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World After hard-left turn under Jeremy Corbyn, Britain’s Labour Party on course for historic defeat

04:25  01 may  2017
04:25  01 may  2017 Source:   msn.com

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LONDON — In 2015, Britain ’ s Labour Party tacked to the left , repudiating the middle-way philosophy that had won it three elections under Tony Blair. Now, with less than six weeks to go before Britain votes once more, the Corbyn -led Labour Party is on course for an electoral beatdown so broad and

[ After hard - left turn under Jeremy Corbyn , Britain ’ s Labour Party on course for historic defeat ]. Labour Party members have probably always been further to the liberal left than the average British voter. Our research suggests that this is even more the case for those who joined the

Britain's main opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn delivers a general election campaign speech on leadership in London on April 29, 2017. Britain goes to the polls to vote in a new parliament in a general election on June 8. © Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images Britain's main opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn delivers a general election campaign speech on leadership in London on April 29, 2017. Britain goes to the polls to vote in a new parliament in a general election on June 8.

LONDON — In 2015, Britain’s Labour Party tacked to the left, repudiating the middle-way philosophy that had won it three elections under Tony Blair. Voters responded by handing the party its worst defeat in three decades.

Rather than scramble back toward the center, Labour lurched further left. The party elected as its leader Jeremy Corbyn, a white-bearded baby boomer from the back benches who, like Bernie Sanders in the United States, ignited an improbable movement among young activists with his attacks on the rigged capitalist system and unquestioned fidelity to socialist ideals.

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LONDON — After three decades as a political outsider and clarion of the left , Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday won the leadership of Britain ’ s opposition Labour Party with an emphatic victory and a program that includes expanding the economy

Mr Corbyn will move the motion tabled in his name as Leader of the Opposition and will speak first in the In the course of that period the opposition may seek to form alliances within the Commons to demonstrate they are the The problem with speaking to Jeremy Corbyn is that, frankly, if Jeremy

Now, with less than six weeks to go before Britain votes once more, the Corbyn-led Labour Party is on course for an electoral beatdown so broad and deep it would make the drubbing the party took in 2015 look like a triumph.

The ruling Conservative Party has a double-digit lead over Labour in pre-election polls, and Prime Minister Theresa May stands to win a parliamentary majority that would have been the envy of Margaret Thatcher. 

The grim outlook for Labour has prompted insiders to preemptively concede defeat; one former party leader has despaired that at 75, he’s unlikely to see another Labour prime minister in his lifetime. There’s even a chance that the party could fall apart altogether.

Prime Minister Theresa May, shown leaving leaves the BBC, in London, April 30, 2017, has gone on the attack even in working-class northern English constituencies that haven’t voted Conservative in decades. © Peter Nicholls/Reuters Prime Minister Theresa May, shown leaving leaves the BBC, in London, April 30, 2017, has gone on the attack even in working-class northern English constituencies that haven’t voted Conservative in decades.

The decline of Labour — architect of the country’s vaunted National Health Service and one of two major parties in Britain for the past century — offers a cautionary tale for Democrats as they attempt to rebound from a humiliating 2016 loss to Donald Trump.

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Jeremy Corbyn has come under intense pressure to take some personal responsibility for Labour ’ s historic byelection defeat in Copeland from senior party figures, including trade union leaders and even members of his own shadow cabinet.

Meet Jeremy Corbyn . Jeremy Corbyn is the Leader of the Labour Party and the next Labour Prime Minister. Labour is made up of over half a million members, determined to transform Britain for the many, not the few.

Corbyn may have captured the hearts of left-wing true believers. But unless something dramatic changes before June 8, when Britain votes, that’s not enough to win a national election.

“He’s still very popular with a lot of Labour activists. But he’s a long way from the center of gravity among the British people,” said Martin Baxter, a political analyst who runs Britain’s Electoral Calculus website. “The lesson for Democratic voters who thought that Bernie Sanders would revitalize the party is that in Britain at least, with Jeremy Corbyn, it’s not worked out.” 

Nor has it worked out in other places where center-left parties have attempted to placate their increasingly radicalized grass roots by shifting toward the margins. 

In France, for instance, the Socialist Party — beleaguered after a humbling five years in power marked by double-digit unemployment and a slew of terrorist attacks — rejected more centrist alternatives and picked as its presidential nominee Benoît Hamon, a proud radical who championed a 32-hour workweek and a universal basic income.

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All eyes were on the Labour leader after the Copeland and Stoke results as he delivered a key speech about Brexit. Our writers respond. But Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t here today to talk about holding himself accountable for failure, he was here to talk about holding the Tories accountable for Brexit.

Jeremy Corbyn ’s success underlines the extent to which European political structures have been destabilized by the aftershocks of the LONDON — After three decades as a political outsider and clarion of the left , Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday won the leadership of Britain ’ s opposition Labour

But in the first round of the vote on April 23, Hamon mustered only an embarrassing 6 percent, having split the far-left vote with a Socialist defector, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who proposed nationalizing France’s biggest banks and withdrawing from NATO. Neither made the final round.  

Meanwhile, 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron, a former economy minister under the incumbent Socialist government, ran to the center via his own upstart movement that aims to combine strands from both the left and right. He is now the favorite to become the next president of France.

The Socialists, said French political analyst Gérard Grunberg, suffered for too long under “an establishment that’s aging, tired and not active in modern communication.” 

Now the election outcome has left in doubt the future of the party, which helped build one of postwar Western Europe’s most generous welfare states. 

