Notes from the front 04-08-16
Corbyn’s policies to raise living standards can secure victory for Labour
The attempt of the right wing to oust Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader has had a negative effect upon Labour’s standing in opinion polls. YouGov polling on 25/26 April had Labour on 33 per cent, Tories on 30 per cent, UKIP on 20 per cent and LibDems on 6 per cent. The YouGov poll for 25/26 July had the Tories on 40 per cent, Labour on 28 per cent, UKIP on 13 per cent, and Lib Dems on 8 per cent.
The decline in Labour’s immediate support is not surprising and it would be a mistake to draw too much from this momentary position. The Tories’ appointment of May as leader and PM, along with the marginalisation of Brexit leaders, was thoroughly approved of by big business. It allowed for a sharp, negative contrast with the turmoil inside Labour, as the PLP right wing turned on Corbyn.
However the current pattern of opinion poll support is not going to remain rigid. The Tories have considerable problems, with the government facing months, and years, of internal conflict over Brexit. The current Tory polling position has been buoyed up by the transfer of support of around a third of April’s UKIP supporters. But Theresa May will not be able to satisfy both the anti and pro-EU forces currently supporting her.
The Tory Government, and the Tory-led Coalition before it, has overseen the biggest fall in real wages of any leading OECD country. In an analysis published by the TUC in July, between 2007 and 2015, real wages in the UK fell by 10.4 per cent – a change only equalled by Greece. Over the same period, real wages in Poland grew by 23 per cent, in Germany by 14 per cent, in France by 10.5 per cent, and in the OECD average by 6.7 per cent.
It is this collapse of living standards that has been fuelling the radicalisation in British politics and the growth of the right. Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, to raise the living standards of the majority of Britain’s population, are essential for Labour to defeat the right. They underpin the electoral advances that Labour has been making under Corbyn.
It is this success for Labour in real elections that matters most, not the current opinion polls.
The best guarantee that Labour’s electoral advance will continue is to ensure a decisive victory for Corbyn in the Labour leadership contest. Labour Party activists should volunteer for the Jeremy for Labour campaign via its campaign website.
Key Dates in the leadership election timetable
Monday 8 August: Deadline for new affiliated supporters to join here (who must have been a member of a Labour affiliated organisation/ socialist society at 12 January).
Monday 15 August, noon: CLP supporting nominations close
Wednesday 22 August: Ballot mailing despatched
Wednesday 21 September, noon: Ballot closes
Saturday 24 September: Special conference to announce result