I remember how Geoff was castigated on here for having the temerity to vote for the Greens once. He was disillusioned by the party's leadership and registered a protest vote in a safe constituency, at no cost to the party whatsoever. An unforgivable act of treason, according to some.
Now, not even a decade later, others (including some who castigated Geoff for doing the above) are disillusioned by the party's leadership. Only, unlike Geoff, they're not registering a protest vote in safe constituencies, but are actively advocating voting for other parties in the hope that Labour lose. And this, apparently, is considered very much understandable and acceptable.
When we had Hodgson as manager, we all knew he was crap, and we wanted him out. But we didn't go to Old Trafford hoping we get hammered. Nor did we start supporting Everton. Criticise Corbyn all you like, work on removing him from within if you want, but don't think you can save either Labour or the country by voting for the Lib Dems.
It's a completely different situation. 2010
In 2010 Labour needed every vote it could get. It was a centre-left party and had spent the previous 13 years in power enacting legislation that benefitted the poor and vulnerable. However the country seemed tired of Labour after three terms in Government and Labour suffered from being in power during the global crash. A lot of people believed that 'they're all the same anyway' and it made no difference whether you voted Labour or Tory. FPTP means that different proportions of votes are not reflected in the numbers of seats. Voting Lib Dem or Green (or Tory to give Labour 'a bloody nose') in 2010 could split the non-Tory vote and allow them in. Seats before 210 349 62
Seats won 306 258 57
Seat change +97 -91 -5
Popular vote 10,703,654 8,606,517 6,836,248
Percentage 36.1% 29.0% 23.0%
The result was a hung parliament. There was a possibility that Labour and the Lib Dems could have formed a coalition but in the end, Nick Clegg decided to go with the bigger party and aligned his 57 seats (almost 7m votes and 23%) to the Tories. Anyone who could have voted Labour but either abstained or voted for another party was complicit in the Tories gaining power.
Following the election Brown resigned and there was a leadership election. David Milliband was the winner in the first round but the unions preferred the more left-wing Milliband and the union votes carried the day. It's worth noting that John McDonnell was eliminated before the voting started and Diane Abbott was eliminated in the first round. 2014
The Scottish referendum was held in 2014 and although there was a 'No' vote it politicised Scotland and the SNP became the most popular party in the opinion polls with headlines such as "Could the SNP take 25 seats from Labour?" http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/10/could-snp-win-25-labour-seats-2015
There is no way of knowing whether the SNP would have become that popular without the referendum.
Also in 2014, the Labour leadership decided to change it's leadership election from an electoral college (one third MPs, one third unions and one third members) to a rigid OMOV system and allowed registered 'supporters' to sign up and vote for £3. This radically reduced the input of Labour MPs. 2015
In 2015 Labour went into the election with the unions' and the left's choice as leader (for the far left's candidates see above). The polls showed that Labour was ahead and a close election was expected.
The consequences of the Scottish referendum (SNP gained 50 seats from Labour and Lib Dems) and the backlash against the Lib Dems (lost 49 seats) meant that despite increasing Labour's popular vote they lost 26 seats and the Tories gained 24 seats to become the government with a slim majority. Last election 306 seats 258 seats
Seats won 330* 232
Seat change Increase 24 Decrease 26
Popular vote 11,334,576 9,347,304
Percentage 36.9% 30.4%
Swing Increase 0.8% Increase 1.5%
Even more so than in 2010, the Labour Party was the only credible party of government going into the election and every vote counted.
After the election Milliband resigned, some MPs backed Corbyn to 'push the debate' and the new electoral system resulted in his election. Corbyn was backed by Unite and a new organisation that's now called Momentum.
In the time since Corbyn's election the Labour Party has become a laughing stock. Corbyn's performance has reached ever greater depths of incompetence with the nadir being his abject performance in the EU referendum campaign.
In his time as leader the party's popularity has been in steady decline:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election#2015
And his personal unpopularity is off the scale.
But the 2014 rule change means that as long as his support holds up in the membership he is untouchable. And Corbyn and his backers in Unite and Momentum have a different agenda to any previous Labour Party leadership. 2017
And that is where we are now. In the last two general elections I've tried to persuade any doubters that voting Labour was the only way to defeat the Tories. That Labour and the Tories weren't 'just the same'. That Labour being in government improves the situation of the most vulnerable and increases social justice.
That doesn't apply anymore. Under Corbyn there is no chance of a Labour government short of a total collapse by the Tories. Corbyn and Momentum represent an existential threat to the Labour Party and I can understand why some people feel that only the shock to the system of a catastrophic election defeat will shake some vestige of reality into the minds of the members who follow him unquestioningly. Those people aren't thinking of doing it because of Corbyn. They're considering it because they believe in the Labour Party and believe that the future electability and continued existence of the Party as a real political force trumps any traditional voting loyalties.
I'm not there yet. Quite frankly I'm not sure where I am - I have voted Labour all my life, and voting against the Party doesn't sit right. And anyway I think it's entirely possible that anyone still supporting Corbyn now will see a general election defeat as proof of some conspiracy bollocks or other. It will be the press, the PLP, the Red Tories, Tony Blair (of course) and the answer will be to double down and move farther away from electability.
It's a fucking shit show.