Britain’s Labour Party is facing its own existential angst even before the country goes to vote.

“Labour is the party of the industrial proletariat — that was its original function. But Britain doesn’t have an industrial proletariat anymore,” Baxter said of a party that traces its roots to 1900 and the workers’ rights movements of factory-saturated northern England. “So there’s a big question as to what the Labour Party is for.” 

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LABOUR former cabinet minister David Blunkett has denounced the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as a “catastrophe” which has set the party on course for The ex-home secretary said the decisive 62 per cent victory for the veteran left -winger, who saw off a challenge from Owen Smith on Saturday, was

Pro-Brexit MPs risk losing future vote on trade with EU after speech by Labour leader.

Corbyn has sought to offer an answer by promising a more “socially just society.” That involves passionate opposition to the austerity policies enacted by the Conservatives since they came to power in 2010, ending 13 years of unbroken Labour rule. 

The 67-year-old has pledged to halt the cuts in public services, to renationalize banks and energy firms and to consider a “maximum wage” on private-sector executives. Corbyn has also been highly critical of NATO, the British nuclear deterrent and the European Union — though he grudgingly backed “remain” in last year’s Brexit vote.

To his enthusiastic backers — who delivered the north London lawmaker a pair of landslide victories in party leadership races — Corbyn’s prescription for Britain is exactly what the country needs.

“I love him — best leader ever,” said Richard Crook, a 57-year-old telephone engineer from southeast London who cheered Corbyn on at the lawmaker’s campaign kickoff. “We’ve all had enough of PR politics. We want the truth. He is a bit like Bernie Sanders. He’s leading us into a fight back.” 

Such fervent support helps explain why Corbyn has insisted he does not believe the polls. 

“I’m out on the streets and the doorsteps and the meeting halls every day, and that’s not what I’m finding,” he said during a campaign stop last week.

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LONDON — “A working-class hero,” John Lennon wrote in 1970, “is something to be.”. Battered in May’s election — too conventional for Scotland, too implausible for England — Britain ’ s Labour Party is searching for a new impetus and contemplating a return to its working-class and trade-union roots.

Jeremy Corbyn ’ s leadership has come under scrutiny once again after Labour lost the byelection for Copeland - a seat it had held since 1935 - to the Tories. Senior Labour backbencher David Winnick said Corbyn was an “obstacle” to victory and should consider his position. The leader of Usdaw

But there’s no getting around the fact that the polls for Labour are dire. The Tories now have a working majority of 17 in the 650-member House of Commons. Projections — which no doubt influenced May’s decision to call the snap vote — show that could widen to 150 or more. 

The gains are forecast across the U.K. 

In Wales, where the Conservatives haven’t won in nearly a century, a recent survey showed them leading. In Scotland, where Labour ran a virtual one-party fiefdom until the 2015 vote, the party is now a distant third.

May has gone on the attack even in working-class northern English constituencies that haven’t voted Conservative in decades. And she’s doing so by invoking Corbyn at every turn. 

“I know this city is one of the places that people call a ‘traditional Labour area’,” May said at a Thursday night rally in Leeds, a Yorkshire city that was once renowned for its wool mills. “But here — and in every constituency across the country — it may say Labour on the ballot, but it’s Jeremy Corbyn that gets the vote.”

The strategy is not hard to understand: Polls show that fewer than half of Labour’s own voters favor Corbyn in a head-to-head matchup with May, and his broader approval ratings are abysmal. His rigidly leftist views and reputation for incompetent management help explain why.

“He seems like a throwback to the 1970s,” said Tim Bale, a politics professor at Queen Mary University of London. “He’s not someone voters have warmed to. They neither like nor respect him. Indeed, he seems a figure of ridicule.” 

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LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn strengthened his grip on Britain ' s opposition Labour Party on Saturday, beating back a challenge to his leadership by Corbyn , a 67-year-old hard - left politician, won 61.8 percent of the more than 500,000 votes cast, up from the 59.5 percent he received a year ago, when

“ Labour is determined that Britain will not turn in on itself, but instead play a positive and proactive role in Europe’ s future.” Labour MPs are privately despondent about the Copeland result, with some who campaigned locally blaming Corbyn ’ s leadership, which they say came up repeatedly among voters

Blair, the last Labour prime minister to win a national vote but a reviled figure among the party’s leftist grass roots, is among those who have declined to endorse Corbyn. In an interview with Britain’s Sky News last week, he said the identity of the prime minister after the June election is no mystery: “It’ll be Theresa May.” 

That’s because even as Corbyn has energized some voters, he’s alienated many more. 

“The man is living in a cloud cuckoo world,” said Gareth Bell, a 34-year-old business development manager and, until now, Labour voter.

Bell, an ardent pro-European who recently defected to the centrist Liberal Democrats, said he was disenchanted by Corbyn’s muddling stance on Brexit. Five of his friends have also left the party, he said, “and the ones that are still there are holding on by their fingertips. The moderates are so disappointed in him.”

If Labour does lose in a rout, Corbyn may be forced to resign as party leader. The party could also split apart.

Whether that happens or not, the center-left the world over will have to work out what it stands for and stop re-litigating internal battles that date back decades, said Stewart Wood, a Labour member of the House of Lords and top adviser to former party leader Ed Miliband.  

“The center-left is struggling everywhere with a philosophical malaise,” he said. “It has to be about the next 20 years, not the last 30. Any party that’s busy trying to pick its favorite moment from the past is in trouble.” 

James McAuley in Paris contributed to this report.

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