Encouraged by their leader today, Corbynites are peddling the narrative that now Mr C has won again, and with an even bigger majority than last time, the party must unite and get behind their leader in order to attempt to form an effective opposition to the Tories.
I think this is highly unlikely to happen, and nor should anyone actually want it to happen. The Labour Party is made up of a variety of politicians – some on the hard left, some centre left, and many in between – and whether you share their views or not, they are views that are fervently held and that form the basis of their beliefs and goals.
Except by some shadowy pretence, many Labour MPs can’t, and shouldn’t, claim to be behind a shadow cabinet and a set of policies they are not. Divisions of this magnitude exist for a reason, and they cannot ‘unite’ in their goals any more than a vegetarian and a meat eater can unite to share a chicken and bacon pizza.
The group that has taken the party this far to the left has created an irreconcilable impasse that won’t be resolved by everyone in the party pretending to be of the same voice. Given that the members have effectively taken the party hostage, and have made it very difficult for any non-Corbynite to secure enough votes to be the next leader after Corbyn, it seems to me that the non-Corbynites have three realistic options:
1) Look to split the party.
2) Mince around for probably two more election catastrophes until even the Corbynites get fed up with embarrassing losses and realise that the electorate won’t vote for a hardline socialist, and then put forward a more electable candidate.
3) Somehow try to get hundreds of thousands of new anti-Corbyn members to pay up and join in order to outnumber the Corbynites and swing the party back to being electable again.
Almost everyone involved won’t fancy 1 or 2 very much, so it seems to me the only recourse is to look for a few hundred thousand people to sign up and add numbers to the anti-Corbyn side of the vote.