Both the political atmosphere and the opinion polls are unusually volatile. But one thing seems certain – Jeremy Corbyn’s enemies in the other parties, the mainstream media and the Labour right are already drafting pieces attacking Corbyn and arguing that he should go.
All supporters of the Labour party should reject this rubbish, especially the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. The first task is to get out the vote for Corbyn’s Labour.
The European parliament votes have only ever seen low turnouts in this country. And they have rarely been indicators of who will win the following general election. All projections from Thursday’s vote to the next general election should of course be subjected to close scrutiny.
But it is also clear that the turmoil caused by the Brexit crisis is having an exceptional impact on voting allegiances. The most dramatic single effect is the rise of the Brexit party, but many of the smaller pro-Remain parties have also seen a rise in the opinion polls.
From the polls it seems as if the Brexit Party is cannibalising the Tory and UKIP votes, while Remain parties are sharing a rising vote between them. Overall, it is possible there may be a small shift in the direction of Remain. But as ever the key test will be the vote itself.
As we saw in the coverage of the local elections there will be a concerted effort to falsely equate any disappointment for Labour with what seems set to be another disastrous outcome for the Tories. Corbyn supporters recognise that distortion, and should recognise too that the level of hostility has nothing to do with Labour’s stance on Brexit.
Corbyn is attacked on all sides, from the Brexit-supporting press, from the pro-Remain Guardian and from the blatantly biased BBC. There are deep divisions in the British ruling class on Brexit, with some strongly attached to current trading relationships with the EU, while others hanker for further deregulation, privatisation and removal of rights to do a deal with Trump. In their terms it is perfectly ‘respectable’ or permissible to take either side of this debate.
What is not permissible in their eyes is to end austerity, to reject the racism and scapegoating used to justify it and to refuse to join in further US military adventures. This is the Corbyn platform. For them, Corbyn is impermissible, despite the fact that these policies are hugely popular and benefit the overwhelming majority of the population.
That’s why it is important to vote Labour, and to resist the inevitable further attacks on Corbyn that will come.
Vote Labour in the European elections!