After Theresa May called her snap election in April most people had no idea what the result would be. However, after Corbyn’s lively campaign and manifesto with left policies, he managed to rally support gaining 40% of the popular vote compared to Theresa May’s 42.4% (a loss for her was majority government).
With the outright mainstream media attack and the negative polls against Corbyn this shows it has been a monumental win for him as well as the political left. Despite the fact he hasn’t been able to get a majority in parliament he has come out the strongest leader winning many seats from the Tories and increasing Labour’s share of the vote more than any other Labour leader since 1945. In particular, there was a huge surge in turnout among young people, with 72% voting (as against just 43% in 2015) – and with a massive 67% of under 25s voting Labour according to exit polls
What we also can’t ignore during this election is the complete utter failure of the Blairites within the Labour party. The 80% of MPs that held a no confidence vote in Corbyn trashing the Labour polls before the election was called – even after Corbyn was re-elected as leader, increasing his votes from 250,000 to 310,000 last year. We see how much of a mistake that was in damaging Labour’s image just before an election that ended up being a lot closer than anyone expected. Who knows what the outcome would have been without this blow to the party before the election – painting an image in some peoples heads that he was “unelectable and not a leader”. If there is anything we can take away from this election it is that the complete opposite is true. This election has shown that “New Labour” Blairites in the party have been proven completely wrong when they said no-one would vote for left policies.
In Birmingham this has heavily been the case! The marginal areas the Conservatives were hoping to gain, Labour actually managed to increase their votes significantly as well as gaining popularity in their safe seats. Labour’s vote for Birmingham made up 62.6% – a higher result than Tony Blair in 1997 with just 55%. People from the second city have obviously been yearning for left policies! After the horrendous attacks we have seen from the Tories on public services and social care in the West Midlands, Jeremy Corbyn’s anti austerity stance has hit a chord with the people of Birmingham, again show by the thousands of people who went to see him speak in the city on Tuesday.
What this election definitely proves is that socialist ideas are back on the agenda and the need to continue the struggle against a now very weakened Conservative Government. Now more than ever is the time to get active fighting for a socialist alternative – for more info on how to join the Socialist Party, get in touch.
The next step for the Socialist Party in Birmingham is our public meeting on the 12th June, where we will discuss the way forward from here, for the socialist party and for movement behind Corbyn. Come along and join the socialist movement! More details here on the Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/1355499851212109/
With many potential twists and turns to come in the next few days as Theresa May attempts to cobble together a government and face down the unrest in her own party, keep up to date with socialist analysis of events on the Socialist Party national Website