Labour surged to a spectacular second place in June, confounding the pundits, the polls and the politicians, but have we passed peak Corbyn?
The first thing to note is that politics has become very unpredictable. Before the election, it was seen as a sure thing that the Conservatives would return to power with an even bigger majority, but as the election showed: anything can happen.
That said, has Jeremy Corbyn missed his chance? If the election campaign had lasted another couple of weeks, Labour may have well as beaten the Tories as the polls were already moving in their favour.
While numerous factors are at play, there are two significant factors which could determine Corbyn's success in a future election: timing and Conservative leadership.
Let's look at a couple of election scenarios and examine what could happen.
A vote before the UK leaves the EU withTheresa May as Tory leader
If another election takes before April 2019, then a Labour win looks more likely than not as the polls are moving in the party’s favour. Since the election, the party has been ahead of the Conservatives in most election polls.
Furthermore, if the wounded prime minister fought another general election against Corbyn then the leader of the oppositions chances would likely be improved.
An election before the UK leaves the EU with a new Tory leader
An early general election with a different Conservative leader would not just be a repeat of June’s political battle. Much would depend on who takes over from May and how well they performed against Corbyn, but removing May could inject a breath of fresh air into the Conservative party, and ensure that May’s continued unpopularity does not impact the party’s performance.
After the UK leaves the EU
Once the UK leaves the EU, the Labour party may well have lost the momentum it gained in the 2017 general election, however, there is one reason that the party could be happy with an election once the UK left the EU. With the BBC reporting that Labour is divided over single-market membership, an election called once the UK is out, could benefit the party as the UK’s relationship with the EU would have already been established.
The Conservatives will learn from their mistakes
Whenever the next election comes, it is important to remember that the Conservatives will be planning to learn from their mistakes. Next time, much more care will likely be taken in drawing up the party’s manifesto after it was widely criticised this time round. The BBC has even reported that Tory MP Nigel Evans has since called it “rubbish”. It’s also hard to imagine Theresa May – or whoever replaces her – not turning up to the TV debates. The Conservatives will likely learn from that mistake as well.
As already stated, the world’s political winds can shift at any minute. There is logic to the argument that Corbyn’s time has passed, but with British politics in a constant state of flux, Jeremy Corbyn has a significant chance of becoming the next prime minister.