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Tories must wake up soon or face that Corbyn can beat them

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What does it take to get the Conservative Party to treat the risk of a Corbyn victory seriously? That’s an odd question for a party facing an uphill battle to stay in office after three elections, the last of which led to a bad-tempered hung Parliament and no discernible progress on any of its main policy objectives. And yet the sum of all Tory fears — handing power to an Opposition that has pledged to undo fundamental free-market undertakings, prefers leaps in the dark to gradual change, and believes the moderately well-off are cash machines from which to extract higher taxes — counts for little. The rolling thunder of Brexit storms drowns out all else.

The subject we know least about, from any of the pretenders to the May crown, is what their approach to beating Corbyn would look like. Not for the first time, civilians are ahead of the political class.

Seeing as the Labour leader has pre-announced he is “coming for” the rich, with a promised tax rise for earners of over £80,000 (which falls somewhere short of rapacious capitalist excess, given London property prices), it’s hardly surprising that “Corbyn-proofing” finances and “asset-sheltering” — spreading ownership of property inside a family, or cashing in tax or pension-relief gains early — is on financial spring-cleaning lists. The truly super-rich have already hedged their residential and business options.

Reasons why a Corbyn-led Labour Party will struggle to win the election are well known. Beyond defeating Theresa........

© Evening Standard