Could Jeremy Corbyn overtake Theresa May?
In spite of attacks in Manchester and London these last weeks, the United Kingdom will vote on Thursday June 8th, for choosing its new House of Commons, with the issue of Brexit, or economic and social policy. The conservatives of Theresa May, Prime minister, are not to be overcome by the Labour of Jeremy Corbyn, in a favorable dynamics.
And if it was him, the next Prime minister of the UK, following the general elections on next Thursday? Him, he's Jeremy Corbyn, Member of the left wing of the Labour party, its leader since 2015, reelected in 2016, in spite of a deep contesting of his authority by the right wing of the Labour, the heiress of the period of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. In the middle of April, when Theresa May, Prime minister, announced the holding of early elections, to strengthen a conservative majority to lead as she pleases Brexit voted in June, 2016, the Labour Party seemed left to take itself a historic humiliation according to the polls. Moreover, on May 4th of this year, local elections ended in a landslide victory for the Tories and a severe defeat for the Labour.
But the dynamics seems to have been reversed these last weeks. According to the same polls, the gap which existed in the middle of April between Conservatives and Labour melted away. To such a point that the idea of an absence of majority for the Tories became possible, even that the Labour is able of overtaking the Tories. What are the reasons of this evolution?
At first, the economic and social programs of both favorites: that of May aims to be ambitious on the industrial plan on one side, with a public relaunching on this point. But of other one, social welfare would see itself widely cut, as well as the tax system would be seen again in favour of companies and rich households, without counting the laissez-faire on fees in the most prestigious British universities (Cambridge, Oxford), nevertheless source of social reproduction. As for the program of Corbyn, he aims to be more redistributive regarding taxes, more interventionist with nationalizations to be planned (railroad, energy), with a budget cut on the Trident nuclear programme.
Then, the debates showed signs of weakness at May and strength at Corbyn. Several observers underlined contradictions at the Prime minister with regard to Brexit, of which she wants it to be "hard". And on the contrary, Corbyn defends a "soft Brexit", by negotiating in particular on the questions of preservation in the single market, the commercial policy between London and Brussels.
Finally, the possible role of attacks in the electoral choices. The United Kingdom was not saved by the terrorism with the attack in Manchester, on May 22nd of this year, and that in London, on London bridge and the district Borough Market, on Saturday, June 3rd. But further to these attacks, in particular further to Manchester, a video dating 2003 fast turned on social networks showing Corbyn, then opposed to the government Blair (Labour) with regard to the war in Iraq. A war which would fuel, in the eyes of the future leader of the Plowing, "the wars, the conflicts, the terrorism, the depression and the poverty of future generations". 14 years later, this alarm sounds as a prediction which could mobilize voters towards the Labour camp.
These diverse elements do so that the gap between two main British political parties are almost in shoulder to shoulder and so that the scenario of a change in the majority is not to be excluded, although the last published poll, shortly after attacks on London, underlines a gap which increases between Conservatives and Labour (cf graph).
Reinforcment of the two-party system
The election of next June 8th seems to mark a strengthening of the traditional bipartisanship between Conservatives and Labours. In 2015, two main parties of government represented 2/3 of the British electorate, while they were used to having more of 3/4 of the voters voting for them. But with the financial crisis, a questioning had become established in the British population, all the more if we add the regional questions, even pro-independence. What moreover allowed the Scottish national party (SNP) to make an important breakthrough in 2015, swiping 56 of 59 seats of the House of Commons booked in the Scotland, so becoming the other winner of the previous elections, with the Prime Minister of the time, David Cameron.
But there, the music does not seem to be any more the same for the SNP, nor for the United Kingdom independance party (Ukip). Brexit had, paradoxically, the skin of the extreme right-wing party which was defender of the British exit of the EU. And now, the usual voters of Ukip, who were former conservatives, turn back to support the Tories, considering that the latter would be able to make a "hard Brexit" that cries out May. In the left of the Labour, that does not try to compete this party. On the contrary, it is due to support Corbyn in its internal fights then in the objective to become Prime Minister. Remain then center, with the Liberal-democrats. But since 2015, it's getting more complex for them, after the rout received during the last general elections, to the point that Nick Clegg, leader of the party, has of to make way for Tim Farron.
We shall see good on Friday morning, at the latest.