Will there be a change before the next general election?
The furious efforts by the LAB media team to undermine the reports last week that there might be issues with Corbyn’s health suggest that they could be something in it. They protesteth too much .
Whatever the issue of who succeeds Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader and of course leader of the opposition is one that we haven’t looked at for sometime. Going back over the Betfair market trends in the long term favourite, Emily Thornberry, seems to be getting less support from punters and we now have Rebecca Long-Bailey edging into the lead in the betting. When Corbyn did not attend PMQs last month it was Long-Bailey and not Thornberry who deputised for the leader. Perhaps the latter is falling out of favour for opposing Corbyn/Milne/Murphy on their Brexit approach.
At some stage it will have to be decided whether the party wants Corbyn to lead it into the next general election. My sense is that it doesn’t and if so then the question of the successor becomes relevant.
The assumption is that whoever Corbyn backs will be supported by the party membership. We don’t know whether this is the case or not until it is in fact tested.
Another story that’s been strongly attacked by LAB’s media managers in the past few days has been a suggestion in the Observer that its membership has dropped by 100,000. Look at the response here and the precise phrasing.
The LAB evasiveness over giving the actual membership data suggests that the Observer story is on the right lines. Saying "100k losses is completely untrue" could mean that the figure is greater. https://t.co/eN9nGroMgn
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) June 30, 2019
The thing to notice is that LAB is no longer claiming to be the biggest party in Europe in terms of membership. The wording in the Twitter response suggests that there has been movement. Also, and I know this from my PR days, asserting that a figure is completely untrue could mean that the actual drop is larger.