UK Labour is in a mess and the main reason for this is the abject failure of Jeremy Corbyn as their leader. His Party has now plunged to just 24% in the polls with UKIP only 10 points adrift of them. When asked who would make a better Prime Minister, May or Corbyn, just 15% chose to opt for Corbyn.
24% in a FPP environment would be catastrophic for Labour and see them reduced to just a rump of seats.
How has it come to this? One word ... Corbyn. Foisted upon the Party by the left and hard left he is a leader who engenders little respect outside his ever adoring fan club of yesterdays men hankering back to the days of the class struggle and the reinstatement of Clause IV (if you don't know what that means ... look it up) and with no, repeat no, moral authority. Just what are you to make of a man who imposes a three-line whip in requiring his MPs to vote for the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill when he himself has defied the Labour Whip 537 times over his three decades in Parliament.
The result ... two members of his shadow cabinet have resigned (with more to follow) but even more bizarre is the fact that two of the Labour Whips (Jeff Smith and Thangam Debbonaire) have said they will defy themselves and vote against the Bill
How has it come to this ... the answer is raw politics over principle. It lies in the Stoke-On-Trent Central by-election due in just over four weeks. Labour's majority at the last election was a relatively healthy 5,000 due in part to a popular local member now gone ... and then came Brexit. The constituency recorded one of the largest majorities in the country for Brexit (69%). Labour is predominantly pro-Europe (although Corbyn himself is luke-warm) but the Party can't be seen as anti-Brexit in the by-election so hence the three-line Whip. But it you think that's bad, it gets worse. In the constituency the Labour Party has selected as their candidate a Party hack who has made no bones about calling Brexit and Brexitiers 's**t'. Far be it for me to tender advice to Labour but I would have thought that describing 69% of your voters as crap is hardly guaranteed to endear them to you.
I repeat. UK Labour is in a mess and Corbyn is responsible. I am encouraged that Lord Egbut, one of his early backers, now appears to accept that his man has feet of clay. Corbyn, in imposing the three-line Whip, has ensured the seeds for open rebellion have been well and truly sown.
My prediction is that Labour under Corbyn is finished. There will be a fracturing of the Party and sooner rather than later. Keep the name Dan Jarvis in mind. You heard it first here.