The left-wing think tank and Labour founding group The Fabian Society have published a report saying that the Labour Party could fall below 150 seats in the 2020 General Election, if past electoral trends hold steady.
The report has shown that Labour needs a swing of 8.7% from the Conservatives to win a majority. In the runup to the 2015 General Election, however, only a 4.6% swing was needed. With the Conservatives currently 15 points ahead in the Polls, an election held today would see the Tories winning with a majority of 92, with Jeremy Corbyn and Labour holding just 191, even less than when Michael Foot was pummelled by Margaret Thatcher in the 1983 General Election.
First-past-the-post has been regarded as a firebreak in the report, with the system ensuring Labour cannot get wiped out due to the widespread levels of support in working class areas.
The report read:
“[Labour] will remain by far the largest opposition party. The party does not face oblivion and will be able to rebuild.
“Just like for the US Democrats, winning the popular vote is not enough for Labour.
“To win a majority of one the party needs to beat the Conservatives by a higher margin than it achieved at the time of its resounding 2001 victory – and secure over 3 million more votes than the Tories.
“Even before Labour’s current problems, this was unlikely. It is currently unthinkable.”
The report’s solution is an idea that’s contentious with many politicians and campaigners: seek to govern in collaboration with the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats.