Anxiety in Britain over election outcome

Arun Srivastava

With the parliamentary elections barely a fortnight away, Corbyn haters have become active and are joining hands to launch a tirade against him. Their basic allegation has been that Corbyn is a non-performer and cannot carry Britons with him. He does not understand their mood and aspirations. These people do not want to miss the opportunity as a misfire would place Jeremy Corbyn in a better position.
But interestingly, one discernible trend since the election was called has been the increase in the Labour vote. Although the Conservatives have managed to get the promise from Ukip that its supporters would vote for them, the Labour has succeeded in getting the assurances from a sizeable portion of this section of the voters.
Labour, which has lost some of its ground in the wake of personal insinuation and tirade of the Tories and a section of the Labour leaders against Jeremy Corbyn, has started gaining ground and a week back it had already crept back to its 2015 level – that is, close to 30 per cent of the vote.
The popular question making the round is: "What would it mean to have an opposition leader who has rejected so many cornerstones of traditional British foreign policy?" This, in fact, has changed the attitude of the people and acted in a positive manner with regards to Jeremy Corbyn.
After the leak of the Labour election manifesto, Corbyn was virtually thrown out of the race by the political pundits. But surprisingly, the British media, which has been playing the anti-Corbyn role, has turned soft towards him. Their evaluation has been objective and this has added to his popularity. The media now visualises him as a politician imbibing the aspiration of the people. 
For years, Labour’s left-wing politicians have argued that the party has been unsuccessful because it has not offered voters a sufficiently radical alternative to Conservative policies, and that theory looks likely to be tested in the coming elections. While his friends and supporters would like him to adopt a more radical line, the Conservatives and his detractors are not willing to repackage their charges of Corbyn being inefficient and a hardcore Marxist whose policies were against the interest of the people. Their refrain has been “Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to unleash chaos on Britain have been revealed. Jobs will be lost, families will be hit, and economic security damaged for a generation if Jeremy Corbyn and the coalition of chaos are ever let anywhere near the keys to Downing Street.”
After the June referendum on Brexit, the rulers of Britain could not succeed in evolving a consensus mechanism to augment the functioning of the economy. Britain was finding it hard to cope with the economic situation. It was in this backdrop that Corbyn intended to push his radical agenda. Though his detractors are projecting a bleak future, the ground realities convey the feeling that Britons are mentally prepared for some radical action. Incidentally the Tories and some Labour leaders are apprehensive that success of Corbyn’s policies would jeopardise their political future. Even among his own lawmakers last year, some tried unsuccessfully to unseat him.             
The common Britons nurse the feeling that the US administration has been using its might to ensure that the prime minister Theresa May romps home. The alleged USA role is disliked by most Britons. Labour Party has made it clear that Corbyn’s Labour government would sever the close relationship cultivated by May with the US government. The shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry made it clear; “ From day one, we will stand up to his administration, making clear that the special relationship with America is based above all on shared values and that if Trump continues to ignore and abuse those values, we will criticise him openly, as we would do any other leader”.
Jeremy Corbyn’s path to power would be one of the greatest surprises in British politics. No one has given Labour much hope of overturning the Tory government in the June election but, according to the latest election polls, they are drawing closer, albeit marginally. Barring in some regions and areas, the Labour is seen improving its position. The latest polls show Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is narrowing the gap with the Conservatives after a backlash over Theresa May's so-called 'dementia tax'.
Ahead of the June 8 election, the poll for the Guardian newspaper said support for the ruling Conservatives had fallen by 1 percentage point to 47 percent, while Labour jumped 5 points to 33 percent. Opinion polls had put May's Conservatives on course for a big victory after she called the snap election in April but her lead has slipped in recent days after both sides published their pre-election policy plans. Labour, meanwhile, is standing strong with only 8 per cent of its previous voters unsure who they will back this time. Another 87 per cent of Labour’s 2015 voters declared they would vote Labour again, up from 69 per cent in April this year.
The Conservatives’ lead has halved from 18 points to just nine points since last weekend, according to the latest YouGov poll for the Sunday Times. Support for Labour increased from 31 per cent to 35 per cent, while support for the Tories fell from 49 per cent to just 44 per cent. This shock poll marks the first time the Conservative’s lead has been in single figures since Theresa May called the snap election in late April. This shows how the people’s mood is shifting. The next eight days may witness further shift towards Labour. (IPA)

Monday, 5 June, 2017