Long-Bailey and Starmer rise to top after Labour leadership first round
Neither the bookies or the pollsters will have been at all surprised when Rebecca long-Bailey and Keir Starmer emerged in front after Labour conducted the first round of their leadership election.
However, both of these individuals represent quite different positions and Long-Bailey, closely associated with Corbyn has the shadow of his crippling defeat hanging over her.
Starmer, while a member of Corbyn’s cabinet, and front and centre of the European furore, as Brexit secretary, consistently presented himself as a measured sensible and above all capable figure during the whole process.
The ex-barrister, offers a more presentable person to those who sensed that Labour’s surge to the Left under Corbyn was detrimental.
Having both garnered the requisite 22 MPs or MEPs before the first vote, Starmer emerged with 88 nominations, placing him way ahead of the competition, with Long-Bailey emerging in second place with 33.
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy was not far behind on 31, with Emily Thornberry and Jess Phillips on 23.
Unfortunately shadow treasury secretary, Clive Lewis, who strangely thought his suggestion to have a referendum on banning the monarchy, would be a popular move, was unable to garner the support of more than 5 of his colleagues and so had to withdraw from the race.
That leaves Starmer fighting against four women as the process moves to constituency parties, the unions and the membership.
It will be a source of joy, in the interest of equality and diversity, that there are so many women on the ballot paper, but a source of embarrassment that the only man appears to be the most marketable.
It will also be rather awkward that Starmer represents a London constituency, when it appears from the general election results that Labour lost many votes in the north of the country, for appearing to be too London-centric.
Bearing in mind that Labour is very much on the back foot in parliament now, the unions will have to decide if it is time for them to abandon the Corbyn experiment and look to a less radical socialist model to follow in Starmer, or if by backing Long-Bailey they seek to keep this alive.
Starmer has it all to lose at the moment, although Lisa Nandy could well be the dark horse in this race, who could surprise everyone.
Next Labour leader
|Each Way Terms||