So - who does everyone think is likely to be the next Labour leader?(63 Posts)
I'm watching Tristram Hunt. Fairly new, so a rank outsider, but seems to handle himself well (apart from the nun thing a few weeks back, but it may well be a one off). Or possibly (more likely) Yvette Cooper.
I like Yvette Cooper but wonder if she's forceful enough. I'm watching Liz Kendall with interest as I like what she said about reforming the party and recognising aspiration, and I think she would appeal to different factions within the country in a way someone like Chuka Umunna just wouldn't. But it's very early days - definitely not making up my mind just yet.
I agree, early days! But it's fun to see what people think as an interested bystander.
At the time of writing only Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall have put their names in the hat, with the former seemingly more popular. But plenty of time yet!
I just can't get my head round the idea of the leader of the Labour party being called Tristram.
For those of you who might be supporting Andy Burnham, please don't forget his attitude towards what was happening (when he was health minister) at Mid Staffs hospital !!!!
Liz Kendall is very impressive - great interview with Andrew Neil here.
Thanks Tensmumym! Yes, she does sound like she may be a good candidate too! From that clip she seems quite charming, and quite positive about the future. I have to say I'm not a great fan of Andy Burnham, and I do think we need a relatively fresh face as Labour leader, but I'll add Liz Kendall to my list
DH is the politics expert here, he reckons none of them look like a future PM and that David Milliband will come back after they are defeated again in 5 yrs time.
If I was a gambler, I might put some money on it.
I'd like a strong woman in command. But not another MAggie!
What I don't want is a move back to the Blairite right (or centrist right as they like to say). I don't want some one too smooth and metropolitan designed to appeal to the aspirational John Lewis shoppers.
I'll be honest, I'm a left winger and beginning to wonder if I belong to the party anymore. If they elect a leader on the right of the party, maybe I won't.
There's no way Labour would ever win an election under anyone called Miliband, ever. Sad but true - the brand is tarnished beyond repair.
And why would he want to anyway? The idea is just bizarre.
So far I am thinking Liz.
Yvette is tainted by Ed, so she is out.
I just don't think Labour can win unless they offer a centrist approach. The first thing non Labour people I know - the sort of people the party needs to win back to have any chance of getting back into government - said was that the party had picked the wrong brother. Not everyone will agree with that but I think even people supportive of Labour had reservations about Ed. Will Straw said something interesting on the World at One recently. When electing a new leader, members should think about who their next door neighbour would think was prime ministerial.
There will be those who believe, wrongly, that Labour lost the election because it wasn't left wing enough (just as there were those in the Conservative party saying the party lost to Blair because it wasn't right wing enough). If Labour listens to them and retreats to its comfort zone it will almost certainly lose the next election. Like it or not, elections are almost invariably won by the party that claims the centre ground. A party may move the centre ground once it is in office (as Margaret Thatcher did, for instance) but it must occupy that ground to gain office in the first place.
Labour also needs to stop being a party of the affluent, liberal London middle classes and minorities, and become once again the party that represents the working class (who are currently defecting to UKIP in large numbers). Not saying it should abandon minorities, by the way, although rethinking some of its positions on Islam would be no bad thing. But it needs to stop alienating the aspirational working classes. Insulting the electorate and calling them stupid for not voting Labour is not the way forward.
They also need someone who can deal with the fact the party is not trusted. That means they need someone who answers the question, "did the last Labour government overspend?" with a simple Yes.
And, having made the mistake of regarding Scotland as a Labour fiefdom and largely ignoring Scottish voters, they need to figure out how to win back those voters who have defected to the SNP.
Looking at the candidates who have declared so far I think it is a simple choice. If Labour wants to win the next election they need to choose Liz Kendall. If they select any of the other candidates I think they are hoping for the Conservatives to lose rather than winning themselves. Which is, after all, the mistake the party (or, to be more precise, the unions) made when it elected Ed Miliband as leader rather than his brother and the mistake Miliband made when pursuing the 35% strategy, attempting to win without reaching beyond what he believed was Labour's core vote.
prh47bridge is spot on. Liz Kendall is the only candidate the Tories would fear. I note Len McClusky is putting his oar in:
"rethinking some of its positions on Islam would be no bad thing."
True. Electing a woman, or an openly gay leader, would put Labour at odds with many of it's supporters ^^. I think this is why I find it difficult to imagine a female Labour leader.
Regarding Scotland, I'd prefer the three Unionist parties to disband to be honest. 3 parties fighting one will never get anywhere. A "Scottish Unionist Party" is needed to face off against the SNP. Doubt it will happen though.
So much inequality in the UK...
We need electoral reform and a coalition.
Not sure who should lead. <<helpful>>
Pretty sure I am going to vote for Liz Kendall. She seemed very sensible and normal in the Andrew Neil video.
Labour leadership candidates asked questions at Progress (1hr 35mins)
Lots more video of key Labour figures in the programme schedule above the video.
Totally agree with prh47bridge It will be interesting to see who Jon Cruddas backs as he and Dennis Skinner voted for David Miliband in the last leadership election. Thanks for the video claig How did you think they came across? From what I've read Andy Burnham seems to have most support in the party.
'How did you think they came across?'
I haven't watched it yet. Watching it at the moment.
Yes, Andy Burnham is now the favourite and apparently is the candidate the unions prefer so far (but Len Mcluskey is open to all of them, he hasn't decided yet). But Rachel Reeves, who in my opinion is the best person that Labour has got, has now backed Andy Burnham.
Watched it. I'm not Labour so to me it's mainly teenage student union politics. Doesn't convince me.
The best person was Simon Fanshawe - the chair.
Lots of rhetoric and platitudes. All candidates pretty even.
The best two in my opinion were Andy Burnham and Mary Creagh - the only two who offered something practical for small businesses, venture capitalists, business angels, apprenticeships etc
Andy Burnham says he will treat immigration seriously, but it's probably just words. He has the beginnings of something good with this care for the elderly and I liked the stuff about 111 on your TV screen in your home. He needs to sell it better and create a vision for it. It is something different to the Tories.
Liz Kendall got the most applause but for me it was mainly platitudes and lines and feelgood stuff, not convincing.
Liz Kendall and Tristram Hunt seem to have education as the solution to most problems. Not convincing.
Tristram Hunt was the worst. Fanshawe told him about a plasterer who was competing with six Polish plasterers living across the road and asked him what he could do for the plasterer and his answer was, you guessed it, "education", that British people would need to reskill and get higher level skills in order to get different and higher paying jobs in our globalised economy. Farage would wipe the floor with that argument.
So all in all, it is very bad news for Labour. Teenage politics and slogans won't be able to beat the practicality of the Conservatives or the common sense of UKIP.
Labour are trapped in a teenage straightjacket of thought. They can't break out and challenge the Conservatives with such an uninspiring message.
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