‘As a surge of supporters sign up to vote in the leadership contest, can Owen Smith save Labour? It depends’, City AM, 20 July 2016.

While it’s tempting to ask whether anyone at all can save Labour, this is a question that deserves a serious answer. After all, Owen Smith may be the only man standing between the Labour Party and imminent implosion. The answer, then, depends not only on whether the challenger can beat the incumbent but also on what we mean by “save”. I wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of Smith beating Jeremy Corbyn. However, he has a mountain to climb – one made up of hundreds of thousands of members who, for whatever reason, still seem to have faith in their leader. By positioning himself as a left-winger but questioning Corbyn’s competence, and at the same time capitalising on frustration with the latter’s underwhelming performance in the EU referendum, he’s fighting a canny campaign. But even if Smith somehow pulls it off, he won’t save Labour at the next election. Preventing the party splitting may be the best that he can hope for.

Originally Published at http://www.cityam.com/245862/surge-supporters-sign-up-vote-leadership-contest-can-owen



About tpbale

I teach politics at Queen Mary University of London.
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