Five Labour Party MPs have managed to secure enough nominations from their fellow peers to advance to the next stage of Labour’s leadership election to replace the departing Jeremy Corbyn.
Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips received sufficient backing from Labour MPs and MEPs to create a five-way contest for the backing of trade unions and local parties.
Unions such as Unite and the GMB, who are thought to be crucial to any prospective leader taking power, are yet to make up their minds as to who they will be supporting. At the time of writing, though, Sir Keir Starmer has already won the support of Unison, while the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will be supporting Lisa Nandy.
Two-horse race between Starmer and Long-Bailey developing?
Of course, it’s the Labour members that will ultimately have the casting vote and a recent members’ poll undertaken by LabourList/Survation suggests Rebecca Long-Bailey is five points clear of Sir Keir Starmer in terms of being members’ first preference vote. Although Starmer is the main second preference vote among Labour members, this seems not to be enough to topple Long-Bailey’s advantage, with a current run-off between the pair seemingly 51-49 in favour of Long-Bailey. This latest poll has seen the Labour leadership odds narrow, although the bookies still heavily favour Starmer to eventually assume the helm as the only odds-on candidate.
The Labour leadership election is not the only leadership battle going on around the world at present. Across the Atlantic, there is plenty of jostling going on among the Democrats, who must select their nominee for the upcoming battle to displace Republican President Donald Trump. According to the Democratic Candidates odds on the 2020 USA Presidential Elections, Joe Biden is inching ahead as the main contender. His odds have fallen considerably of late, while rivals Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have come to blows in heated televised debates.
In terms of the outsiders for the Labour leadership, Emily Thornberry looks to be the least likely of the quintet to advance to the next stage. She is the first preference vote of only 1% of Labour members, while less than two-fifths (37%) surveyed were clear on her policies. That does not bode well for Thornberry compared with her contemporaries Starmer (77%) and Long-Bailey (73%). Meanwhile, in a recent television interview with arguably the BBC’s most daunting interviewer, Andrew Neil, Lisa Nandy claimed that she was the “brave choice” for Labour, insisting that the party could not afford to “play it safe” this time.
The competition for Labour’s deputy leadership role appears to be somewhat more straightforward. The same LabourList/Survation poll of 3,835 Labour members found that Angela Rayner was the first preference of three-fifths (60%) of respondents, with Richard Burgon polling much lower at just 19%. Rayner, who has publicly stated she will endorse Rebecca Long-Bailey for the Labour leadership, says that although she is a proud socialist, she is “not a ‘Corbynite’”. When Rayner launched her deputy leadership bid, she adopted the same tone as Lisa Nandy by saying that Labour “must win or die” at the next general election.