February 14, 2017
DANIEL HANNAN: The Left Is Collapsing Everywhere.
Here’s a startling fact: There have been eight leaders of the British Labour Party in the past 40 years. Seven of them failed to win a single general election. The exception, Tony Blair, was a Labour politician only in the most technical sense. Leftists saw him as a disguised conservative, a cuckoo in the nest. To this day, Labour activists use “Blairite” as the worst of insults, viler even than “Tory.”
Let’s widen the camera shot a little. All over Europe, traditional parties of the Center-Left have been losing badly. As I write, opinion polls show the French Socialists in fourth place, the Dutch Labour Party in seventh. Greece’s PASOK, the leading party since the early 1980s, is now polling at 7 percent. Spain’s PSOE, which had a comfortable majority as recently as 10 years ago, has been displaced by the more radical Podemos. Social Democrats in former communist countries, such as Poland and Hungary, have, if anything, fared even worse. . . .
It is in this context, perhaps, that we should consider American politics. The rest of the world has spent three months asking itself why Donald Trump won. But the more useful question is surely why the Democrats lost. Trump underperformed Republican congressional candidates and secured fewer votes than either John McCain or Mitt Romney. But Hillary Clinton performed execrably – as Democrats have been doing in legislative, gubernatorial and state elections since the 1990s.