover, Britain’s largest third party, the Liberal Democrats are currently standing on an “exit from Brexit” platform, thus, Labour’s best chance to win over their voters is probably, to soften their stance on the issue. Importantly, a pro — European stance could help win over voters from the SNP — a party that currently holds 6 of Labour’s top 15 target seats.

And, while it’s noteworthy that many typical Labour heartlands in the North and, in Wales, voted to leave the EU, it’s also worth considering the fact that these areas receive considerable EU funding and are therefore more likely to change their minds once they’ve seen the effects of Brexit. Secondly, these areas are less important to Labour than they once were, as Labour’s base becomes more like that of the Democrats in America — more liberal and metropolitan and less working class.🔷

(Cover: Dreamstime / Creuxnoir.)