Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn has seen off his opponent in a leadership contest, increasing his share of the vote to 61.8 per cent.
The hard-left parliamentarian and long-time back bencher-turned party leader defeated Owen Smith who took 193,229 votes from Labour party members, to the victor’s 313,209.
67 year old Mr. Corbyn became Labour party leader last year with 59.5 per cent, a surprise result given Mr. Corbyn’s starting position as an outsider with no history of front-bench politics. Opponents of Mr. Corbyn’s hard-left political platform mounted an attempted coup, triggering a fresh leadership race less than a year after Corbyn first won.
Instead of destabilising Mr. Corbyn, the results announced at today’s Labour Party conference in Blackpool have shown the attempt on the leadership has actually strengthened his position.
Despite the strong victory for Mr. Corbyn, he presides over a fractured party, with many parliamentarians apparently at odds with the grassroots members, who support the continuing leader.
Speaking to the Associated Press, government professor Tony Traverssaid Labour is “like a miserable, unhappy family trying to coexist.”
After a mass resignation of shadow cabinet members earlier this year, Mr. Corbyn must now work to fill his front bench — and reports suggest he may welcome back members of parliament who previously deserted him as a sign of unity.
While Mr. Corbyn is popular with Labour party members, some within the left-wing party are concerned he lacks broader appeal to the rest of the electorate. Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock predicted earlier this week that he would not see another Labour government in his lifetime.
Speaking to the BBC, Lord Kinnock remarked: “Not just in my lifetime but stretching back to the 1930s, by any examination this is the greatest crisis that the Labour Party has faced.
“I’m 74, and unless things change radically, and rapidly, it’s very doubtful that I’ll see another Labour government in my lifetime”.
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