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General Election: Jeremy Corbyn seizes the opportunity to get his message across

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn may never be Prime Minister but this is his chance to set out a left-wing vision for Britain.

I was really pleased to see Jeremy Corbyn come out fighting in his big speech launching Labour’s general election campaign on Thursday.

He vowed to take on the “a ruling elite, the City and the tax-dodgers”.

Full of fire and brimstone, he declared: “We will no longer allow those at the top to leach off of those who bust their guts on zero hours contracts or those forced to make sacrifices to pay their mortgage or their rent.”

In some ways it sounded very left wing.

But it wasn’t that different to the stuff Tony Blair used to come out with, back when he was Labour leader and winning elections.

Mr Blair also portrayed Labour as the party that cared about “ordinary working people”.

And he also insisted that the Conservatives, by contrast, were the part of a small and wealthy elite.

Jeremy Corbyn even ended his speech by promising Labour would build a country “for the many not the few” - the same phrase Tony Blair liked to use.

The big difference is that Mr Blair used to win elections. Mr Corbyn hasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of becoming Prime Minister.

He addressed this directly in his speech, claiming that the media were writing him off because he refuses to play by the rules - and because they are part of the establishment he’s up against.

It’s certainly true that voters will make up their own minds on June 8, and there’s nothing to stop them putting Mr Corbyn into Number 10 if they choose.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a stump speech to Labour activists at Barclays in Croydon.

But opinion polls suggest any Labour MP with a majority of less than 5,000 is in danger of losing their seat.

That means seats such as Wolverhampton South West, Walsall North, Birmingham Northfield, Birmingham Edgbaston and Dudley North could all switch from Labour to Conservative.

This election could easily be dull. It’s hard to be excited when you know who is going to win, and many people will feel there’s just been too much politics lately.

We had the Scottish referendum in 2014, a general election in 2015, the EU referendum in 2016, Labour and Tory leadership contests last year, and there are mayoral elections in May in many parts of the country.

But Mr Corbyn seems determined to liven things up. He’s a good campaigner, as we saw in Labour leadership elections.

And he’s off the leash. This is his chance to set his socialist vision, the media have to pay attention to him, and he’s making the most of it.

Whether he wins or loses on June 8, Mr Corbyn may yet succeed in getting his message across. This general election is his opportunity.

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