Never before has any political leader in Britain had such an emphatic victory as Labour leftwing candidate Jeremy Corbyn. Defying all the odds, the negative campaign against him, the smears from a rightwing press, the dersion from establishment figures of all party persuasions, he managed to see off three rivals winning Labour leadership election virtually 60 per cent of the first round voting, larger than even the 57 per cent obtained by Tony Blair in 1994.
With such a huge mandate, no one can deny he is the party’s choice, activating 80 per cent of members to support him. Whatever one may think of his politics, and he faces so many detractors, Corbyn captured the outspoken desire for change, returning Labour back towards its roots by reviving debates about nationalisation, nuclear deterrence and wealth redistribution. Four months after losing General Elections, party activists seemed energised for the first time in almost a generation.
There is no doubt about his difference and the more sober approach to politics that can only be welcomed. It was shown in his first PMQs when he took to the dispatch box and must have disappointed all the poison pens readied in the press gallery. As promised he brought a new seriousness to proceedings instead of the theatricals. But whether it provides any bounty points for him remains to be seen.
In the footsteps of the Scottish Nationalists and even victory of the far left Syriza in Greece, he has firmly taken Labour into the anti-austerity camp. Whether under his leadership Labour will have equivalent success remains to be seen despite many grandees claiming he is unelectable by being wrong-headed. For the moment, Corbyn has certainly shaken up politics which can only be a good thing. Many mountains yet lie ahead to climb but we wish him success as long as he remains sincere.