Sunday, 4 October 2015

Corbyn and the Polls

For months ahead of the labour Leadership election, the narrative given by the Tory media and the Blair-rights was that Jeremy Corbyn was a no hoper; a nice bloke, who had no chance of securing any substantial support.  They continued that line even after the first few open meetings showed that not only amongst Labour Party supporters, but the public at large, he had by far the greatest amount of support.  Only in the last weeks of the campaign, did they accept that he was likely to win - though they didn't know by how much - and so they changed the narrative to, "Well Corbyn might win the support of Labour members, but he will crater Labour's electoral support."

Well, its been more than three weeks since Corbyn became leader, and during that three weeks he has been subjected to unprecedented levels of attack by the Tories and their media, as well as sniping from the Blair-rights.  So, you would expect then to have seen Labour's standing in the opinion polls to have sunk without trace.  Its odd then, that the neither the Tories, nor their media, nor the Blair-rights have been backing up their argument with the facts of such polls.  Its odd that in those three weeks, in fact, we have seen nothing of any opinion polls to indicate what has happened since Corbyn became Leader.

There was mention of it, last week, during the Labour conference, when Peter Kellner, announced that Yougov was polling as they spoke, in a discussion with a journalist following Corbyn's conference speech, on Tuesday.  Yet no details of the result of this poll were forthcoming.  Very odd considering that the Tories, their media, and the Blair-rights were so confident that Corby would be a disaster.

Well, in fact, some polling results have come out.  UK Polling Report provided details on 2nd October.  Its no wonder that the Tories, their media and the Blair-rights have not been jumping up and down, and shouting "Told You So" at the top of their voices.  According to their report, the YouGov poll undertaken immediately after Corbyn's speeech showed the Tories on 37% (-2), with Labour unchanged on 31%.  Their report also shows the results of other polls.  According to the latest IPSOS poll, the Tories are on 39%, but Labour is on 34%, which is 3 points higher than the earlier YouGov poll.  It is also 2 points higher than the earlier OP Poll.

Another thing that has been demonstrated is just how low the level of political culture and participation is in the UK.  Despite the political activity over the last year, the large majority of people interviewed in Vox Pops seem to have little recognition of any, even of the leading politicians, let alone knowledge of understanding of, or interest in any of the issues of the day, which directly affect their lives.  To the extent that Corbyn is able to break through that, a great potential exists.

The more Corbyn becomes known amongst the general population, as a result of leading campaigns and demonstrations on issues that directly affect people's lives, such as tomorrow's demonstration in manchester against, austerity, the Trade Union Bill, and other anti working-class policies pursued by the Tories, the more support for him and for the Corbyn wing of the Labour Party will grow.

That despite all of the attacks on him by the Tories, the media and the Blair-rights, support for the Corbyn led Labour Party is rising, is a good start.  It indicates how to proceed, by not compromising on principles.  It shows why the Tories, their media and the Blair-rights have kept quiet about the polls.  They are no doubt hoping for a Tory bounce on the back of their Party Conference.

In fact, the narrative that they have put forward that popularity can only be gained on the back of vacuousness, and a parroting of conservative mantras, with just superficial nuances, is as false now as it always has been.  It is a fallacy maintained only on the basis of the control of the media by the Tories, and the lies they repeatedly tell, such as that the economic crisis was caused by Labour profligacy.

As I've set out before, the lie they tell now is based upon a lie of the situation in the 1980's.  In that lie, they claim that Labour's popularity sunk under Michael Foot when he became leader in 1980.  It is a big lie.  Labour's standing in the polls under Foot rose as high as 56%!  It was Thatcher and the tories standing which cratered, as they destroyed the economy in the early 1980's, with the same kind of austerian economic policy that Cameron and osborne have inflicted over the last five years.  The only thing that saved Thatcher, who was about to get sacked by her own party, and the Tories in general, was the betrayal of the SDP, which split the Labour vote, and the fact that Thatcher was prepared to sacrifice thousands of British troops lives for the sake of a bit of rock, surrounded by oil, in the South Atlantic, and thereby to rally the voters around the flag, with the Falklands War.

Foot's mistake at that time was to fail to provide the kind of opposition to those Tory policies that was required, particularly over the Falklands, and which the early part of his leadership had shown, along with his failure to deal with the Blair-rights of his time, like John Golding, who set about driving the party into a bitter civil war, to drive out the left-wing rank and file activists.  Corbyn should learn from those mistakes, and prepare to deal with the Blair-rights, and their soft-left fellow travellers, at the same time as turning the party outwards to campaign across the country against Tory attacks on workers in all their manifestations.

No comments: