Young Britons Will Put Corbyn Into Number 10

Photo copyright PA

by Fintan Dunne | Sunday 4th June, 2017 | 01.00BST

Data in a new Ipsos Mori poll are indicating that Labour are on course for a general election win – courtesy of a record young turnout, paired with disenchantment among traditional Conservative supporters.

Their survey, conducted last Monday and Tuesday put the Conservatives on a five point lead of 45-40 – but hedged its bets with an alternative analysis where all who expressed intention to vote were counted. In that case, Labour would have a 43 point score to the Tories on 40 points.

That alternative scenario includes the “don’t knows” and demographic groups historically unlikely to vote, including minorities, the under 35s and the poorest older people. The pollsters have good reason to second guess their official prediction.

There are three factors which will bring about a Labour victory -albeit in a minority government.

The Captain Ska Factor.
The Theresa Factor.
The Manchester Factor.

1. The Captain Ska Factor. The chart-topping 'Liar, Liar' video on YouTube passed the 2 Million views mark late on Saturday. The meteoric rise of the song was helped as much as hindered by a mainstream radio ban. Its popularity is being driven by younger voters, the very demographic group which supports Corbyn most strongly.

Pollsters routinely discount the opinion of around 30% of younger voters - because they simply won't show up to vote. But back in the nineties, over nine in ten of them showed up to make their voice heard. Three times as many voters aged under 25 years support Labour than back the Conservatives, so the effect of any turnout increase has treble the bang for Corbyn.

Furthermore, The 'Liar, Liar' song is inadvertently, yet relentlessly good at political marketing. Advertising persuades by repetition. Captain Ska has beaten a simplistic, yet powerful message home to young minds "She's a liar. You can't trust her. No, no, no no." The ban adds a lure of the forbidden to further entice the young voter.

According to MTV, ska is suddenly popular again. Perhaps counter-cultural youth voting is too. A recent ICM poll found that most younger voters were 'absolutely certain' to vote. If the Captain Ska factor plays out in that fashion -then a major generational political shift is underway.

2. The Theresa Factor. What misguided backroom tacticians thought it would be a good idea to re-brand the post-Brexit Tories with a Margaret Thatcher meme? Anyone with political nous should surely have realized that a move to the center would easily see off Corbyn. Ideology is to blame. The ideological battle inside the Conservatives and a romantic ideology which harkens back to past glories.

Compounding that error is the most inept campaign performance by any Tory leader in modern times. May has stumbled, fumbled, fudged and flailed about. This combination of a wrong leader with a polarizing message indicates a Tory party bereft of competence. Middle-ground voters who are otherwise politically uninterested tend to vote for what seems the most accomplished campaigner. That won't be May.

3. The Manchester Factor. The gruesome bombing attack broke the trance of normality which would have aided May. Four days later, I penned an article calling the election for Corbyn. Here's some of the logic behind that bet:

The British people have a stoic durability to their character. However that stoicism does not extend to them sacrificing their young children on the altar of the elite's warmongering. At least in World War II, many could send the young and innocent away from the cities to sequester them in relative safety, while parents faced the horrors of gory combat.

There has been 48 hours of quiet, stunned national reflection. It culminated spontaneously on Thursday morning as a grieving Manchester crowd symbolically disavowed hatred to sing a chorus from the Oasis classic 'Don't Look Back in Anger'.

The people of Britain are not prepared to spill the blood of their children. If anger is one of the energies fueling the reciprocal violence which led to this grotesque outcome, then Britain is ready now to cast anger aside. It is also ready now to cast aside the political class which produced this tragic result. Jeremy Corbyn knows it. Like many in politics and media, he senses that mood.

On Friday, he will will tell a London audience that the 'War on Terror' is an oxymoron, a failed contradiction. To defeat terror, you wage peace and not war. He will say that Britain's wars have fostered terror, and that Government foreign policy must reduce -not increase- the threat to the nation.

Theresa May will be reenacting Thatcher while religiously reiterating the tired security mantras which have dominated the last 15 years. Meanwhile Corbyn will outline a far more savvy and modern vision which tackles the prescient, sickening reality of the scenes in Manchester.

Late on Saturday, as I am writing this new article, news has just come through that London police are responding to potentially three terrorism incidents at London Bridge, Vauxhall and Borough Market. The specific details of those attacks matter little to this political analysis. Here's why. Bear with me as I repeat what I blogged only one week ago:

May is now on incredibly thin ice. For two reasons. One is this: 
“I want to make something clear to Jeremy Corbyn and to you: there can never be an excuse for terrorism, there can be no excuse for what happened in Manchester.”
But it happened on her watch and is rooted in her party's policies. The danger is that the "no excuse" logic could rebound on herself. That's reason two: a terror attack before voting and May is toast.

I rest my case. I will now press 'Publish'  and go and make some toast.


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