According to YouGov, Jeremy Corbyn is currently two points behind both Theresa May and Boris Johnson. But why? During a period of extensive uncertainty within the government, and a political direction which satisfies almost nobody - how can this be the case?
Corbyn’s lagging in the polls is due to the lack of direction within the Labour Party over the biggest issue of the day, Brexit. A united, focused Labour Party with a socialist Brexit vision would be steaming ahead in the polls. But instead of remaining steadfast in their own political convictions, which they have held for decades, they are being marred by the brush of Blairite MPs such as Chuka Umunna.
It is painfully obvious to the 40% of Labour voters who chose to leave in 2016, that the route to political success for the party is to adopt a socialist Brexit stance. Most significantly - a real Brexit would enable the party to accomplish its policies of nationalisation of industries. The fact that an undemocratic organisation has the ability to stop a legitimate government from fulfilling its commitments should be enough to want to not be a member.
However, even more worrying for those on the left of the political spectrum, is that the European Union is not a blockade to all governments… just those adopting socialist policies. Regardless of one’s political homeland, there is no doubt that the EU unapologetically works for big business and has free market capitalism through its core. Therefore for Corbyn to truly break through the current political impasse there needs to be a change of Brexit direction. He can’t stay on the fence for this fight.
Clarity is the answer to the problems the party faces. And by being able to put forward the possibilities of a socialist post-Brexit vision for the country, there would be dramatic changes in the polls. By avoiding the elephant in the room, namely the lack of Labour Brexit clarity, there will be no real change and the next general election will be much like the last one, except without the ‘new leader’ glow.
Although under traditional circumstances, it would be understandable for the opposition to focus overwhelmingly on batting down all that the government proposes. In these exceptional Brexit circumstances, we need more than a partisan opposition party. We need a party which is willing to put forward a credible alternative to the biggest issue facing our country. We need a leader who is willing to put his country before the unity of his party.