(Bloomberg) — Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Jeremy Corbyn is under growing pressure to quit as leader of the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party after what looks like a comprehensive rejection of his bid to lead the country.Early results appeared to confirm the exit poll forecast, which suggested Labour would lose 71 seats since the 2017 election, finishing on just 191 MPs, as Boris Johnson’s Conservatives head for a big majority. If correct, it would be Labour’s worst result since 1935.Three senior officials at the top of Corbyn’s party said privately he will have to quit if the results are as bad as the predictions suggest.“Corbyn was a disaster on the doorstep. Everyone knew that he couldn’t lead the working class out of a paper bag,” Former Labour cabinet minister Alan Johnson told ITV.For the early part of the night, the Labour leader’s allies stuck to the line that the problem had been Brexit, not Corbyn. “It looks as though all other debate on other issues has been squeezed out by this one issue, Brexit,” Corbyn’s closest ally, Treasury spokesman John McDonnell told Sky News. “People just wanted it over and done with. It put Labour in a very difficult position.”But other MPs said there was a problem with the leader. Ian Murray, who was standing for the party in Edinburgh, said Corbyn’s leadership had come up repeatedly on the doorstep, while Gareth Snell, who said he expected to lose his seat in the former Labour stronghold of Stoke-on-Trent, said it’s time for Corbyn and McDonnell to go.But that position is unlikely to hold for long. the question among those around the Labour leader will quickly shift to whether their project, to make the party into an authentically socialist one, can be saved under a new standard bearer.That will depend partly on who is around to stand as Corbyn’s heir. But it will also depend on how Labour’s mass membership, who elect the leader, respond to the defeat.They put Corbyn in the job and defended him from Labour members of parliament who wanted him gone three years ago. Will the shock prompt them to go in a different direction, or will they accept the argument that the ideas were right, they were simply drowned out by Brexit?(Updates with Murray and Snell in sixth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Ross in London at tross54@bloomberg.net;Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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