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'Sulking Blairites have to come to terms with Corbyn now" - Professor says

Friday 9 June 2017

TODAY's election result effectively ends Hard Brexit and Blairite resistance, says Professor John Callaghan, lecturer in politics at the University of Salford.

“In personal terms this is a victory for Corbyn and a defeat for May.

“Corbyn’s position inside the Parliamentary Labour Party is strengthened; sulking Blairites will have to come to terms with him and he needs to broaden the base of his Shadow Cabinet by including some of them on his Front Bench.

Tory mutiny? 

“May says she will not resign but whether she is removed or continues, the Conservative Party will not be able to see any Brexit deal through the Commons unless they can win Opposition support and this will not be forthcoming if the terms of the deal mean exit from the EU market.

“That means a hard Brexit is much less likely than it was before the election was called.

“A scenario involving the removal of May and the calling of yet another general election – on the grounds that the new PM seeks a mandate – cannot be ruled out, but would be a high risk strategy for the Conservative Party. It might anger the voters and add to Corbyn’s momentum.

“The result of this election probably reflects a vote against further austerity as well as evidence that May was an inept campaigner. The turnout was up and this benefited Labour, as did the young person’s vote.

"But the distribution of votes returned us to something like a two-partysystem – probably temporarily – and this can be interpreted, on the Left, as a rallying against the Conservative government’s management of the public sector and the wider economy.

New Brexit deal 

“Most people voting in the EU referendum on both sides of the divide had little hard evidence upon which to make a decision. This general election result increases the chances that they will be able to influence the Brexit deal, as hard evidence concerning the terms of the deal begins to emerge once the negotiations get underway.

"There will be no automatic Conservative victory in the House of Commons, as there would have been had May won the landslide predicted a few weeks ago.”