Are we heading for a genuine three-party system?

It's not just Labour that could split over a Jeremy Corbyn victory, the Tories could too.


Jeremy Corbyn has sparked a rift in the Labour party

Large parts of the Labour party are in "turmoil" after the latest YouGov poll for The Times put Jeremy Corbyn on 53%, enough to ensure an outright win in the first round of voting for leadership of the party. Some believe it is now too late to "reverse the momentum" behind Corbyn, says Kiran Stacey in the Financial Times.

The vote begins this Friday, all ballots must be cast by 10 September, and the result will be announced two days later. They say Labour MPs should start to think about how to deal with a party led by a man who believes in "widespread renationalisation... the scrapping of the Trident nuclear weapons system and an end to public sector cuts".

This leadership battle is turning into Strictly Come Dancing, says Robert Shrimsley in the FT. Corbyn is John Sergeant; the "hopeless performer" whose shortcomings are appreciated but who captures the imagination of the public. But even if he beats a few uninspiring Labour rivals in this contest, in 2020 he will face a "dance off with David Cameron and George Osborne. And those guys do this for a living". Some may truly believeCorbyn can become prime minister, but we should probably view this as a "hilarious piece of light entertainment".

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The Tories' rejoicing may end sooner than they think, says Matthew Parris in The Spectator. Andy Burnham thinks the Labour party may split. "I do not doubt him" but so could the Conservatives. "Remove fear from the Tory equation" and the party could divide into three: the National party, a patriotic, anti-EU, morally conservative and Ukippy strand; Small Statists, dominated by a dislike of government and bureaucracy; and my own "slightly wishy-washy", economically liberal but ultimately interventionist One Nation party.

"Were Labour's barbarians to depart the gates," then the One Nationers would "draw supporters from former Lib Dems and the shattered Labour party". The Nats would "bring the kippers back into their fold", and the Small Staters would probably migrate both ways. Meanwhile, the Corbynites would form the "real left". The UK would "be back to three parties again, but parties that better match the nation we now are".

Emily Hohler

Emily has extensive experience in the world of journalism. She has worked on MoneyWeek for more than 20 years as a former assistant editor and writer. Emily has previously worked on titles including The Times as a Deputy Features Editor, Commissioning Editor at The Independent Sunday Review, The Daily Telegraph, and she spent three years at women's lifestyle magazine Marie Claire as a features writer for three years, early on in her career. 

On MoneyWeek, Emily’s coverage includes Brexit and global markets such as Russia and China. Aside from her writing, Emily is a Nutritional Therapist and she runs her own business called Root Branch Nutrition in Oxfordshire, where she offers consultations and workshops on nutrition and health.