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The resilient moderates

Contrary to conventional wisdom, election wipeout for Labour won't leave the party as a socialist rump

By Philip Cowley   August 2008

What happens if the next British election reflects today’s opinion polls and Labour is wiped out—slumping from today’s 350 MPs to 200 or even fewer? The conventional wisdom is that moderates and Blairites sit for the more marginal seats, and leftist old Labour types for heartland safe seats that would survive a disaster. The result, it is claimed, is that the party would implode. The parliamentary Labour party (PLP) would become a socialist rump, with the moderate minority splitting to form a new party, or perhaps to join the Liberal Democrats.

As often with conventional wisdom, there is something in…

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