Updated: Jul 27
With the COVID-19 epidemic dominating nearly every aspect of our lives, it is easy to forget that there are other things happening in the news. One example is Labour’s leadership election, looking to find a replacement to Jeremy Corbyn after their disastrous result in December’s election.
Labour members are currently voting throughout March, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to run through who the candidates are, where they want to take the party and what policies they would implement.
Sir Keir Starmer
“Labour only wins when we’re united and when we have a radical vision of the future that people can trust.”
The shadow Brexit secretary is the most likely successor to Jeremy Corbyn, as demonstrated by a recent YouGov poll amongst Labour members that gave him 51% of the vote. Sir Keir served as a humanitarian lawyer for years before entering politics and has been the MP for Holborn & St Pancras since 2015.
He has pitched himself as the ‘unity’ candidate that both moderate members and further left-wing Corbyn supporters can get behind. He is also a staunch remainer and the only candidate who has not ruled out campaigning to re-join the EU, believing it a question for “future generations.”
The nationalisation of water, mail & rail services are his “baseline indicators” of where he wants to go with the party leadership, but he has been criticised by the other two candidates for not being explicit enough with his aims and policies.
“Under my leadership, we will empower our party and empower our communities. We will draw on the strength of our diversity, the depth of our talent and the breadth of our ambition.”
Lisa Nandy is the second candidate in the leadership race. She has been the MP for Wigan since 2010. She is the most outspoken critic of Corbyn’s leadership out of the three candidates, resigning in protest from the shadow cabinet in 2016. She has used this to differentiate her pitch from the other two candidates, using her criticism of anti-semitism & Labour’s brexit stance as examples.
Like Starmer, she has also suggested that she would be a unifying force, building a “red bridge” between younger, metropolitan voters and traditional, older, working-class voters and believes that this would help see the party elected in 4 years time. Further, she has said that she wants the party to become more “rooted in communities” to win back the trust of historically Labour-voting communities that turned their support in the last election.
Along with Rebecca Long-Bailey, Nandy has signed a pledge calling for Labour members with trans-phobic views to be expelled from the party and has been vocal in her support for trans rights.
“Whether we live in Blyth or Brixton, my vision of aspirational socialism and a democratic revolution will excite a movement for renewal.”
The shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, is the third candidate in the leadership race. She has been the MP for Salford & Eccles since 2015 and was a solicitor before joining politics.
Dubbed “Continuity Corbyn” by her critics, she has been incredibly supportive of Corbyn’s leadership and is the candidate most-closely aligned to his politics. Long-Bailey has seen a lot of support from grass-root groups such as Momentum and placed second behind Starmer in recent polls.
She has suggested that Labour is lacking a message of aspiration for the majority of voters and would seek to change that if elected leader. She has also been vocal about climate change and wants to make protecting the environment a core priority by writing it into the party’s constitution.
What do you think of Labour’s candidates? Who would you like to see take over from Jeremy Corbyn? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Demographica on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn for more political articles, podcasts, quizzes & surveys. #labour #politics #article #corbyn #coronavirus