Labour Leadership: Lisa Nandy

Lilla Marshall sings the praises of the leadership election's dark horse

Lilla Marshall
6th February 2020
Image: Wikimedia Commons
If you've heard anything about the Labour leadership election, it's that it's probably going to be won by the Corbyn-supporting Rebecca Long-Bailey or the broad-church candidate Keir Starmer. It's true that the contest is a two horse race, but the media have got the names of the horses wrong.

Long-Bailey is Marmite: according to YouGov, if you asked people who their favourite is, she comes in at second place. If you ask people who their second favourite is, she comes last. A candidate like that will struggle to make any gains going forward, which is bad news for someone already trailing.

Nandy is an underdog, so if Starmer and Long-Bailey trade blows, it will be Nandy who benefits

Lisa Nandy, who acts as a middle ground between the two candidates, does a lot better in second preferences, meaning there are groups of people willing to be persuaded by her. She's an underdog, but if Starmer and Long-Bailey start trading significant blows with each other, it will be Nandy who benefits.

As someone who wants a Labour government, that would be fantastic.

Lisa Nandy is the candidate the Tories fear the most, which is a very good endorsement for a potential Labour leader

Keir's establishment, London-centric image could further alienate working class voters from Labour
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The London Economic reported that a senior Tory MP had told them that Lisa Nandy was the candidate they feared the most, which is a very good endorsement for a potential Labour leader. It's easy to see why: Long-Bailey can easily be attacked by being framed as "more Corbyn" (which, judging by how much that narrative is harming her in this leadership election, is working). Meanwhile, Starmer's staunch opposition to Brexit, as well as him coming across as an establishment London politician, will just further the idea that Labour no longer represents the working class. There isn't really a narrative be being used to smear Nandy, or at least not yet.

Nandy has ran a campaign focused on listening to towns, and understands what people want. Restoration of their high streets, better transport networks and giving people a louder voice in their communities were just a few of her campaign focuses. Not least of her strengths is how well she performs in interviews. She's the only candidate in the running who I think can beat a charismatic populist, like Boris Johnson, in a general election. For that, she deserves at least a chance.

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