The Future of Labour: Who Will Be The Next Leader?

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Like the Liberal Democrats and UKIP, Labour are looking for a new leader after Ed Miliband’s resignation following a bitter defeat for the Labour Party.

Unlike the Liberal Democrats and UKIP, there are significantly more contenders for the role, and is arguably the leadership being most talked about and speculated on.

Let’s look at Labour’s potential leaders:

Andy Burnham

At the last party conference, Andy Burnham reportedly received three standing ovations during his speech, which holds a lot of influence for someone who is not party leader. He has a strong track record, being the Shadow health secretary and MP for Leigh since 2001, a former special adviser to Tessa Jowell, as well as Health Secretary and Chief Secretary to the Treasury during New Labour years. However, he has not been popular recently for those who like Ed Miliband or Blair, though he is very popular with the Unions, which is arguably what Labour needs, as it has been said that a possible reason for lack of Labour support is that some believe they have become more right in recent years and lost sight of their workers’ party origins. This may also help to sway the north, and dare I say Scotland, back to Labour in five years’ time. Although he has let private money into the NHS, ironic considering he was health secretary under Gordon Brown, and some have said he is too similar to Miliband with his New Labour background. His odds are 5/2 at Bet365 and 11/2 at Ladbrokes.

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Yvette Cooper

Yvette is the Shadow Home Secretary and has been MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford since 1997. She also has a very high profile in the Labour party, as Former Housing Minister, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Work and Pensions Secretary under Gordon Brown. Next to Harriet Harman, Cooper is the most senior woman in the party and there has been calls from supporters to have a woman in charge. Despite this, she has relatively little following in the Parliamentary Labour Party. She is a mysterious character and often withholds her views, and rarely does newspaper interviews but is known for party loyalty. This does mean that not enough people know about her or what she stands for, which could backfire on her. Since her husband, Ed Balls,  lost his seat on Thursday she has a significantly increased her odds of becoming leader.  Her odds are at 7/2 at Bet365 and 9/2 at William Hill.

Yvette%20Cooper

 

Chuka Umunna

Chuka is a former city lawyer and Shadow Business Secretary. He is another favourite for the leadership, as is perceived by many as very fresh, modern and attractive. He impresses many with his calm and intelligent demeanour, but some believe he is a little too young and inexperienced to take over as leader and it may be too quick for him to become leader now. That is not to say that many don’t believe he will be leader at some point in the future. He is Blairite but is also very left wing, this could be a good combination of the best of Blue Labour and the best of New Labour, but some have criticised him for trying to be ‘all things to all men’. Chuka has become very well-known following his appearances in the media and on Question Time, he is a new, fresh face with left ideals and in a similar way to Barack Obama many would applaud a leader that truly represents ethnic minorities. He has not let his Shadow Business Secretary role to turn him into a stereotypical business man, and is also a passionate defender of immigration, which is attractive to those on the left. This could however work against him, and has been criticised for being too ‘posh’, which could be seen as hypocritical with his left wing views. Bookies have odds of 11/5 at Betfair and 2/1 at Coral for Chuka being the next Labour leader.

Chuka-Umunna-MP

 

Dan Jarvis

Dan Jarvis is a former soldier and the Shadow Justice Minister. He is less likely as he doesn’t have a particularly strong following in the party. His army background could help in his role as leader, he’s a member of Unison, Unite, the Fabian Society and the Co-operative Party. He may be perfect as leader because he has first-hand experience of serving in war, unlike many politicians and would act very much in the interests of soldiers and defence. He has a background outside politics, and therefore can be thought of as more representative of ordinary people unlike Ed Miliband, and has fluid political associations. As he was only elected as an MP in a 2011 by-election he can’t be accused of being a ‘career politician’. He would be a breath of fresh air for Labour and politics and general. His odds are 7/2 at Betfred, William Hill and Betfair.

