LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn faces another crucial Brexit test this week when he calls together all the opposition parties at Westminster to plan to hold and win a vote of no confidence against Boris Johnson’s government, stop a No-Deal Brexit and install himself in Downing Street at a caretaker prime minister.

Corbyn has offered to lead a temporary minority government that would aim to extend the Article 50 notice period and hold a referendum. This is high stakes politics, with the nature of Brexit, the future of political parties and leaders, as well as the continuation of the UK, all in doubt.

A vote of no confidence in Johnson is on a knife-edge, even leaving aside that the new Prime Minister has not yet dared to subject his new administration to winning a parliamentary mandate.

That’s because he has a fragile majority of just one seat when he adds the 10 DUP MPs to the Tory tally. This expands to a “notional” three seats on a vote of confidence as one independent Unionist, Sylvia Hermon, has said she will never vote to facilitate a Corbyn government.

If Johnson wins a vote he gains significant room in advance of the October 31 Brexit date. But if he loses all bets are off. Under the terms of the fixed-term Parliament Act 2011, there then follow 14 days where alternative governments are explored, and attempt to win a vote of confidence. If they lose and the previous government cannot form a majority, an election ensues.

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In all this confusion, there is no unity in the opposition. The SNP have indicated that they will work with Corbyn in the coming weeks. Similarly, Plaid Cymru and the Greens have made similar statements.

But there the united front ends. Jo Swinson (above), LibDem leader, stated she will not support Corbyn as: “There is no way he can unite rebel Conservatives and independents to stop Boris Johnson”, let alone “all the votes of Labour MPs”.

There are doubts about Tory rebel MPs voting with Labour, and even of Corbyn being able to carry his entire parliamentary party. Such arch-Brexiteer MPs as Kate Hoey could easily vote with the Tories or abstain, as could a couple of independent former Labour MPs such as Frank Field.

Underneath all of this is the animosity parts of British political opinion hold about Corbyn. Why is this the critical issue for Jo Swinson and others – rather than stopping the train wreck of a No-Deal Brexit?

Is it because, as Swinson says, Corbyn doesn’t have the Commons numbers to be able to form a government? It’s unlikely this is the main reason, as this is a Parliament of minorities, with the Tories relying on the DUP, and there is as yet no Brexit offer capable of carrying a majority.

Is it because of Corbyn’s ineffective leadership of Labour and the fact his party is divided and he doesn’t carry the confidence of his parliamentary colleagues? Well, that hasn’t stopped a host of previous leaders gaining the top post, most famously, Johnson’s hero Winston Churchill, who became PM in May 1940, and was mistrusted by a majority of Tory MPs.

Is it because of his inflexibility, which has seen him hold the same core views since the mid-1970s? Neal Lawson, head of the centre-left pressure group Compass, says ‘‘Corbyn is hoist on his own petard, of always being morally right and never compromising – a position that can’t withstand political reality’’ and ‘‘is rooted in the politics of the vanguard’’. But then, Theresa May wasn’t exactly known for her political dexterity and she was PM for three years.

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Or is it because he is known to be, like John McDonnell, a lifelong Brexiteer, who has his entire adult political life campaigned against the EU, pre-leadership? Do some people really believe that Corbyn, once in office, might renege on his party’s Remain stance, and usher in Brexit? If they do, this would be the ultimate betrayal from which Corbyn’s leadership, and wider Corbynista project, would never recover.

The biggest factor in considering why Corbyn seems incapable of wining enough support to stage a coup is how the British establishment view him and its fear of ‘Red Labour’ – something it thought it had permanently killed off with the era of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

REMEMBER that Conservative Home survey which showed that Tory members would put up with all sorts of political chaos to deliver Brexit. Scottish independence (63%), Irish reunification (59%), the economy tanking (61%) ... they were all ‘‘a price worth paying’’ to deliver Brexit. The only price which wasn’t worth paying was a Corbyn Labour government (39%). That said an awful lot about Tory fears.

“Red Labour” has long been a fear of Tories and the right-wing from the first Labour government of Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 which was humiliated by the publication of the alleged Zinoviev letter in the Daily Mail in the midst of a General Election.

READ MORE: Alastair Campbell: Labour have been 'in denial' since 2017

It purported to be from the head of the Comintern, the then Communist International, showing Soviet meddling in the UK. Now widely seen as a forgery, it contributed to Labour’s heavy defeat at the polls.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, before he was recast as the nation’s favourite grandfather, Tony Benn was seen by Fleet Street as a threat to our very way of life and freedom. All sorts of smears and allegations were made at Benn, from calling him “mad” and “obsessive”, to stating that he would bring in the dictatorial ways of Chairman Mao and his own “cultural revolution”.

The British establishment’s anger at Corbyn is that he dares to oppose it on all the big questions it thought they had won: redistribution, trade union rights, public ownership, nuclear disarmament. And it knows that the Thatcherite settlement of the past 40 years has broken down and voters are looking round for an alternative.

Corbyn is not very popular as leader of Labour at the moment but many elements of the establishment know that Corbyn entering Number 10 could be a gamechanger. It would transform how Corbyn was seen and normalise him and his ideas. Mark Perryman, author of two books on Corbynism, says that ‘‘Corbyn at Number 10, McDonnell at Number 11 would detonate the neoliberal consensus’’.

READ MORE: Lots of people are making the same point about Corbyn and the indyref

Many of the policies Corbyn stands for such as nationalisation of public utilities, standing up to fat cats and against City excess, are hugely popular.

A minority Labour government would be limited in what it could do, but could remake the political weather ahead of going to the polls. Those who fear Corbyn remember that Labour’s 2017 manifesto was widely popular with voters.

There is also an anxiety in Corbynism that political office will change them. As Lawson puts it: “Corbynism was fashioned in the political exile over 30 years and could only survive through an inner core of resilient believers.” Would such an attitude survive contact with the pressures of political office?

None of this is an argument for Corbyn. He has been a spectacularly ineffective leader of the official opposition.

Despite this he is the leader of by far the largest opposition party and this week, and the week after, he will get the ultimate chance to prove his many doubters, in the Tories, LibDems and SNP, as well as in Labour, wrong. A lot now is riding on Jeremy Corbyn finally getting it right.