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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Corbyn under fire from his own side - again!

The Independent carries another of an increasingly frequent series of articles in all media about the future of Jeremy Corbyn. To be fair speculation about David Cameron's future is also rife.

The paper repeats the oft-quoted message that dissident Labour MPs are preparing to make public demands for Jeremy Corbyn to stand down as leader if the party fails to notch up steady gains in elections across England, Wales and Scotland in six weeks’ time.

It says that these MPs have set a series of electoral yardsticks which they believe Labour should achieve to demonstrate that Mr Corbyn is succeeding in winning back voters who have deserted the party in recent years:

Top of the Labour leader’s critics’ list is London, where Sadiq Khan is favourite to win the mayoralty for the party after Boris Johnson’s eight-year spell in City Hall.

They are also looking for signs of a revival in Scotland, where Labour support collapsed at the general election, and for evidence that it can see off a challenge from Ukip in its strongholds in South Wales.

Several marginal councils in the south of England will provide a key test of Labour’s electoral health on 5 May.

They include Southampton, where Labour lost a seat at the election and has a narrow majority on the city council, and Crawley in West Sussex, where Labour has a council majority of just one. In the Midlands Labour could suffer the setback of losing control of the councils of Dudley, Redditch and Cannock Chase.

Opponents of Corbyn argue that Labour should be gaining hundreds of council seats at this stage of the parliament. Corbyn allies are taking heart from signs that both Labour support and his personal ratings are edging up after the disarray over George Osborne’s budget, Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation from the Cabinet and Tory in-fighting over the EU referendum.

Disarray within Tory ranks and the perception that the Tories are more split than Labour may help Corbyn of course, but whether Labour can achieve these heights has to be seen.
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