Labour's fate was sealed in 2015 when voters turned against Jeremy Corbyn – Tim Bale

Ian Silvera
Jeremy Corbyn

The 2017 general election result was decided just months after Jeremy Corbyn succeeded Ed Miliband as Labour Party leader, a prominent political expert has claimed.

Queen Mary University London Professor Tim Bale told IBTimes UK that most people would have made up their minds within a matter of weeks or at best months following the left-winger's shock victory in September 2015.

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"So you can probably say that by Christmas 2015 most voters had decided that this guy couldn't do the job and they didn't want him to do the job [of prime minister]. If anything, more people have come to that conclusion as time has gone on," Bale said.

The academic's assessment is another blow for Corbyn and Labour, who are 13 points behind the Conservatives in the latest YouGov poll.

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But with around six weeks to go until the general election on 8 June, is there any route to power for Labour?

"No. Labour are walking up a dead end street, literally. There's no way through that," Bale said. The professor explained that Corbyn has been unable to make the public "take him seriously" and see him as a "potential prime minister".

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The problem is that almost anything that Labour says "either goes over people's heads or under the radar," according to Bale. But there is still evidence that the opposition party will pick up voters among 18 to 34 year olds, university graduates and middle-class public sector workers.

"That's not enough of an electoral coalition to get anywhere near government these days," Bale said. "You have to have aspirational working and middle class voters and you have to have some older voters. You have to have people working in the private sector, that's where Labour really falls down."

Corbyn, in his own defence, has railed against the media and "the establishment" for suggesting that the the election is a "forgone conclusion".

"They think there are rules in politics, which if you don't follow by doffing your cap to powerful people, accepting that things can't really change, then you can't win," he told Labour supporters on 20 April.

"But of course those people don't want us to win. Because when we win, it's the people, not the powerful, who win.

"The nurse, the teacher, the small trader, the carer, the builder, the office worker win. We all win.

"They say I don't play by the rules – their rules. We can't win, they say, because we don't play their game.

"They're quite right I don't. And a Labour Government elected on 8 June won't play by their rules.

"These rules have created a cosy cartel which rigs the system in favour of a few powerful and wealthy individuals and corporations. It's a rigged system set up by the wealth extractors for the wealth extractors.

"But things can, and they will, change. And Labour in this election will be part of a movement of the British people to make that change."

The local and metro-mayoral elections, just a day away on 4 May, will give an indication of Labour's chances at the general election.

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