A Long Slog
The Labour Party looks set for a protracted leadership contest
As the Conservatives bask in the sunlit uplands of a land dyed Tory blue (at least until you reach Hadrian’s Wall), the Labour Party embarks on what may be a long and painful process of selecting a new leader. Yesterday it emerged that those pushing for a long selection contest look likely to win out over those who would prefer a resolution before the end of the summer. This morning there are suggestions that the party’s National Executive Committee will agree to a ballot either in September or October. This would mean the new leader would be announced either just before or after Labour’s annual party conference.
The list of candidates to succeed Ed Miliband is already taking shape. Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall have already announced they will stand and they are likely to be joined by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham and Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt. These figures all represent either the party’s centre/centre-right wings (Umunna, Kendall, Hunt) or links to the Blair/Brown era (Cooper, Burnham). There will likely therefore be a push from the left for a candidate from that wing of the party. While Burnham represents the left at the moment, his links to the New Labour era may count against him.