Sunday, 10 July 2016

Angela Eagle will be better for the Labour Party if they want to win the next general election

Elections are won in the middle ground. Analysis of historic voting behaviour in the UK suggests that the more affluent people in society tend to vote Conservative and the working classes tend to vote Labour. A large factor contributing to winning an election is appealing to the floating voters in the middle ground.

Kudos to Corbyn
In the 2015 General Election, Ukip, the SNP, and the Green party managed to rake in over 6 million votes for the first time. Labour’s core working class vote seemed to have splinter off and many turned to alternatives like Ukip, the Greens and (in Scotland) overwhelmingly the SNP.

Since summer 2015 when Corbyn was elected leader, it can be argued that he has started to win back the working class support at a rapid pace. With the backing of the trade unions, the surged Labour party membership, and his new brand of more honest, straight talking politics, Corbynmania has reared its head up and down the country.

However, that isn't enough if Labour wants to win the next general election. Winning back their disillusioned working class voters is step one but step two entails winning over some of the middle and upper class also. Angela Eagle thinks she is the woman who can do this.

Eagle swoops in
The ex-shadow First Secretary of State and MP for Wallasey revealed that she was going to run against Corbyn yesterday. Although she hasn’t singled out any key policy differences between her agenda and Corbyn’s, she says that she aims to unite the party. This is something which needs doing if Labour stands any chance of being successful again. Although Corbyn has a mandate from the Labour members, he lacks the support of his MPs. Corbyn cannot be a one man party.

However, unless Corbyn somehow isn’t on the ballot paper when the new vote for Labour leadership happens (which would be a democratic outrage), it is very unlikely that Eagle will stand any chance of becoming leader in the near future.

She had a first opportunity to make a strong case for her leadership on ‘Sunday Politics’ with Andrew Neil this morning however failed to answer the majority of questions and failed to come across as a potential strong leader. Instead, she tried to shift the focus of many questions on to Corbyn’s flaws.

Her leadership bid is still very young so it won’t be long until Eagle might move into the spotlight of her own campaign and stop being hung-up on why many Labour MPs think Corbyn has failed.

Overall, even if Angela Eagle isn’t the solution to Labour’s lack of support and divisions, neither is Jeremy Corbyn. Angela Eagle stands a far better chance of appealing to the more broad electorate. However, what Corbyn lacks in support from MPs, he more than makes up for in the way he has rallied the support of young people, the working classes, and voters who had started to find alternatives to the Labour party. Regardless of where Labour goes next, if they want any chance of success, Jeremy Corbyn needs to be involved.