NEWS

Jeremy Corbyn Responsible For Most Of All Labour's Popularity, Diane Abbott Says

Labour is polling at its worst for three decades.

13/04/2017 20:40

Labour could be “languishing in single digits in polls” without Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott has said.

The party is polling far behind the Tories as Labour in its worst showing since the 1980s and Corbyn is facing constant questions, including from erstwhile supporters, about whether he should stand down.

But Abbott, one of Corbyn’s staunchest allies in the Shadow Cabinet amid the party’s division, said “any one of his vocal critics” would be polling much worse if they were leader.

“One of their current arguments is that Labour’s difficulties in the polls are all attributable to him and that if only we had a new leader, almost any leader, then this would resolve our problems. This is completely untrue,” the shadow home secretary wrote on Labour List.

“Compared to all his critics, Jeremy Corbyn is worth about 18-20 percentage points to Labour’s vote. Without him, and led by any one of his vocal critics we could easily be languishing in single digits in polls.”

Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images
The alternatives to leader would be polling much lower than Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott claimed

She pointed to terrible polling of left wing parties in France and the Netherlands, saying it showed the dangers of the left failing to distinguish itself from the right.

She wrote: “The Dutch Labour Party and the French Socialist Party had talked about opposing austerity but then implemented it.

“Trying to shore up their electoral base they turned to anti-immigration and Islamophobic rhetoric and policies. France under Hollande also repeatedly intervened militarily in Africa.

“No doubt there are somewhere Dutch and French versions of Peter Mandelson saying that these policies were necessary, or they were popular or they showed firm leadership. They were none of the above.

 “They were indefensible and they proved electorally disastrous. Yet these are precisely the policies that Corbyn’s critics would have him adopt, and would implement themselves if they managed to oust him.

“They would prove equally disastrous.”

Last week, Corbyn exploded when ITV News asked about his future as Labour leader after the party fell to 25% in the polls, its joint worst level since 1983.

“You’re obsessed with this question, absolutely obsessed with it,” Corbyn said.

“We have a strong opposition in this country if you bothered to report what we were doing... It’s your responsibility to make sure the opposition voice is heard as well as the government’s voice. It’s your failings.”

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS