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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 September 2015

'Socialism is popular' confirms Lord Ashcroft

Dave Murray

Electability is a funny old thing. Jeremy Corbyn is not supposed to have any, yet now he is leader of the Labour Party.

Of course it isn't as simple as that, we are told. Just being elected doesn't make you electable - the election of Jeremy Corbyn to Labour's leadership makes the party less electable, apparently.

Well, maybe not, according to plutocrat pollster Lord Michael Ashcroft (KCMG, PC)*. In his latest report - "Project Red Dawn" - he finds that 52% of voters believe that a radical socialist Labour Party would be a "good thing" and that 43% believe that it could win a general election.

Ashcroft tries to discount the figures, making reference to his "own time helping to drag the Conservative Party back towards electability", and putting forward the idea that a defeated party can tend to turn its back on the very people it needs to win, concentrating instead on its own unpopular set of core beliefs.

This is a reminder that pollsters are also propagandists - and a warning to those on the left who advise Jeremy to water down his principles.

37% of those that Red Dawn asked think "it matters very little which party wins an election, since the parties end up doing the same thing once in government and nothing improves for people like me".

Comments from focus group participants include things like, "I honestly believe that, maybe not in the next ten years but maybe the next 20 years, we're actually going to have a French Revolution. Everyone is going to go against the government."

The report reveals a deep fund of discontent with the system, it is here that a movement against austerity will find its power.

[Correction to names in this article was made on 22.9.15]

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In The Socialist 16 September 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Corbyn's leadership victory; A new era for the 99%

NSSN rally calls for mass action to 'Kill the Bill!'

'Socialism is popular' confirms Lord Ashcroft

Ministry of Justice : Stop this privatisation scandal!

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Refugee crisis: Imperialist countries bear major responsibility

Northern Ireland Executive crisis

Greek general election


Socialist Party workplace news

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Parliament protest against the anti-union bill

Support Teesside construction workers: Pay the rate!

Sports Direct's 'workhouse conditions'

Workplace news in brief


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Refugee Lives Matter - large turnout for demo

'Save our Island homes'

'Collectathon': Sell the Socialist; and donate!


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