by Atul Hatwal
The shock of the election announcement is already subsiding. The grim reality is clear.
A common expectation across the PLP is that Labour will lose 70 to 80 seats, reducing Labour’s Westminster representation from 231 (232 including Simon Danczuk) to around 150, its lowest level since 1931.
Jeremy Corbyn is not going to be prime minister. He’s not going to be Labour leader by close of business on June 9th.
The primary purpose of the general election campaign, for a doomed Labour party, will be as a prologue to the leadership election that is now inevitable over summer – the third year running that Labour has voted on its leader.
Brexit will define everything.
During the general election campaign, Labour’s frailties on Brexit will be brutally exposed.
Keir Starmer might have set some tests for what constitute acceptable terms for Brexit but Labour’s current position is that the party would not vote against the final deal, regardless of whether the tests have been met or not.
This position will fall apart over the coming weeks.
It’s inconceivable that Labour spokespeople can make a case that Theresa May is pushing for a hard Brexit that would wreck the lives of Britons while saying in the same breath that the party would not oppose such a deal in the final vote.