Starmer crushed the Labour Left. That is why he won.

by Sam Dale

You may think it would provoke a moment of introspection. A shred of humility, perhaps? Maybe, even, a half-hearted congratulations to the new prime minister.

But no. The far-left, who left Labour on the brink of extinction just five years ago, are doing their most ungracious best to dismiss the most astonishing electoral turnaround in British history.

Jeremy Corbyn won in Islington North. A few independent wins. The Greens are second in a few dozen seats to Labour. Something about vote share. And just you wait for next time in….. 2029!

It’s always next time, isn’t it?

Such are the scraps the Left are left to feed off in the wake of Starmer’s swaggering, all conquering win.

So, let us stop and take a moment to savour this delicious victory.

In December 2019, just four and a half years ago, Trots and Marxists were running the Labour party.

Inevitably and predictably, it was handed its worst general election result in 100 years with 191 seats.

Keir Starmer took over a party on its knees. He had to be Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair rolled into one.

He made two big, necessary changes.

Firstly, he has crushed the Labour Left. Corbyn was booted out, Owen Jones left the party and a series of candidates ruthlessly dismissed.

Voters needed to see this. Does anyone seriously think Sarah Sackman would be an MP if Corbyn was wearing the red rosette in Islington?

Millions felt safe to vote Labour knowing that Starmer had purged anti-semitism and got a grip on the Marxist madness from 2015.

Secondly, Starmer’s moderation fed the Conservative implosion.

The right would have never split between Reform and the Conservatives under a radical Labour left leader. Fear of the alternative would unite them.

We don’t have to imagine this.

Millions held their nose and voted for Boris Johnson in 2019 precisely because the alternative was so unpalatable. Nigel Farage stepped down his Brexit candidates, partly because the fear of Corbyn was so strong.

And when Boris partied and Liz Truss lost the plot, voters looked at Labour to find a re-assuring, sensible voice offering security and stability.

There are no default wins. People have to actively vote for you. A radical Labour Left leader would simply not have collected enough anti-Tory votes in the right places.

Policies were carefully drawn and tested such as VAT on private schools. A stark contrast from ill-thought through policies like free Wifi and free student tuition in 2019.

Starmer didn’t go too far in crushing the Left and changing the Labour party. It is a completely crucial feature of his winning coalition.

His victory rests on winning over swing voters in key marginals. The only way you can win an election under first past the post. Seemingly obvious, basic politics that Labour has ignored for at least 14 years.

The scale of what Starmer has done should not be underestimated. Tony Blair called it the biggest victory in Labour’s 120 years and its hard to disagree. Peter Mandelson said it far outstripped Blair’s electoral achievement in the 1990s.

And now it is time for business. The Rwanda scheme is scrapped, onshore wind farms allowed and planning reform in motion.

Starmer has achieved more in three days than Corbyn has in his entire career.

The Labour Left kept the Tories in power, Stamer has swept them out.

The Left’s irrelevance is total and Starmer’s victory vindicates ignoring them. Let the protestors protest, Labour has work to do once more.

Sam Dale is a financial and political journalist

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