It will take a leader of extraordinary charisma to deliver a Labour victory

There’s a hard truth for anyone who stands on the left side of the political divide, a truth demonstrated again in recent days. Put starkly, the left usually loses. In the UK, Labour has governed for just 30 of the last 85 years. Of the eight men who have been president of the French fifth republic, only two have been socialists. In the postwar tally of US presidents, Republicans outnumber Democrats.

There’s a faultline running through Labour. Can it ever be healed?

Whatever happens next Thursday, an act of reconciliation will be necessary. Not between the winning and losing parties, but within one of them – bridging a divide that separates their supporters, both former and current, from each other. This gulf is not so much ideological as it is cultural or even tribal. The divide I have in mind is among the millions of people who either used to, or still do, identify themselves with Labour.