I’ve been saying since before the 2017 election he wasn’t getting through to enough people. People’s perceptions of him were ingrained and he wasn’t getting through that; no matter how much I believed those perceptions were misguided.
Look who had challenged him though. Owen Smith, Angela Eagle. Neither of whom I think would have done particularly well in the last few years. I firmly believe Theresa May would have had a majority had they been leader.
Now had someone like Keir Starmer stepped forward I’d have backed him. Not someone I align with as much but someone who I feel understand the importance of the left having a strong say in labour policy but that can also appease the more centrist types. He also had much less baggage to the electorate.
I’m not sure he’s the right person now as he probably has too much of the current situation on him but in 2016 he’d have had my support; but he never ran.
Despite my support of Corbyn’s leadership (and contrary to what a lot of people on here may think) I was never a “Corbynista”. I would defend him whenever I felt he was being unfairly smeared or treated (as he so often would be and has been) but also recognised that a lot of that mud was sticking and he often wasn’t helping himself. I have repeatedly bemoaned the fact that his distaste for the mainstream media meant that he wasn’t doing interviews in his early months. He was allowing them to control the narrative when what he needed to be doing was getting in front of the camera and selling himself and his vision to the whole country. Despite 2017 (which I do think was a success at the time) he categorically failed to convince people that he wasn’t the bogeyman he was presented as; that was on him and his team.
I have also been deeply disappointed in this manifesto. It was too much too soon. I have defended the ideas in it because I believe they’re right but I don’t believe the electorate is ready to buy in to them yet. Nationwide high speed Internet is something that this country needs desperately, we lag behind the rest of the world with an outdated copper network (even where fibre has been installed cost cutting and profit chasing means it’s still copper by the time it gets to your house) but it is so painfully easy to just be written off as “free stuff”. There are former eastern bloc countries that have better internet speeds that we do. A National Education Service is a visionary idea but not one that is going to resonate with an electorate that still think Labour is responsible for the 2008 global financial crash.
So yeah, ultimately if a leader had ran who wasn’t going to neglect the left of the party like Blair, Brown and Miliband had done but who could also get more centrists on board and then package that together in an overall less ambitious but still progressive forward thinking manifesto I’d have rejoined the party to vote for them.