diamond geezer

 Tuesday, August 11, 2015

There's only one more day to sign up if you want to help decide who gets to be Labour's new leader. Registration costs £3, and ballot papers start arriving at the weekend. Opening up selection to the public could be a risky gamble, partly because any old right-winger can sign up, but also because disgruntled supporters might lose faith if their preferred candidate doesn't win. Voting continues until 10th September, with the chosen candidate due to be announced at a special event on the 12th.

So who's in the running, and what might their chances be?

Andy Burnham (@andy4leader): Former Secretary of State for Health and MP for Leigh, Andy also stood for leader in 2010. His "radical vision" is neither too left nor too right, so could end up unifying the party or satisfying nobody. His website's a bit thin unless you find (and read) the pdf manifesto. Has the best chance of beating Jeremy to the nomination, and maybe the best chance of almost stopping the Tories in 2020. "My vision for Labour is simple: we must be the Party that helps everyone get on in life."
Yvette Cooper (@YvetteForLabour): Former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, and (whisper it) married to Ed Balls. Also the first minister ever to take maternity leave. Her website is brimming with regularly updated news nuggets, but I can't find a page with any detailed policies. Could get elected, and might have broad appeal outside the party if she were. "I believe I am the candidate with the strength, experience and progressive ideas to lead our party and win in the country."
Jeremy Corbyn (@Corbyn4Leader): Nobody saw him coming. Nudged onto the nomination list out of kindness, the Islington MP's campaign has taken off because he sounds like the only candidate who dares to pledge anything. Tough on social justice and with a nod to the past, he favours nationalisation, equality, higher taxes and growth in public services. His election would energise many of the faithful, perhaps even lead to a populist left-wing anti-austerity crusade, but also likely split the party leading to a centrist breakaway. Every chance of winning, and not a hope of winning. "Our timeless task in the Labour Party is to stand up against injustice wherever we find it. That notion has driven me throughout my political life."
Liz Kendall (@LizforLeader): Born in Watford, and MP for Leicester West, low-profile Liz may have surprised herself at getting this far through the process. Seen as the modernising or Blairite candidate, her pro-austerity message sometimes sounds like it echoes government policy. Her LizforLeader campaign website currently launches with an ill-received video. No chance of winning, as the defeated party refuses to lean to the right. "I wasn’t born into the Labour Party. I chose it. Just like we’re going to have to persuade millions of Britons to do at the next general election."

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