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The leak has actually been very helpful to Labour in moving the debate on from nationalistic cant about Brexit to real policy proposals for a different UK. I would not be surprised if the leak was a semi-authorised inside job.

At this stage Labour is doing so badly in the polls even a repeat of the 1983 defeat wouldn't actually be too bad.  Thatcher gained a 188 seat majority over Labour in the wake of the Falklands "victory" even though the Tories only outvoted Labout 42-28% and actually lost 1.5% of the vote compared to the 1979 election.  The unfairness of the FPTP UK election system is illustrated by the fact that the Liberals only gained 6 seats despite gaining 12% of the vote, and the Tories gained a net 37 seats despite losing 1.5% of the vote.

By way of comparison current polls put the Tories c. 45-27% ahead, so an even worse drubbing for Labour is in the offing.  So even if the Labour Manifesto only manages to move the debate on from an exclusive focus on Brexit to a more traditional Tory bashing of "socialist" policies, Labours fortunes could improve, especially if Corbyn manages to united and mobilise the traditional left behind him.

I think we could also have a slight "1945" effect where Churchill was defeated despite winning WWII. Having won the Brexit argument, Theresa May may find that a less than grateful nation is more concerned with greater social justice rather than nationalist triumphalism. The comparison is only slight because WWII had ended whereas the Brexit fight is only beginning.  Also the lack of opinion polling in 1945 meant the result was an utter surprise.

So I am not suggesting a Labour win is possible, or anything even close: Just that the Labour defeat may not be as bad as currently feared and the Theresa May victory not as convincing as Margaret Thatcher's in 1983, despite what current polling suggests. Returning Labour to its traditional policy strengths is not what the Blairites would want, but may be the only thing that could prevent an utter Tory Landslide.  Not that anybody will give Corbyn any credit for that.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 12th, 2017 at 08:43:32 AM EST

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