First Published in the Huffington Post
It is looking extremely hard for Labour to win in 2020. To do so it would need to do the impossible – move in two directions at the same time.
Taking a right turn, as represented by Liz Kendall, would win votes from Tory voters and probably win back a number of seats in the south of the country. However, it would effectively give up on any attempt to win back seats in Scotland, whose voters voted overwhelmingly for a left of centre, anti-austerity party. But this would not be the limit of the losses – Ukip came second in 120 seats, of which many were Labour seats in the north and midlands. A lot of these could go Ukip if Labour take its traditional voters for granted and tacks right. So a Kendall leadership would lead, at best, to the losses and gains balancing out, but could easily lead to a net reduction in seats.
Taking a left turn, as represented by Jeremy Corbyn, would result in the opposite scenario. Labour would likely take back a number of seats in Scotland and hold off the UKIP threat in the northern heartlands. But it would lose some Labour-Tory marginals, and would be unlikely to win too many seats back from the Conservatives. So once again, the result would be likely to be similar to this election; not the wipeout that the press imagine would take place under Corbyn, but not the transformative victory envisaged by the left either. Continue reading