To state the blindingly obvious, Jeremy Corbyn is a car crash of a leader. He is now at the point where, even if he did suddenly start espousing credible policies, no one would listen on account of them coming out of his mouth. His credibility is nil.
In the short term, this allows Liberal Democrats to stretch the point about being the only credible opposition to the Government. Whilst it exaggerates our meagre Commons presence somewhat, it does carry a little more weight in relation to the arithmetic in the Lords and, of course, the Party is enjoying a string of fine local by-election results as well as a modest bounce in the national opinion polls. Tie in the fact that we are the only Brexit-opposing UK political party and we have a much needed short term unique selling point.
But it is only short term, and byelection success rarely translate into general election success.
As to how we position ourselves after the Brexit dust has settled is another matter. What then? What direction of travel do we adopt? This is for discussion another day, perhaps. In this post, I want to consider what a prolonged Corbyn Labour Leadership might mean for our electoral fortunes. Contrary to the views of many, I consider it to be bad news for Lib Dems.
In the context of our first past the post system, it is very much in our interests to have a more electable Labour Leader. If Corbyn is still in place for the 2020 election, this hands the Tories their most powerful campaigning weapon against us in those predominantly southern seats where we are their main challengers. The tried and tested 'if you vote Lib Dem, you'll get Corbyn' mantra will have real traction with voters. They may not love the Tories, but they love the prospect of a Corbyn government even less. History tells us that it is a message that works.
It is no coincidence that the Party enjoyed its largest Commons presence during the Blair era. Whatever you think of him, Blair was never perceived as a threat in the same way that Corbyn is. A more electable Labour Leader therefore blunts the 'vote Lib Dem, get Labour' message somewhat as the threat to the nation is not perceived to be as great. Those tempted to vote Liberal Democrat are therefore more likely to do so under such circumstances as they can live with a more 'mainstream' Labour government.
In the fairly modern era, Tory success is more attributable to Labour's unelectability rather than Tory popularity. Whether we like it or not, our prospects are entwined with those of Labour which is why we should secretly hope that Corbyn goes sooner rather than later.