Jeremy Corbyn is expected to win control of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, after a campaign which has promised to shift the centre-left party closer to its socialist roots.
LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (REUTERS) – Jeremy Corbyn is the favourite to be confirmed as the next leader of Britain’s Labour Party on Saturday (September 12), when the results of an internal leadership election are announced at a conference centre in central London
Corbyn, a 66-year-old veteran parliamentarian from the left of the party, whose policies include renationalisation of the railways and increasing government spending, has reignited an ideological fight between the right and left of the party.
In recent weeks he has emerged as the leading candidate in the opinion polls, after a dramatic rise from being an outsider who struggled to receive enough nominations.
Corbyn’s campaign has also tapped into a frustration with Britain’s political classes, who are criticised by many voters for being too carefully polished and lacking in big ideas.
He has sought to energise disillusioned voters with a promise of a radical alternative to centrist politics.
But others insist the party can only hope to win in 2020 if it reclaims the centre ground from which it enjoyed its most prolific election success.
Former prime minister Tony Blair, who won the 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections, has said Labour faces annihilation if it picks Corbyn.
The prospect of a Corbyn victory has prompted warnings the party is repeating mistakes of the 1980s when a left-wing insurgency split Labour in two and set up a humiliating 1983 election defeat.
Fears that the current leadership contest has been hijacked by hard-left sympathisers and rival political parties have led some Labour lawmakers to call for the vote to be suspended
The winner of the leadership vote will be announced on Saturday after a ballot of more than 600,000 voters, made up of party members, affiliated trade union members and other registered supporters.