The defining moment for me was losing the EU referendum . Whilst I accept Corbyn was not primarily responsible for that defeat I am a firm believer in the famous mantra that the buck stops with the leader. Whilst many claim Corbyn was not at fault for this decisive campaign arguing that the majority of Labour Party voters backed remain, approximately two thirds of them. But for me therein lies the problem, If Jeremy Corbyn can only convince two thirds of labour party members to back him on such an important issue, what chance does he have in a General Election. There is no way to mince this; if only 2/3 of labour voters back us in the next GE we will be consigned to electoral oblivion and nothing but.
My bigger concern is what next after the Labour Leadership election. There can only be two possible outcomes and the party must be prepared for either one. In either candidate winning, the Tory government and Prime Minister Theresa May must consider 2 options: to continue leading the present government or to call a snap general election some time next year. Many doubt that Prime Minister May could even legally call an early election due to the Fixed Terms act but do not doubt her. She is a ruthless politician who would whip her own MPs in a no confidence vote if it helped her political position.
Let's take the scenario where Jeremy Corbyn wins, Theresa May could decide to call an early election to seek her own personal mandate. I have no doubt she would sweep the results to give her a healthy majority to dictate her policies for the next 5 years. What I think more likely is she will let Labour lie in the bed of its own choosing, an ineffectual opposition. There can be no doubt that even if Jeremy wins the leadership election it will result in the 80 percent of the PLP suddenly finding faith in his abilities. This will result in the continuation of the current government and undoubtedly a Tory majority in the next general election in 2020. If Jeremy does get his act together and start to actually pose a credible opposition, I do not doubt Theresa May will pull the plug and call a General election. In either case more Tory rule.
Now let's consider if Owen Smith wins, something that is not looking likely after the overturning of the Labour NEC decision by the high court. If Mr Smith wins as I pray and campaign he does, I expect the Prime Minister to consider calling a general election to take advantage of the disunity among party members especially Corbyn supporters who joined the party for him. Owen Smith may be the unity candidate but this will not happen overnight. It will take time as well as compromise to keep all factions of the Labour Party happy. The other alternative will be to give Owen Smith the time he needs to bring us all together and credibly challenge Theresa May across the despatch box. By calling an early General election the prime minister could attempt to pull out the rug from under the leaders feet to prevent the party ironically building any momentum.
So all in all whatever happens the Labour Party is in dire straits for Mrs May is too credible a politician to not take advantage of our own undoing. When you factor in the proposed boundary changes which were first touted by David Cameron, the immediate future really does look bleak. Unfortunately I see the Labour Party on the sidelines for years to come but I would rather we have some chance with Owen Smith than the statistical probability of a 0 percent chance under Mr Corbyn. I would rather be part of a credible opposition than a protest movement.
I would love to be proved wrong and be forced to eat my own words against Jeremy Corbyn but I am not willing to risk standing idly by whilst millions of the most impoverished suffer under successive Tory governments.
So I urge all of you comrades, If you wish to see a credible Labour party, vote for Owen Smith.