UK parties face challenges – LSE experts

UK parties face challenges – LSE experts

Close to 38 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the new government, while 54 per cent are dissatisfied, poll results from Ipsos Mori show. The survey, conducted earlier this week, also asked respondents their view on prime minister David Cameron and Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. While 52 per cent said they were dissatisfied with Mr Cameron, only 42 per cent admitted were happy with his leadership.

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn got some interesting responses; while 33 per cent said they were satisfied with Mr Corbyn’s leadership, 36 per cent said they were dissatisfied. Almost 31 per cent said they did not know.

“The election of Jeremy Corbyn has sent the Labour party out of the centre to the left,” said Patrick Dunleavy, professor of political science and public policy at the London School of Economics at a media briefing this morning. He added that it is tough to say from the poll results if Corbyn is a “difficult” leader. “The effect of Mr Corbyn’s leadership still hasn’t impacted polls yet.”

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While pointing to the next general elections in 2020, Professor Dunleavy said Mr Corbyn’s leadership cannot be written off but at this stage it is tough to say if it is a threat to next elections.

According to a poll conducted by YouGov, 30 per cent UK adults said Jeremy Corbyn will do well as leader of the Labour party, and 48 per cent said he will do badly. In a separate poll, 17 per cent UK adults said Labour will win the next general elections if Mr Corbyn remains leader, while the majority (61 per cent) said it is unlikely for him to win the next general election.

Discussing Labour party’s problems, Professor Tony Travers, director of LSE London, noted several post-election polls which have shown little change compared with before Mr Corbyn was elected. “If anything, the Conservative-Labour difference has increased slightly,” he said

The biggest challenge for the Labour party at the moment is to create a consistent set of policies that the shadow cabinet can agree to, according to Professor Travers,. “Mr Corbyn and John McDonnell’s team is unknown and thought to be remote from the political mainstream,” he added.

Talking about the Conservative party, Professor Travers said it is doing a number of things which are deliberate in order to position themselves as a traditional one-nation party. “Living wages, stamp duty change and George Osborne’s visit to China are some of the changes the party is trying to bring.”

But the Conservatives also has its own set of problems. The biggest challenge for the present government is EU referendum and when to hold it. Other challenges include immigration and asylum issues, impact of global events on the UK among others, according to Professor Travers.

On the Liberal Democrat party, Professor Dunleavy said it have managed to strip away its impression of a “hotel party” – which he described as one where you check-in one night and check-out next morning – after being elected to a coalition government in 2010. The party only has eight members in parliament but is slowly rebuilding itself.

With the London mayoral elections coming up in May 2016, Labour leader Sadiq Khan’s win may be a huge boost for Labour party, especially since the party’s performance in the national elections this year.