After the Conservative’s victory in the general election in 2015, then leader of opposition, Ed Miliband, opted to allow another politician to replace him. Whilst multiple MPs’ announced their desire to run in the leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn seemed to emerge as an early front-runner; after seemingly spearheading a campaign based around reform and equalling the societal class system, he emerged victorious, amassing the support of 49.6% of full members and 57.6% of affiliated supporters. Recently though, there seems to have been appeals for a new leader to take the reins, yet the debate surrounding a new leader may provide beneficial outcomes for the party; it may suggest Labour are striving to achieve a vast amount of reform, aiming to do so via any means necessary, whilst simultaneously motivating Corbyn to continue to implement productive modification in his quest to ultimately become Prime Minister.
After winning the race to challenge for a seat in the general election via a 39-35 majority in 1982, Jeremy Corbyn went on to win the aforementioned seat, becoming an MP for his constituency of Islington North. Whilst his original victory may have showcased his potential to become a politician, as he had seemingly amassed support, and the necessary experience, to emerge victorious, perhaps Corbyn’s most notable achievement may be his continuous 33 year retention of this seat. As such, Corbyn may suggest he has been successful in enforcing his aims, and if he is able to continue to implement productive modifications in and around his constituency, he may extend his holding of the Islington North seat for an eighth time.
Whilst Corbyn voiced support for Remain during the EU referendum in 2016, Brexit’s eventual victory seemed to place him under pressure, with divides seemingly occurring in the Labour Party due to a combination of the EU debate, Trident and Syrian military intervention. With Owen Smith soon emerging as a rival candidate, Corbyn seemed to take the pressure in his stride, further showcasing his credentials as a politician, as his gravitas, public speaking ability and pioneering ideologies for the public, underpinned via the term benefits reform, seemed to be contributing factors in him gaining 61.8% of the votes compared to Smith’s 38.2%. Ultimately though, the continuous contest for leadership may motivate the whole party to achieve reform and enforce their ideologies on a grand scale in order to drive both the party’s, and themselves, desire for influence further.
More recently, Corbyn seems to be leading during challenging circumstances, yet seems to once again be relishing the challenge, and continuing to attempt to implement improvements for the British public whilst reshuffling his party for the fourth time. The occurrence of this reshuffle may provide Corbyn with an opportunity to build a consistent, and compact, support network, perhaps increasing Labour’s credentials prior to the election. In addition, with the Conservatives currently leading the opinion polls, Corbyn may be aiming to advance Labour’s position to a superior one, utilising the poll in a productive manner to strive for further achievements. Ultimately, with Corbyn’s support increasing since the 2015 election, where he gained 59.5% of the votes cast, it seems he is in a prime position to elevate Labour, and perhaps his handling of the Syrian debate, in which he voiced his empathy with the Syrians, and his response to the Chilcot report, may have gained him further plaudits.
Whilst the leadership contest may result in short-term gain, it seems stability may act as the driving force in Labour achieving their goal of becoming the power party in Britain. It may seem the majority support this ideology, with Corbyn’s victory in the two electoral contests suggesting he possesses the ability to lead the party, whilst simultaneously showcasing the desire of the Labour voters, 40.5% of whom, larger than Tony Blair’s support, seem to request his leadership. Ultimately, it seems the attempted re-shuffle of the party is aiming to elevate their position in the recent polls, yet perhaps Corbyn’s experience, coupled with his ideologies, may prove he boasts the credentials to lead Labour’s quest to impact the population.
How may the Labour Party achieve reform in their quest to elevate their leader to the position of Prime Minister?