If you’re looking to see which way the political wind is blowing in the UK, then don’t look to me. I’m on something of a losing streak. I voted Labour in the 2015 general election, only to see the Conservatives win a majority. I voted Remain in the 2016 EU Referendum only to see ignorance win the day. I’ve just cast my third ballot in little more than a year but it’s likely I’ll finish on the losing side again.
I am eligible to vote in the Labour party leadership contest between the incumbent, Jeremy Corbyn, and the challenger, Owen Smith. I’m actually eligible twice over, as I’m a member of the Labour party and a member of an affiliated trade union. I don’t, sadly, get two votes. Even if I did, it almost certainly won’t change the outcome. I’m voting Smith, but barring a huge surprise, Corbyn will win by a decent margin.
Corbyn has the support of the Labour party membership. He does not have the support of the Labour MPs. But more importantly, he almost certainly doesn’t have the support of the electorate. A Corbyn lead Labour Party is an unelectable party. No one can say for certain what will happen in the aftermath of a Corbyn win later this month. The party may split entirely. Or it may not. But either way it will remain a divided and unelectable ‘force’ in British politics. Just when we most need them to be the opposite.
I can say this much though. I won’t continue to pay membership fees to a party lead by Corbyn. Nor will I vote Labour at the next election. Indeed, although I’ll actually vote Liberal, I’d prefer to see a functional Conservative government in 2020 than a dysfunctional Labour one. Which is, of course, exactly what we are most likely to get. A vote for Corbyn today, is an election vote for May.