Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The first surprise of the Labour leadership contest

Well, well, well, Diane Abbott makes it onto the Labour leadership ballot paper against the odds. It was an act of charity by MPs who don't support her and want her defeated. It does mean however that the leftwing has at least a standard bearer, even if it is one who is not credible as a party leader. It will be interesting to see how she performs. She may not necessarily come last in the first round of counting (note Labour thinks the alternative vote is so good they use it for their leadership election) and may soak up what is left of the old left. There may even be the odd left winger who is realistic enough to know she is a dead loss as leader but votes for her knowing she stands no chance of election. It will make them feel good about themselves before voting for one of the others as 2nd choice. Abbott's problem is that after the first preferences, seconds may be more difficult to come by.

David Miliband is spoken of as the front runner though the media put forward next to no evidence to support this contention. And if no candidate builds up a head of steam, it will be interesting to see how the second and third preferences play out. This contest I guess will not be won on the first preferences unless one of them gets some early momentum.
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