When Jeremy Corbyn was first elected as leader of the Labour Party in 2015, I wrote an article in which I claimed that his rise had been similar to that of the Tea Party. A coalition of outsiders that mobilised around niche causes and had an ability to fill town halls with the politically disenfranchised. In the article I forecast that his entry as leader would do to the Labour Party what the Tea Party did to the Republican Party – allow for entryism and a chance to shift the narrative.
And to some extent I was correct in my forecast. Corbyn brought with him new faces who had long been on the peripheries of British Politics. Today the number of hard-left MPs in the House of Commons is up to around 32 if we follow the numbers of the ‘Socialist Campaign Group’ (a caucus within the Labour Party). And he certainly shifted the narrative of the Party, from moderate social democracy under Blair to a more socialist base that continues to persist under Sir Keir Starmer.
However, since his loss in 2019, the revolution has rather fizzled out. Many of those who were associated with the Corbyn Labour party have since disappeared back into obscurity after failing to find a candidate to unify behind in the leadership election. And in a further blow to the movement, Jeremy Corbyn himself has been suspended from the party that he led only twelve months ago. Much in the same way the Tea Party movement in America ran out of steam after 2016 – there are not so many Congressmen and Senator calling for fiscal responsibility as there were in 2014. That movement was replaced by another – the Trump movement.
With Donald Trump set to leave the White House in January of next year and hand over to Democrat Joe Biden, his supporters now find themselves without a rallying figure and without a home. There is little doubt that the mainstream voices in the Republican Party will be breathing a sigh of relief as they can begin to transition back to as close a ‘normal’ as is possible. This will perhaps be easier for the GOP than it was the Labour Party, as despite everything – the Trumpists were never as successful as the Corbynites in electing their own people to Congress.
In a sense, the Trump faction of the Republican Party has suddenly found itself back in the political wilderness. Few mainstream Republicans have so far come to the defence of the outgoing President in his allegations of vote rigging and electoral malpractice. Indeed, the same bunker mentality that surrounded Corbyn in his final days in office is now taking hold of the White House.
And yet despite all this, there is now a major hole in Americas political fabric. Trump managed to win eight million more votes than he did in 2016. And beat the record for number of votes of any incumbent President – despite still losing. This is of course no small feat – after all pundits had stated that they would have been surprised if he had held on to many people who voted for him the first time.
Today those 71 million people who cast their vote for President Donald Trump find themselves without a leader and with no clear successor to follow. The movement could easily end up splintered – finally giving mainstream Republicans a chance to retake their party. What happens to those who supported Trump next is still a mystery.