In June, a poll by independent research agency BMG showed Labour ahead of the Conservatives – 41 per cent to 38 per cent. A recent Sky Data poll revealed 78 per cent of Britons think the government is doing badly on Brexit.
Labour’s improving fortunes allow it to downplay the rebellion over Brexit in its own ranks, a split likely to be dissected and maybe narrowed at the conference. Some party members want the country to hold a second referendum on leaving the European Union. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has a eurosceptic history, has ruled out a second vote.
The party’s near-victory over the Conservatives in the 2017 election cemented Corbyn’s dominance. Reporting on a mass rally in London in June that called for a second Brexit vote, the Guardian newspaper observed that Labour is pro-Corbyn but anti-Brexit. More than 150 constituency Labour parties are considering a challenge to his Brexit policy at the 2018 conference, according to the newspaper, with an apparent rise in support for a referendum on a final deal.
The party’s swerve to the political left under Corbyn also divides the party. He argued in his speech to delegates at the 2017 Labour conference that the centre ground of British politics had shifted, and that the party was now in the “political mainstream” because its polices are “what most people in our country actually want.”
He used the 2017 speech to announce new policies that include rent controls and curbs on gentrification, and delegates are likely to hear an update on the plan in his 2018 speech.
#22705 Published: 08/02/2018