The Labour leadership

In my piece about the contest, I asked what was the point if Mr Smith ended up offering more or less the same policies as Mr Corbyn? The answer from the Owen Smith campaign is he can win an election to carry them out, whereas Mr Corbyn cannot.

Today a poll is published (BMG Research). It says 9% of the public would be far more likely to vote Labour if Mr Corbyn wins, and 10% a little more likely. For Mr Smith just 5% would be far more likely, and 13% a little more likely. Mr Smith has some way to go to prove his point.

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18 Comments

  1. Bert Young
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Whatever the assumed voting outcome , Labour have “had it”. I cannot foresee anyone wanting to get involved with their leadership contest in such a mess ; the Unions are enjoying themselves .

  2. Antisthenes
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Oily Smith does not actually believe what he says if his past utterance are anything to go by. Many contradict his current rhetoric. Unprincipled comes to mind but then that has never been an impediment to gaining high office. It is possible to be (word left out ed) incompetent and dishonest and still be rewarded with many votes.

    Unfortunately what policies he and Corbyn advocate although stupid and unsound they are attractive to many especially the idealistic young this does not auger well for the future. In the past the idealistic young graduated into more pragmatic and sensible thinkers as they grew older and would discard these absurdities. Now though as most of them have gone through the progressives controlled education system they may have been brainwashed too well to grow any wiser.

  3. ian wragg
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Both contestants are in their own little bubble and have no thought for the electorate.
    They are both so agonisingly stupid I think we should ignore them as it only encourages them.
    After the vote when Andy Burnham and his palls start another party they can then fight over the name.

  4. A different Simon
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Sorry O/T ,

    There is a good chance that we will soon start having electricity blackouts due to successive governments inaction and green policies .

    In order that essential services and industry can continue , could you confirm that the BBC will be instructed to stop broadcasting to save electricity please ?

  5. Margaret
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Corbyn is similar in style to Michael Foot; he likes the unconventional. To persuade the many, style and dress are important. I don’t believe Labour have had it , but they have got it wrong. If they want to win they are going to need to be more conventional. I liked Blair at first and still believe in what he tried to do, but as Corbyn points out the party are the people out here members and non members and those little managing despots misreading policies and putting their own interpretation on matters will always spoil it . Equality is something the labour party cannot even begin to imagine. An example of this is asking everyone to take a basic English test for employment even those who have degrees in this country or those who have taught English as a subject and making the rules of basic English tests apply to all. When making things equal one side of the equation should not be ignored or miscalculated to satisfy the other side.

    • Simon
      Posted August 17, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      I realise I’m not addressing your central point, here, but sadly not all graduates have good English. (I mean, functional literacy consonant with, for example, routine clerical work.)

  6. acorn
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I think I commented on this site recently, if Mrs May can attract the non-Marxist left out of the Labour Party; and, dump the Thatcherite right out of the Conservative Party, she could command the centre ground of UK politics for a decade, if not more.

    OK, the voters are pissed off with being ignored by the Westminster metro-elite. They may be angry enough to vote, on the rare occasions they get to vote, for right-wing Brexitism / Trumpism type factions, or left wing Trotskyism / Communism type factions.

    Like the search for the Holy Grail, (multi-cultural equivalents are available), the search for the “one nation” political party, is as illusive as ever. Now, where did I park that Trojan Horse?

  7. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t the pollsters need to explain who this Mr Smith is? Well of course they did. Who is he anyway?

  8. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    The serious point is that the likes of Mr Benn are mysteriously not standing. There’s is to shove their peers to defeat without risking their own skin. True to form, they bombers from high altitude.

  9. Iain Gill
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Going to nationalise the buses and trains arnt they. I said to my mate they have less chance of winning the general election than my local pub has of getting all 3 of John Deacon, Roger Taylor, and Brian May to play a pub gig and he turned round and said “less chance than Freddie turning up in the pub as well”.

    Proper political views out on the streets lol.

  10. Richard1
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Owen Smith is no more credible a candidate to be PM than was Neil Kinnoch. He seems to have a 1970s/80s leftist mindset. Anyone thinking of voting for Labour under either Corbyn or Owen Smith should look at Venezula – much praised by the likes of Corbyn and Livingstone – to see how things would be here.

  11. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    I’m not surprised. Owen Smith is almost as left wing as Jeremy Corbyn, and he is fanatically pro-European to boot. Mr Smith wants a second EU referendum after we have completed our exit negotiations, so that we can confirm that we really do want to leave. There is not much mileage there, methinks. Labour’s problem is that too many of their MPs still hanker after remaining in the EU, whereas the electorate don’t. I think that Corbyn is more electable than Smith, particularly since Tory Wets and their allies have messed up economic and monetary policy.

  12. amelinixon
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Is it the point though? Both represent the factions within the party One supports the status quo with a bit of boot the other a total overhaul of the system.
    I am viewing from my interests. Do I really want what they offer?

  13. Mark B
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    What I like to know is, what do they propose to do to correct the damage caused to their voters by the last Labour government ?

  14. Dioclese
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Labour are beginning to imitate the Lib Dems – they know they have no chance of getting elected so they can spout the most ridiculous, unaffordable and impractical policies.

    And look what happened to the Lib Dems when they did that!

  15. BOF
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Labour Leadership Contest.

    One fine day in the middle of the night, two dead men got up to fight
    Back to back they faced each other
    With their knives they shot each other.

    And Mrs May? Just shoe’d (kitten heeled?) herself into the job, contest free.

    Lindsay McDougall Labour MP’s had better keep in mind what their constituents voted for in the referendum!

  16. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Quite frankly, I am amazed that anyone votes Labour!!

  17. dorsetshire
    Posted August 23, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Only the selfish vote Tory.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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