Dan Jarvis, Rising stars 2015

 

Liz Kendall

Liz Kendall is Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, former think tanker and ex-special adviser to Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt. She is popular among Blairites and was dedicated to her role in the Shadow Health team, and has a following in the party for her competence. However, she is rumoured to have high ambitions, and with it some abrasiveness, which might make her a less popular choice. Her odds are 13/2 at Paddy power and 69/5 at Betfair.

liz kendall

 

Tristram Hunt

Tristram is the Shadow Education Secretary, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central and a historian and broadcaster. A lot of people in the party wonder what he has achieved in his role and this could lessen his chances. He is slightly Blairite and claimed he voted for David Miliband in the last leadership election, but he won’t be strong enough when up against other Blairite candidates. He is the opposite of Ed Miliband in mannerisms which may push the party forward, but many may be put off by the fact that he was privately educated and hardly represents the core working class Labour demographic. His odds are 8/1 at Bet365 and 10/1 at Betfair.

tristram-hunt

 

Stella Creasy

Stella is the Shadow Business Innovation and Skills minister and is seen by many as an impressive MP who works hard for her constituents reflected by the 23,000 majority she achieved, and takes part in individual campaigns, particularly campaigning against payday loan companies. She has a strong social media presence and is attractive to younger people as she is also young and loves indie music, making her appear far more human and less like a typical politician. Like Chuka she is approachable, ambitious and fresh and this may be beneficial in a Labour leader. However she is not high up in the party ranks because she tends to keep herself to herself and so may not get the required support. Her odds are 25/1 at Bet365 and 40/1 at Betfair.

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Outside contenders may be Stephen Kinnock, son of former leader Neil Kinnock and husband of the Danish Prime Minster -with odds ranging from 40/1 to 100/1. And Tom Watson who only has odds of 66/1 but seems to be trending on Twitter as being the next potential leader.

kinnock watson

 

 

Another outside option is David Lammy, MP for Tottenham who’s speculated he could run, although he’s also favourite to run for London Mayor. SkyBet have him at 40/1

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News Editor 2015/16. Philosophy and Politics student. Opinionated activist with a questionable sense of humour. Left Wing, Critique of the Status Quo and diplomatic debater who loves writing for you!

Discussion3 Comments

  1. avatar

    Very tough to call… I suspect it may turn into a protracted multi-sided bloodbath, which is exactly the opposite of what Labour needs. At least Balls lost his seat, so there’s no chance of a Husband vs. Wife race to rival the Brother vs. Brother of last time (not that that was ever very likely).

    Tom Watson would be great, but I doubt he’ll stand; it will probably come down to Umunna, Hunt, Burnham and maybe Cooper. It’s a shame Sadiq Khan doesn’t seem to be in the running – he’s one of the few mainstream Labour politicians I have much respect for. Of the front-runners, my pick would be Andy Burnham, but it may well end up being Chuka Umunna, whom I cannot STAND.

  2. avatar

    I can’t call this one either. I completely agree with you though Chris, it’s a real shame Sadiq Khan’s not in the running, he could do a lot for Labour. I also think Tom Watson may be the next deputy. It would be in Labour’s best interest (in term’s of picking up votes) to elect a Blairite, that’s why I think Umanna may do well – but it’s SO hard to call. It’ll come down to Burnham, Cooper and Umunna, electing a woman would work in Labour’s favour too, but Cooper’s closeness to Ed Balls will work against her.

  3. avatar

    Umunna will certainly benefit from his Blairite credentials in the short term, with the failure of Miliband still fresh in people’s minds, but I think it might come back to haunt the party in the long term.

    A female leader would be good, but then so would an ethnic minority leader, which again could benefit Umunna now that most of the less…tolerant Labour supporters have been siphoned off by UKIP. Which is another reason I want Khan.

    I agree with the implication by omission that Hunt will probably be slaughtered, but I still suspect he may try for it, which could complicate the Blairite vote. Umunna with Watson as deputy wouldn’t be too bad, I suppose, but I think it would take Khan/Watson or similar to win my vote. That, and a pretty thorough policy overhaul.

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