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Category: Labour

The loneliness of the long-distance leader

The loneliness of the long-distance leader

Where is Team Starmer? Sir Keir Starmer has a lot going for him.  He is credible as a PM-in-waiting, which is more than can be said for his two predecessors.  He seems competent, thoughtful, consistent, honourable, and honest, which are not conspicuous strengths of our current PM.  Admittedly he is rather dull, and a poor public speaker, but overall voters think quite favourably of him; his net ratings were modestly positive in six out of the seven December polls. One…

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Labour’s paths to victory: the choices of Sir Keir Starmer

Labour’s paths to victory: the choices of Sir Keir Starmer

The wheel turns.  In 2005, Labour won 355 seats, a majority of 64.  The Conservatives got just 198.  But last year, the Conservatives took 365 seats, a majority of 80, while Labour secured just 202.  The two elections as close to exact reverses of each other as you’ll ever get for the major parties. Labour would like to turn the tables again.  In order to do so, they’ll need to decide how this is achievable.  In essence, they have three…

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Why Isn’t Labour Cutting Through?

Why Isn’t Labour Cutting Through?

The Shadow Chancellor’s response to Sunak’s updated support package this week was well made. Ms Dodds has been saying much the same these past few months, if sotto voce. Perhaps because of this – and despite Starmer generally getting the better of the PM at PMQs – Labour has not broken through in the polls. The Tories’ large leads have largely evaporated so that is something. But the question remains. Why hasn’t Labour made more of an impact? This government…

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Labour seems to have forgotten how to ‘do’ Opposition

Labour seems to have forgotten how to ‘do’ Opposition

Governments-in-waiting set the agenda Ed Miliband is unfairly maligned. It’s true that he couldn’t eat a bacon sandwich gracefully. It’s also true that he was always a bit of a wonk and, in the testosterone-fuelled world of Westminster and electoral politics, a bit beta. Even now, his brother is shorter odds to be next Labour leader than he is (50/1 and 80/1, respectively), despite his not having been an MP for seven years, while Ed is once again in the…

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Can Johnson raise the Tories’ game above Easy mode? Can Labour force him to?

Can Johnson raise the Tories’ game above Easy mode? Can Labour force him to?

Governments with no effective opposition become arrogant and complacent Why did the Lib Dems choose the Tories over Labour after the inconclusive 2010 general election? Although only a decade ago, it could as well have been a lifetime given how much has changed since – and in the last five years in particular. But that change makes the question all the more pertinent. The numbers were a big part of it, of course. The Tories could promise a stable government…

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Who will be Sir Keir Starmer’s successor?

Who will be Sir Keir Starmer’s successor?

My 25/1 tip as next Labour leader. It might seem odd, even before a pandemic, to start looking at Sir Keir Starmer’s successor a fortnight after he was elected, in normal circumstances the earliest there might be a vacancy in 2024 and if Starmer takes power at the next general election there might not be a vacancy for a decade or longer so it is possible the next leader of the Labour party isn’t on this list. Things can rapidly…

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The Grand Entrance. Sir Keir Starmer’s electoral challenges

The Grand Entrance. Sir Keir Starmer’s electoral challenges

So passes Jeremy Corbyn.  He hands over to his successor a party in the doldrums, with just 202 MPs, most representing seats in the largest metropolitan areas.  If Labour are to win an overall majority of one at the next election, they will need 124 extra MPs. That would require a uniform national swing of over 10%.  Such swings are exceptionally rare. The last time it happened was in 1997. So Labour better hope that Sir Keir is a new…

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Tuesday is the 54th anniversary the last time a Labour leader other than Tony Blair won a working majority

Tuesday is the 54th anniversary the last time a Labour leader other than Tony Blair won a working majority

As we approach the end of the Corbyn era I thought it would be look at what winning the argument actually looks like. This is not meant as an attack on Corbyn or Labour per se because winning a working majority is bloody hard. Prior to Boris Johnson’s victory last December in the last 49 years no Tory had won a working majority other than Margaret Thatcher. It shows the difficulty of Corbyn’s successor, whoever that may be, winning a…

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