There can be absolutely no doubt that the winner and hero of the last ill advised gamble of the just concluded Elections called by prime minister Theresa May is Labour leader Jeremy Corbin.
Up till a few years ago, Corbyn was an outsider backbench Labour MP known for protests and campaigning against government and party policies. His relentless criticisms made him a deeply unpopular colleague to fellow backbench and cabinet MPs but surprisingly a favorite of party members and supporters. Seeing off firm favourites such as Angela Eagle and Owen Smith in not 1 but 2 battles to become the Labour party leader, he has become the one who gave the Tories and Theresa May a good run for their money, capturing 40% of the vote against the Tories 43%.
Who can forget last year, when more than two dozen members of the Shadow Cabinet resigned over two days, and a no-confidence vote was supported by 172 MPs in the Parliamentary Labour Party, against 40 supporting Corbyn, following criticism of his allegedly weak support for the Remain campaign in the referendum on membership of the European Union and questions about his leadership of the party. Not even his deputy Tom Watson could summon up enough support for him and went as far as telling him in no uncertain terms to step down.
Ironically, many Labour MPs who are still in Parliament – including many former Shadow Cabinet Ministers who deserted him in their droves, now owe their jobs to Jeremy Corbyn.
Under his leadership and following a firebrand 6 weeks campaigning, Corbin reached the parts of the populace that many before him failed to – the young people and students. Taking on board the very areas where the Tories had failed over the past 7 years – tuition fees, NHS, cuts in police, zero hours work, pension and benefit cuts, introduction of food banks etc – he was able to open the eyes and mind of a large portion of the already embittered populace groaning under the bitting austerity government of the Tories and cause the “enough is enough” reaction.
While the Labour party might have not won the election, they are undoubtedly the biggest winners in the vote snatching 34 seats from the Tories and seeing off two Tory ministers and former LibDem leader Nick Clegg.
At the time the election was called, the Tories looked set for a landslide victory with the polls putting them 22 points ahead but by the eve of the elections, they were a mere 3 points ahead of Labour.
According to Corbyn, the PM called the election because she wanted a mandate. But the mandate she’s got is lost conservatives seats, lost votes, lost support, lost confidence.
The irony, is that all these are what the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn have gained.