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Suck it Milibean.
Just days after David Miliband returned from running the Thunderbirds to tell us how unelectable Jeremy Corbyn is, Labour is going to have to pop the corks over a by-election hat-trick.
Yes, Corbyn’s critics are right. Labour will have to win seats from the Tories to win in 2020. There’s only so many seats and some of them are Conservative. Thankfully Corbyn’s Labour just proved it could do just that with three by-election victories. Two of which were Tory seats, the other was held by the SNP.
Those of us who are closer to the voters on the ground have felt this coming for a while. The idea of “electability” is a fickle one and one that seems stuck in a different era. What worked before 2008 won’t work today because the world has truly changed, and Jeremy is the man to adapt to it.
In other good news the seats happen to offer a neat disection of the country. One was in the north, Christchurch Allerdale in Cumbria; one was in the midlands in Warwickshire and the other was in Scotland in North Lanarkshire. Each is fairly distinct and yet in all three Corbynism has helped people see that there’s a better way. Following a bleak few months it feels good to be making progress across Britain.
Although Labour have still lost 3 seats overall since May this means they’re performing far better than the Conservatives who have lost 8. Treating these losses as a referendum on Corbyn seems odd if we aren’t also going to have a referendum on May.
Hopefully this can do something to dispel the muted atmosphere that’s grown around this weekend’s conference. It will certainly be re-assuring to those who were worried about Corbyn’s electability.
One such man, the aforementioned Millibean, recently described Labour as “unappealing” and “unelectable” under Jeremy, days before they defeated both of the parties they’ll have to defeat in 2020.
Of course, the establishment narrative won’t change based on this. As we all know the only way to win is from the Centre with a third way narrative. Which is why Gordon Brown was re-elected with a huge mandate and we’re now living in the glorious age of Ed. This is the same establishment that failed to see Corbyn coming and still can’t quite parse Brexit.
All the same, that’s three by-election wins, a likely Corbyn leadership and a sunny weekend. After several months of endless campaigning I’ll take it.