What will the Corbyn suspension do for Labour’s ratings?
My obvious fury aside, let’s think about what the short term political optics are of this unprecedented in modern times spectre of a leader suspending his predecessor.
This fiasco could go a number of ways. I hope Corbyn doesn’t take this lying down; legal action could be taken over the legitimacy of this suspension, and either way that goes the optics of a Corbyn V Labour court case will tear the party apart, and the blame there will be at the foot of one Sir Keir “constructive opposition” Knight Of The Realm smarmy Starmer, kissing the backside of the British establishment since 2020.
Immediate insight from YouGov tells us a few things. Firstly, most or maybe all sections of the electorate (LeaveXRemain, LabourXTory etc) all support Corbyn’s suspension, as does the public as a whole by a considerable majority (nearly 60%). This comes down to the (carefully crafted by his opponents) foul image of Corbyn that’s now embedded itself in public attitudes. Secondly, one poll gave Labour a 5 point lead this week, and a week ago Starmer had a plus 5 approval rating. Now (as of yesterday) it’s in the negative (-2) and the party has plummeted from an improving -11 to a truly dire -23.
This comes down party to antisemitism being back in the news, but the driver is almost certainly the fact Starmer has just projected an image of inward factionalism instead of getting on with implementing antisemitism complaints reforms; a greatly positive and needed headline story. Think about it: they’ve thrown away that in order to carry out a continued factional hit job on Jeremy Corbyn for some back pats from the British establishment. The so called “sensibles” could well have jeopardised Labour’s public standing in the name of practicing radical centrism.
God help us all, there isn’t a single principled party putting the interests of working class people front and centre any longer. And until electoral reform occurs (never will under the Tories, the prime beneficiaries of our current antidemocratic and derelict system) such a party would split Labour’s vote and hand the Tories a 130 seat majority or more.