Problems within the Labour Party and possible defeat in next year’s elections

Brexit accelerated the structural gaps and conflicts in the party. The polarisation of the Labour Party has devastating consequences for it. How does the party mobilise its social base?

The bipolar atmosphere within the Labour Party has shaken its social base.
The lack of acceptable leadership in the Labour Party is sending workers to rival parties.
Neither Labour Party has the ability to radicalise society.

For the Labour Party, Brexit voters, often from the traditional base who have always been Labour supporters, have been a complete disappointment. The reason for this is to be found in the bipolar atmosphere within the Labour Party. On the one hand, Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters opposed Brexit, and on the other, the rest of the party supported Brexit. This split in the party allowed conservative parties to absorb the Labour Party’s vote base. The interpretation of the reasons for the party’s failure to address the issue of Brexit is different for both groups within the Labour Party. Corbyn’s supporters link it to economic issues in the category of unique and exceptional events. While Starmer’s supporters, who are among Corbyn’s opponents, link it to Corbyn’s identity and anti-Semitism. In any case, intra-party conflicts, strategic difficulties in dealing with the issue of Brexit, and the inadequacy of the Labour Party leadership have led workers to rival parties and the Labour Party is unlikely to overcome these structural problems in the next election.

The role of Brexit in intensifying intra-party divisions

Brexit, as a catalyst, accelerated these changes in the social base of the Labour Party. Voters for Brexit were more rural and less educated. On the contrary, the higher and educated classes opposed it. In fact, the Labour Party has completely lost its social support base, the traditional spheres of the working class. also showed that the Conservative vote share among low-skilled people increased by an average of six percent, the Labour Party share fell and even lost support in the cities.

Over the past year, however, the Labour Party has refrained from talking about Brexit as much as possible and has taken ambiguous positions. Instead, he prefers to focus on the coronavirus. Of course, these tactics do not seem to be able to restore the party’s lost position among its working-class supporters. Historically, left-wing parties in Britain, like the Labour Party, have represented the industrial working class. This class division has always been stable in terms of the party’s social base. Right-wing parties, such as the Tories, represented the upper classes. But this historical pattern has changed over the past few years. So that urban educated people tend to the left and the working classes to the right and conservatives.

Chronic procedures and growing gaps

The Labour Party will not be able to win the seats needed to form a cabinet in the upcoming elections unless it can re-establish an objective and tangible connection with its traditional class base, which was once its main base. In fact, this gap has been created in the Labour Party and its supporters for decades. This means that the forty-year-old procedures cannot be changed by simply presenting an election plan for next year. The lost vote base of the Labour Party cannot be revived overnight.

This gap has caused party members to blame each other for the problems and to blame each other. This structural gap has widened divisions within the party so that it does not have a “clear and operational agenda” for “major economic change” in the upcoming elections. In fact, within the party, the strategic culture for overcoming problems has disappeared. Thus, it has lost the ability to organize society in election-related campaign efforts. How can a party that does not organize itself mobilize the society to attract votes?!

The other two main problems

Conflicts within the party have created another major problem, and that is the current communication gap between the leadership and party members, which will again confront the workers with an existential crisis. Workers are constantly wondering if the Labour Party still represents the working class for which it was founded 120 years ago. Another problem with intra-party conflicts is the confusion of party members in taking clear positions on current issues and various events, which could be another factor for another defeat for the party, especially in next year’s elections.

Consequences of structural problems within the party

The main consequences of intra-party strife are the discrediting of the party’s economic policies, political discrediting and patriotic allegations, and the Labour Party’s vague public service program that will prevent it from competing with Johnson. The Labour Party needs major and symbolic changes in politics. The Labour Party lacks its vital element, a credible leader, and so above all, it needs a strong leader.

The lack of a strong and credible leader in the party has caused the majority of party members to become passive and merely support the program of other parties. The British left is more divided than ever, and this easily creates the conditions for Britain’s populist right-wing parties.

The issue of social base

Now the question is, which of the two groups in the Labour Party can take the initiative and create a unified and cohesive leadership?! The moderate Labour Party, which has become completely passive. The moderate faction of the Labour Party seems to be digested in the policies of its traditional rival, the Tory Party. In fact, this faction, due to its inability to solve structural problems, party changes, consensus building and strong and unified leadership, only approves of its rival programs. Given this, can the Labour Party’s Corbist faction build a stronger foundation for its project by using the tools of intra-party democracy as the philosophy of the left, the radicalization of the workers, and the struggle against Labour Party moderates? So that they can gain the majority of the party and form a single leadership, especially in the current situation where they are an the party’s promises about the ideas of the members’ participation, that is, the bottom-up mechanism, restore the lost base of the party?! Can the party provide the necessary resources from its members for next year’s election program?!

It seems that due to the long-term differences between the two groups, neither of them can build the necessary trust between the members and overcome the problems. It is likely that their rival, the Tory Party, will be able to take advantage of the divisive and bipolar atmosphere between the two groups. The sterility of the British Labour Party, on the one hand, and Johnson’s populist program in the Tory Party on the other, make it easy for them to once again easily change the electoral behavior of British society in their favor. This means that they will challenge the loyalty of the members of other parties and attract them to the Tory party.

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