Labour prepares for a Jeremy Corbyn victory: Mirror Politics morning briefing

Labour-prepares-for-a-Jeremy-Corbyn-victory-Mirror-Politics-morning-briefing

There are just under two weeks until the ballot closes for the Labour leadership contest .

Tonight Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn will take part in a BBC Question Time special.

This will largely be an event for neutral fans of politics.

Most of those eligible to vote will already have done so and I have yet to met a Labour MP (apart from Smith) who does not think Jeremy Corbyn will win.

This is not so much a reflection of Smith, although his campaign has been flawed, more a recognition that those who signed up to support Corbyn remain unwavering in their belief he is the best, if not the only, person to lead Labour.

You could field someone with the passion of Nye Bevan, the folksy appeal of Bernie Sanders and the politics of Hugo Chávez against Corbyn and they would struggle to beat him.

Don’t expect the rebels to accept the result with good grace. Labour MPs opposed to Corbyn are pinning their hopes on Tom Watson’s plan to restore the old ‘electoral college’ which gave an equal say to party members, trade unions and Labour MPs in electing the leader.

This will require a shift in the support of the major unions who, with the exception of the GMB and USDAW, are still loyal to the current leader.

Some rebels are now looking to 2018 before trying to mount another challenge.

They believe that it will take a disastrous set of results in that year’s local elections, especially in London, before the membership wakes up to the fact that Corbyn cannot lead them to victory.

Others are more pessimistic and have concluded it will require a general election defeat for the party to reconsider the leadership. Allies of Corbyn are, unsurprisingly, less defeatist and dismiss suggestions he cannot win a general election.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, who has given a round of interviews ahead of Congress next week, has said whoever wins the leadership must do more to widen the party’s electoral appeal.

All trade unionists would like to see the Labour Party focusing a little less on its own membership and MPs and a little more on voters and election victory and what that takes, she told the Mirror.

We will be carrying a live blog of the Question Time grilling from 9pm.

The Commons kicks off today with Culture, Media and Sport questions followed by the usual statement from the Leader of the House where we may hear more about the plans to make MPs leave Parliament for six years while the crumbling Victorian building is restored.

Will Labour apply for an urgent question on grammar schools?

MPs failed to raise the issue during Prime Minister’s questions so it was left to the House of Lords to hold the Government to account.

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