The credibility crunch, while long in the works, in part owes itself to the effects of austerity. In the first edition of Corbyn, I argued that Corbyn's leadership was made possible by a deep crisis in politics and representation. The secession of large parts of the electorate from the political system was evident in plummeting party membership and identification, and voter turnout. On the other side, politicians increasingly withdrew into the state, becoming less and less interested in the electorate except as a diminishing pool of participants to manipulate with good messaging. These were long-term processes, but the polarising effects of economic crisis and its austerian remedy accelerated them and produced a degree of hitherto unseen political instability.