As one of the few 1983 election campaign veterans still in newspaper journalism, I can testify that Jeremy Corbyn is notably more hopeless even than the then Labour leader, Michael Foot. Foot won only 209 seats to Margaret Thatcher’s 397. I accompanied him on the stump. He was very, very bad, but he had at least been a senior Cabinet minister and was a charming man and, in his day (which, admittedly, was c. 1945), an excellent orator. Mr Corbyn is none of the above, and although he was one of the 209 – entering Parliament for the first time in that election – he seems to have learnt little from that experience.
So I agree with the orthodoxy that almost nothing can lose this election for the Conservatives. There is a key difference between 1983 and now, however, which is that voters knew a great deal about Mrs Thatcher. She had recently won the Falklands war and was busy turning the economy...
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