Labour's extraordinary result was down to a bold, enthusiastic campaign from Corbyn and his teamby Ellie Mae O'Hagan / June 9, 2017 / Leave a comment
I’ve enjoyed watching pundits this morning engaging in intellectual acrobatics in order to justify Labour’s astonishing performance in any way other than the fact that a lot of people like left wing ideas and will vote for them. Perhaps the only reason no one ever realised that before is because this is the first time voters have actually been offered leftwing ideas in nearly 35 years.
So yes, that’s what happened: people liked Labour’s plans, and they voted for them in droves. It’s true that there was an exceptionally high youth turnout, but that hardly invalidates the hypothesis. There’s no cardinal rule that says elections must be decided by the over-65s.
And while we’re at it, I’d like to take on the fatuous argument that Labour would have been romping home to a landslide victory if only it had been led by someone like Dan Jarvis. Only Corbyn had the bravery, and some might say stubbornness, to propose such a transformative programme, and not be sucked into defunct ideas about triangulation and “electability.”
This isn’t to say Corbyn is perfect—he is not—but a leader that focused more on presentation would have undoubtedly watered down the manifesto, and the energetic and positive campaign, that enabled Labour to take its biggest share of the vote since 1997. Instead of getting misty eyed about the possibility of this (non-existent) perfect leader who will somehow defy the trend of social democracy collapsing across Western Europe, certain commentators should presently be soul searching.