Has Jeremy Corbyn run his course as Labour leader?
By Joe Harker
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing doubt after his party did not perform as well as expected in recent local elections.
While it did better than the Tories it felt like a defeat in the same way that the Tories did better than Labour in last year's general election but came away feeling more despondent. Questions asked of the party leader are inevitable after a poor showing and some have taken the opportunity to suggest his time is up.
For his part, Corbyn has insisted that he will still be party leader for the next general election, be that in 2022 or sooner. The politician dismissed concerns about his age, he would be 72 at the next scheduled general election and 78 when his first term finished, and is described as "extremely energetic". His opinion and the party line is that Corbyn will be Labour leader for the next general election with plans to form a government and become Prime Minister.
However, the local election results have some wondering whether we have passed "peak Corbyn" and the only way is down for the politician and his popularity ratings. John Rentoul of The Independent believes it is the case, though suggests Corbyn has time to regroup and restore his popularity.
The argument for "peak Corbyn" goes that the Labour leader reached the height of his popularity during the 2017 general election campaign and hit the high point at just the right moment as Britain went to the polls. His ratings from YouGov back this up as his net approval reached 56 right before the vote. It has since dropped to -5.
There are those who support Corbyn's policies but don't believe he is the politician to deliver on them. LBC host James O'Brien praised the Labour leader for the policies he has championed but believes "the next stage needs a different driver".
Writing in The Guardian, Matthew d'Ancona believes it is far too soon to declare that "peak Corbyn" has been and gone. He instead believes the election results were a wake up call to Labour supporters who thought they were guaranteed to be in the ascendancy.
Corbyn responded to the pressure in the best way possible, delivering what might be his best performance at Prime Minister's Questions. Homing in on the government's muddled approach to the customs union, he left May unable to answer and had even the Tory supporting press conceding he handily won the exchange. Sometimes the biggest factor is not adversity but how one reacts to it and Corbyn responded in the best possible way.
It is not unfair to say the Tories are a party in trouble and Labour should be doing better, by extent Corbyn should be doing better. Predictions that Corbyn has "passed the point of no return" are being made, but they are premature as the volatile political world means anything could happen.