Until recently most people in the City have not really focused on the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. But such is the volatility of our current politics there is a lot more interest now.
Banks, asset managers, traders and inward investors are now asking me on a weekly basis just what would a Corbyn-led government would mean for Britain.
Of course, the 2017 election gave us a detailed prospectus from Labour – one which saw Labour’s vote share rise nine points to 40 per cent and come within touching distance of the Tory vote, denying Theresa May of her majority.
But one of the questions I get most - is does Jeremy Corbyn actually want to be prime minister? After the last few months of internecine struggle across the Labour Party it is a legitimate question.
The first headlines after the summer break were pretty bad for Theresa May but they looked even worse for the Labour leader, locked in an ugly row about anti semitism that even his long-term political ally shadow chancellor John McDonnell seemed unable to fathom. Tony Blair chimed in: “This has been a truly shameful episode for the Labour Party”.
Meanwhile, other long-standing supporters – including Jon Lansman who founded the Momentum ‘party within a party’ to keep Labour firmly in the Corbynista grip – seemed nonplussed. Even shadow foreign secretary and newly minted Corbyn ally Emily Thornberry kept urging the Labour leader to shut the argument down by accepting an internationally agreed definition of anti semitism.
Leadership carries responsibility to reach out across the UK and internationally – not to reach into a comfort zone
For someone who outperformed everyone’s expectations in the 2017 General Election by reaching out to a middle Britain still angry with the bankers who crashed the system and unleashed austerity, Corbyn appeared to have retreated into a hard-left comfort zone.
That comfort zone bringing with it some rather revealing coverage of Corbyn attending a memorial to groups including the terrorists who murdered members of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team in Munich – and more widely for months refusing to endorse the widely accepted definition of anti semitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
Labour’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee - which now has an inbuilt Corbyn supporting majority - eventually backed the IHRA definition, after letting the debate roll on for the entire summer and giving the media plenty of opportunity to trail a rather sheepish looking Jeremy Corbyn around the country asking the same question again and again.
While Corbyn has been a steadfast defender of the Palestinian cause throughout his political life – a perfectly reasonable political position – he now holds a different position as leader of Britain’s main opposition party.
While the anti-semitism row has caught the headlines, the latest polling seems to show that the public has barely noticed it
It should be a position that carries responsibility to reach out across the UK and internationally – not to reach into a comfort zone. When you find yourself in a position where the former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks calls you out as anti semitic, you might have a problem in how ordinary people view you.
Despite the maelstrom across the summer, Corbyn has continued to campaign in marginal constituencies across the land. Rightly he remains focused on the seats Labour needs to win next time. In some constituencies Corbyn will have lost support as a result of his position over the summer, in others he may well have garnered some more votes.
While the anti semitism row has caught the headlines, the latest polling seems to show that the public has barely noticed any of it. And that’s just it - with most of our politics defined by Brexit, most voters don’t appear to care.
For weeks now Labour has been earnestly planning for an accidental General Election. To answer my own question, Jeremy Corbyn does want to be Prime Minister. If he is successful, only then will we see what his comfort zone might mean for the country.