There has been much interest in YouGov polling among Labour party members which shows that Keir Starmer would win a Labour leadership election if it was held now. Not only did he come out on top in the first round results, he wins easily in a hypothetical run-off. Some people have been wondering whether this already shows that a more credible and electable Labour party is just around the corner (although Starmer is actually pretty left-wing himself, even if he’s not hard left).
But this all assumes that Jeremy Corbyn is going to meekly step down soon and stay out of things. He was very vague about when exactly he was going to step down after the election, the only really concrete thing he said was that he wouldn’t be in place by the time of the next election in 2024.
My view was that he would stay as long as he could to guarantee another hard-left leader in his mould. And that seems even more likely after this poll. You think the Corbynites are just going to let go of power just like that? Remember the Communist rule: never concede hard-won territory. Commies will do everything they can to keep hold of whatever power they have.
The hard left has spent decades trying to get a hold of the Labour party. They’ve spent years working to take over the party’s institutions, which they have to a large extent done. They aren’t about to just hand all that over to a less leftist bunch saying, ‘Well, we had our go, it’s your turn now’. You’ll have to drag them out kicking and screaming, because kicking and screaming is what they’ll do. They’d rather burn the Labour party to the ground than see what they regard as Blairites back in charge. Corbyn will stay for as long as it takes, and his ground forces will do whatever they can to ensure victory, and that includes trying to take out Starmer.
So expect a major Labour party war to start soon.
Update: The moderate left know the war is coming:
One moderate Labour MP said yesterday “There will be a stop Keir campaign now.”
“The Left always starts eating their own children,’ the MP told Mail Online, adding: “It happened in the 1980s and it will happen again now.”