Are the leadership figures in the Labour Party – and the rank and file as well – quaking in their boots at the prospect of the forthcoming local government elections on May 4?
It has become the norm on these occasions in the past that the party in Government at Westminster always fares badly, while the Opposition picks up seats right across the map.
But all that could well go by the board this time, with politics in Britain in such a crazy, topsy-turvy state. The Labour Party is in such a shambles, that they could be losing seats on May 4, left, right and centre rather than winning ground.
Even the party leadership appears to be locked in its own private civil war.
The leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured)does his best, although not usually very effectively, at Prime Minister’s question time in the Commons, but he is not helped by the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party who do not like him as leader and who offer him little or no vocal encouragement.
The elections are taking place in England, Scotland and Wales with 4,851 council seats up for grabs. The contests for six new metro mayors in England are also being held on that day, as is the by-election in the Labour-held seat of Manchester, Gorton.
Labour’s morale has also been done no favours by the latest opinion poll which shows that Theresa May is leading Corbyn by a massive 37 points. This lead outstrips the 16-point lead Margaret Thatcher had over Michael Foot at the 1983 general election in which she won a 100-seat Commons majority.
Political parties often scoff at opinion poll findings, saying that what really matters is the poll on the day. If they are so scornful, why do they hold so many private opinion polls which they do not publicise?
Labour need to brace themselves for possible trouble ahead.
- I see the Queen has been more successful in feeding a banana to an elephant than was the late Denis Thatcher, husband of the former Prime Minister, when he tried to do the same thing in Sri Lanka.
I watched fascinated as Denis attempted to insert his bunch of bananas in the wrong orifice of the perplexed Jumbo.