Jeremy Corbyn’s future looks safe with Labour set to avoid another summer of infighting

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives at the Sobell Leisure Centre in Islington, north London. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives at the Sobell Leisure Centre in Islington, north London. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
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LABOUR has avoided a third summer in a row of infighting and introspection following this General Election.

Jeremy Corbyn performed far better than expected on the campaign trail which played to his strengths – speaking to large gatherings of friendly supporters across the country.

Having faced a leadership challenge last summer just a year after winning the role, the election results appear to have done more than enough to secure his immediate future.

The Labour membership remains skewed by all those who joined in 2015 to support Mr Corbyn, further safeguarding him against further challenge.

Labour moderates last night acknowledged the party had vastly outperformed their expectations at this election.

But despite increasing Labour’s share of the vote and winning seats, the party was well short of the number needed to form a Government.

And that is the dilemma with which the party will have to wrestle in the months ahead.

The most left-wing Labour policy platform in a generation appeared to have energised a significant section of voters.

But moderate forces in the party will stress that Labour has nevertheless failed to secure a majority, and therefore power, for three elections in a row.

Fresh tensions are likely to emerge over whether the party can set out policies which appeal to the centre-ground voters they need to win enough seats to form a Government while holding onto those supporters enthused by Mr Corbyn’s left-wing platform.

And major questions remain for Labour on major issues, particularly Brexit.

Despite the less than wholehearted efforts of their leader, Labour MPs overwhelmingly campaigned for a Remain vote in last year’s EU membership referendum.

And in the aftermath, dozens suddenly found themselves representing constituencies where as many as two-thirds of voters had backed Leave.

On the issue that will dominate British politics for years to come, Labour MPs and their grassroots supporters were oceans apart.

Labour’s agonising over its Brexit policy in the last 12 months has been the product of MPs convinced the wrong decision was made set against the bulk of its supporters’ conviction that Brexit is the correct path.

On the connected issue of immigration, Labour’s MPs have also struggled to meet the concerns of the party’s traditional supporters.

A fear of being seen to demonise migrants, and a focus on enforcement of minimum standards to prevent unscrupulous employers using migration to undercut wages, has jarred with voters hoping to hear 
Labour use stronger language on border controls and limits on numbers.

One good night has not solved all Labour’s problems.