In a very highly cited article the Sunday Telegraph reports that one in four Labour supporters want the party to split if it loses the general election, citing an exclusive poll.
Many people in the UK are tired of the two main political parties. Left-wingers argue that Blairites are no longer political champions of the left. Meanwhile, Theresa May is now lurching to the political centre, trying to mop up UKIP and Labour voters – she’s now branded a Red Tory. I’ve been a one-nation conservative all my life but I struggle with Theresa’s May’s offering (especially abandoning individualism) – she’s light on convictions, strategy and leadership. Perhaps, I’ll abstain – I can’t see myself voting for the Liberal Democrats or Labour. But I could see myself drawn to a UK Macron, championing the political centre.
Traditional Labour voters will be uncomfortable with the hijacking of the Labour Party by shadowy Far-Left sponsors. After events in Washington, conspiracy theorists might wonder if Jeremy Corbyn has some Russian sponsorship? The Far Left is very different from the traditional socialism of the Labour Party. For the Far Left, the end justifies the means. Even if Jeremy Corbyn steps down after a massive defeat in the election, it’s hard to imagine the Blairites regaining power – the membership of the Labour Party has moved to the left of the political spectrum.
The problem is that there does not appear to be a ‘UK Macron’, waiting in the wings. The UK Macron could come from either Labour or the Conservative Party (I’m ignoring the Liberal Democrats). Of course, it all depends how the next two years plays out. The Conservatives still look destined to increase their lead in parliament and form the next government with a larger majority. But Theresa May’s move to the centre will unsettle those to the right of her party. However, May will be too preoccupied with Brexit to be much of a reformer and I would expect the manifesto to gather dust. Similarly, the future of the Labour Party still looks a bit flaky under Jeremy Corbyn. If there’s a landslide against Labour, the chances of a split in the party increase.
Much will depend upon Theresa May’s performance, both in the election and in Brexit negotiations, assuming she’s the next PM. But Theresa May could also face major hurdles in other areas, like social unrest, the collapsing quality of public services and foreign wars, the cost of the special relationship with the US and Trump in power. The downside risks are much stronger than the upside opportunities.
Conservative propaganda is pitching May as a safe pair of hands compared to Corbyn but as a political leader, she’s still largely untested.