With just over two weeks until the snap election that was called by Theresa May on April 18th, recent polls show that Labour are narrowing the Tory lead week by week. On the flip side, the Tories are still odds on to regain their majority that they won back in 2015 under David Cameron. However, no matter what happens in the election, the contemporary left can be proud they've had politicians in Corbyn & Co. who have finally stood up for what they believe in.
Despite the media's attempts to brand Ed Miliband as "Red Ed", mainly to strike fear amongst the undecided voter, he was far from being on the left and representing our voices. Many of us on the left would go as far as saying Miliband wasn't even centre-left, but had a more central position on the political spectrum. His "controls on immigration" mug that went viral not long before the 2015 election was far from anything anyone on the left would agree with. Of course, there are minor left-wing parties that operate today, but none of which are "worthy" of voting for in a parliamentary election.
In Corbyn and McDonnell; we finally have a mainstream political party that has put forward policies we support and would bring about a fairer, more equal society that is "for the many, not the few", as Labour's political slogan states. We finally have the chance to be proud of voting for Labour, rather than just tactically voting for them to keep the Tories out of government. We finally feel stronger about politics and actually want to get involved and vote, rather than the constant feeling of political apathy. We finally have something to stand for and be proud of.
The response and outcry on social media in response to the announcement of a snap election has created shockwaves in politics, something we've never seen before. Even in 2015, the primary communication between politicians and the electorate was through broadcasting. However, various social media campaigns encouraging young people to vote has shown a huge increase in people registering to vote, which offers up the possibility that voter turnout could even increase to 70%. Jeremy Corbyn has been relentlessly encouraging young people in particular to register and get their voices heard. This is something we can be proud of. A tweet by Corbyn has shown that Theresa May hasn't once taken to social media to encourage voter registration.
The left can also be proud of Corbyn in the manner in which he has went about not only just the upcoming election, but the last two years of his leadership. Corbyn has shown how anyone on the left can stand up to the mainstream media, as he has battled through the criticism in which now we find that polls are showing Labour could win a higher vote percentage than they did in 2015 under a more central leader. In some cases this week, the media are siding more with Corbyn as his policies prove more popular with the public than some of May's, which have increasingly come under criticism. Through voicing actual manifesto policies, not committing u-turns within days, and communication, Corbyn has changed the minds of many who now question the Tories and their anti-working class manifesto.
Optimism hopes for a country where Jeremy Corbyn is the Prime Minister when we all wake up on June 9th. The Tories are still leading the polls, but the gap is narrowing with each poll that is being conducted. If this continues on for the next two and a half weeks, we're in for a mighty close and intriguing election. Even if Theresa May continues on as Prime Minister, the left can be grateful of Jeremy Corbyn for what he has delivered during his tenure. Many of us feel more engaged with politics than we ever have before, thanks to Corbyn and his close allies. Political apathy under younger voters seems distant, and there is hope for the future that the current generation will become more interested in politics and speak out for what they actually believe in. So no matter what happens in the General Election, the left can feel proud of what has occurred so far, and can feel optimistic about the future of left-wing politics in the U.K.