Jeremy Corbyn has always been trumpeted at being more in-touch with the younger generation than Theresa May. His appearance at Glastonbury last year greatly contrasted with the awkward interviews with the Prime Minister, who has ever since struggled to gain traction with the younger generation. Yet the hardline left-wing leader of the Labour Party, many of whose views haven’t changed since the 1980s, may now see his foothold with younger voters start to ebb away.
Detailed data from the recent Observer Opinium poll has found that amongst 18-34 year old voters, Theresa May is now the preferred leader.
It is evident to see that the lead he has enjoyed has slowly, slowly been declining but now with a lead of 4% perhaps he may need to begin to worry.
The Labour Party has faced criticisms in recent weeks over the specifics of their position on Brexit and there are internal divides over whether the UK should remain in a customs union once we leave the UK
In a ‘car crash’ of an interview with Emma Barnett on the Andrew Marr Show, the Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner was taken to task on the specifics of Labour’s policy. Mr Gardiner came under fire recently for rubbishing the party’s Brexit policy at a private event, with Ms Barnett taking him to task over his remarks and attempting to extract what the details of the policy are.
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) May 20, 2018
This is not helped by a number of rebels who are willing to speak out actively against Mr Corbyn. The most recent example being Neil Coyle, who wrote in the Evening Standard criticising his leader and urging him to shift to a policy that means the UK remains in the European Economic Agreement.
Consistent stories too have been emerging over deep issues of anti-semitism in the Labour Party, with Jewish leaders calling a recent meeting with Mr Corbyn as “disappointing” and a “lost opportunity.”
Perhaps to rub salt in the wound, Mr Corbyn’s latest appointment to the House of Lord, Kate Osamor MP, who signed a letter protesting against the suspension of party members for alleged antisemitism, including Ken Livingstone, who claimed Adolf Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s, has been viewed by the Jewish Community as a”two-fingered salute”.
Such public airing of dirty laundry is unlikely to be well-received by the British public and by younger voters. At this stage of Brexit negotiations, people are looking for some form of consistency and stability.
Although it is difficult to pin-point exactly why younger voters are turning away from Mr Corbyn, it’s unlikely that in-fighting being displayed in the public arena is likely to have had a positive impact. But given the previously fervent support of young people, it may be time for the Labour Party to consider the future of Mr Corbyn.