Far-left candidate Jeremy Corbyn, who has been likened to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) by some Americans, has emerged as the favorite to win election to the top leadership role in Britain’s Labour Party.
The New York Times reported that 66-year-old Corbyn, who harbors anti-capitalist and anti-austerity views and was hard-left to the Labour Party in the 197os and 80s, has found plenty of grassroots support, especially among young British citizens.
Having secured the needed 35 nominations from Labour Party members in Parliament to become a candidate for the party’s leadership, Corbyn now holds 53 percent of support among his three foes according to YouGov polling, which is double that of the second-place candidate, former shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.
Corbyn, who proudly abstains from alcohol and meat and has characterized Hamas and Hezbollah as "friends," has also received backing from the two largest labor unions in Britain.
Former Labour Party leader and British Prime Minister Tony Blair is visibly worried by Corbyn’s ascent, penning an op-ed in the Guardian Thursday that warns Corbyn’s election would mean "possibly annihilation."
"The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched, over the cliff’s edge to the jagged rocks below," Blair writes. "This is not a moment to refrain from disturbing the serenity of the walk on the basis it causes ‘disunity.’ It is a moment for a rugby tackle if that were possible."
Blair’s former spokesman Alastair Campbell has similarly characterized the would-be election of Corbyn as "a car crash."
In contrast, members of the Conservative Party–currently led by Prime Minister David Cameron–view Corbyn’s surge as an almost-victory, indicating that the Labour party, in the event of Corbyn’s election, would move too far left to be electable in 2020.