As the poll gap narrows to just seven points, could the Labour Party actually win the General Election?
YES – Matteo Bergamini, founder and director of Shout Out UK
What ever you think of Jeremy Corbyn and his views, one thing is clear: he has shown himself to be a formidable campaigner, a complete contrast to what the media have described him to be. I was not a Corbyn supporter. However, as the campaigns have picked up pace I have seen a Labour party that gave us a costed manifesto with passion and conviction – something the government has failed to do. We presumed this would be a landslide victory for the Tories – and five weeks ago that’s what the polls showed. Yet Corbyn’s rise, coupled with Theresa May’s poor performance in interviews and constant U-turns, shows that at the very least, the Prime Minister will not get the overwhelming win she wanted. It almost seems like the personas that both leaders had been given by the press – one bumbling and feeble, the other strong and stable – have been flipped. I think we could be in for a Trump-like surprise come 8 June.
NO – Mark Fox, political commentator
Jeremy Corbyn is a veteran parliamentarian, and highly experienced politician. He has spent his entire career championing unfashionable causes, the merits of which depend upon your point of view. The two fundamental problems he has as leader of the Labour party, are 1) that many of his views clash with the policy of the party he leads, and 2) that the overwhelming majority of Labour MPs in the last parliament and of those who will serve in the next do not want him to be their leader. His leadership therefore would be completely unsustainable as Prime Minister.
This means that not only is Corbyn unable to lead a future government, but that his application for the top job is fatally flawed. Regardless of the Tories’ recent slide in the polls, the prospectus that Corbyn is offering the country at this general election cannot gain the sort of traction necessary to beat a dominant Theresa May riding the crest of the Brexit wave.