Given how fixed things appear to be in Northern Irish politics, here’s an extraordinary piece of research from Matt Singh on what the precedents might be for Labour to lose the Copeland seat as a mid term opposition party:
Maybe it won’t happen then? They’ve won other by-elections they were expected to be run close in. However, the presence of Sellafield there means Corbyn’s anti nuclear stance could make him a more active issue than he was in Oldham, for instance.
Besides, it just feels like we’re living in an age when, realistically, there’s no solid floor to the Labour Party’s decline. Between Gordon Brown’s unwillingness to apologise for being in charge at the time of the crash, and present Leader’s inveterate
Between Gordon Brown’s unwillingness to apologise for being in charge at the time of the crash, and present Leader’s inveterate anti-Blairite stance, the party has become detached from its more positive achievements in government, at a point when the Conservatives are trying to perform a risky (and very expensive) manoeuvre to take the UK out of the EU.
Weirdly, even such a historic reverse may not be enough to encourage what has become a heavily demoralised party to oust its transparently incompetent leader and, to coin a phrase, take back control.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty