Cindy Yu Cindy Yu

Coffee House shots: the doomed Labour leadership challenge

Support for leadership contenders Angela Eagle and Owen Smith are roughly evenly split within the party – though all involved agree that only one can go forward if the party is to have any chance of purging Corbyn. But in this Coffee House shots podcast, James Forsyth tells Fraser Nelson that there might not even be a point to the contest:

‘The real news this morning is this YouGov poll which suggests that Jeremy Corbyn is on course to beat either of them – and quite comfortably.’

But if the Labour party is unsuccessful in purging Corbyn, then the party faces mass deselection of MPs at best, and the death of the party at worst. Can the Tories take advantage of this weakness in the Opposition? James Forsyth tells Fraser Nelson that, actually, maybe not:

‘[An early election] goes strongly against the Theresa May brand that she’s serious, that she doesn’t play political games. If you then start calling an early election because your opponents are in a mess, then that dilutes that brand.’

Isabel Hardman is doubtful that Corbynites really care about weakening the PLP like this. She tells Fraser Nelson:

‘[Corbyn] doesn’t really believe in parliaments and their power to change things, or the need to have a large number of MPs in a majority government in order to be able to change things. And therefore the idea that the parliamentary Labour party might be important is less of a thing to Corbynites.’

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