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Starmer looks set for victory but the campaign has told us little about what he stands for

February 26th, 2020

Remaining loyal to Corbyn without attacking Blair has been quite an achievement

Ever since the first YouGov LAB membership poll at the end of December there has been little doubt that Sir Keir Starmer was likely to be the winner. The ballot forms of being distributed and are now being returned and you can expect maybe half of them to have arrived within the next week.

To recap Starmer topped the MP nomination stage and then had little problems in the CLP and affiliated organisation nomination phase where he completely overwhelmed the other contenders. So the chances must be that on April 4th Starmer will be declared the winner and become the new leader of the Opposition.

But thus far the campaign has told us little about where Starmer would like to take Labour as the Indy notes in its editorial today:

Refusing to “trash” New Labour’s record in government while also refusing to say anything bad about Mr Corbyn’s leadership seems flatly contradictory. We must, therefore, concede that Sir Keir has some leadership qualities in that he has managed to sustain the unsustainable for two months of the campaign so far. But leadership requires vision, ideas and decisions. This is, after all, a leadership contest.

Another big question will be how Starmer actually performs and whether the high hopes that clearly exist for him within the movement are going to be fulfilled. The first prime Minister’s Questions with Starmer in the LOTO slot is going to be interesting and we’re going to have to get used to a very different approach than that which Corbyn has taken.

Mike Smithson