Following Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Manifesto being leaked recently, a number of different reactions have been noticed among the opposition. In his blog, Professor Peter Paul Catterall explored the reactions from the political scene and explained the potential consequences of the leak.
Professor Catterall first mentioned that this leak was, as expected, not very well received by many, as indicated in Labour’s election chief’s statement calling it not ‘ideal’. Professor Catterall commented: “To hostile observers it reinforced the impression of a party with poor internal discipline, racked by internecine warfare. ‘Total shambles’ was the view the Conservatives rushed out. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?”
The blog post, on the other hand, suggested that this event would be unlikely to make the party lose many more votes. Professor Catterall added: ”Now, for the first time, this leak provides an opportunity to change the dynamic of the campaign. It has shifted attention to where Labour want it, on the substance of their policies, rather than Corbyn’s persona. In the process, the leak has created a story that has guaranteed those policies much more coverage, and more balanced reporting, than would otherwise have been the case.”
Additionally, the post underlined that the leaked document was not the actual manifesto and that this could be used as a good hook and publicity for Labours’ actual manifesto. “Party figures have been swift to stress that what was leaked was not the actual manifesto. This guarantees coverage when the actual manifesto comes out from journalists pointing out where it differs from the leak. Furthermore, it gives Corbyn the chance both to set the agenda around those policies and to use them to unite his fractious party in support of a manifesto which differs more in degree than substance from that Ed Miliband fought on in 2015.”