Labour’s members and supporters won’t do it, will they? Are they really poised to lumber the party with “veteran left winger”, Jeremy Corbyn, as leader? Everyone from Tony Blair to Polly Toynbee seems to agree that he would be a disastrous choice.
A YouGov poll this week suggested that Corbyn has a substantial lead in Labour’s leadership race. However, tellingly, the bookmakers still think that Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper will win the contest.
Grassroots members and activists in every political party can be tempted to assert what they regard as “traditional values”, when times are bad. In other words, to swing left, in the case of the Labour Party, or right, for Conservatives.
Modern UK elections, though, are decided by a mass of people in the ‘middle ground’, who are nervous of any perceived excess. They’re not caught up daily in every nuance of ongoing political debate, they don’t experiment with extreme ideologies and they almost always entrust the nation’s governance to someone they think will do the job competently.
Britain is not Greece, or Italy or even France. There might be growing left wing militancy, but it remains the preserve of a noisy fringe.
If Jeremy Corbyn is elected, the people with most to celebrate will be Conservatives. You’d suspect that the members and registered supporters who are entitled to vote in Labour's leadership battle will grasp this before the ballot closes in September.