Labour leadership voting closed midday on Wednesday, with strong campaigns seen from both Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn. The results of the vote are due on Saturday, with polls pointing to a substantial lead for Corbyn. As Labour’s most left-wing leader, 81% of his MPs voted no confidence in him – so what will re-election mean for the party?
Corbyn sits on the left of the party, lobbying to restore more socialist policies and voting against centric party members. Confident in his campaign, Corbyn said:
“We have mounted a most incredible campaign, mobilised a lot of people and we’ve actually changed the political discourse in this country.”
However whilst he appeals to Britain’s young and urban voters, others aren’t convinced.
An article in the International Business Times stated how the Labour party, along with the Liberal Democrats “have gathered knowing they have no chance whatever of winning the next general election… a reality underlined by the inevitable re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader.”
Similarly, Lord Kinnock said in BBC’s Panorama: “Unless things change radically, and rapidly, it’s very doubtful I’ll see another Labour government in my lifetime.”
His left-wing approach has created a distinct split in the party. Many say his left-wing approach has driven many voters to the Conservative party and 65 frontbenchers resigning.
Aware of this rift, Corbyn stated that he has hopes to strengthen the party:
“As far as I am concerned, the slate will be wiped clean this weekend. If I am re-elected leader, I will reach out and work with all Labour MPs to form a broad and effective opposition to this divisive and floundering Tory government,”
In an interview with BBC News, Corbyn warned that this would not mean any change in his political style:
“Sadly for everyone it’s the same Jeremy Corbyn. The same Jeremy Corbyn who’s been through the last year; indeed, been through the last 30 years in parliament.”
Voting closed midday on Wednesday and the results will be announced on Saturday.