The Labour Leadership Race
8 January 2020, Blog
During his four-year stint as Leader, Jeremy Corbyn has led the Labour Party into two general elections, two referendums, one European Parliament election and several sets of local elections.
When he emerged as the front runner and stormed into front-bench politics for the first time in his 37-year career, Corbyn was relatively unknown. His low profile allowed him to bring forward a new dynamic to both the party and to politics.
From raising questions written by the public at PMQs to harnessing the support of an entire movement, Jeremy Corbyn has undoubtedly re-written Labour. However, his political history weighed into every debate, and his election campaigns and entire premiership have been plagued with scandal, resignation and outrage.
And now, after two election defeats, it’s time for a new leader.
The future of Labour’s elect-ability has never been more tentative – and it’s something that will rest upon the successful candidate in the years to come.
We’ve outlined the dates – and the people – that you need to know below:
Dates for the leadership election:
- 7th January: Nominations open from MPs and MEPs
- 13th January: Nomination from MPs and MEPs closes at 2:30pm
- 14th January: Registered supporters applications open at 5pm
- 16th January: Registered supporters applications close at 5pm
- 15th January: Second stage of nominations from Constituency Labour Parties and affiliates opens
- 20th January: Freeze date for eligibility for new members and affiliated supporters, closes at 5pm
- 14th February: Close of CLP and affiliate nominations
- 21st February: Ballot opens
- 2nd April: Ballot closes at 12pm
- 4th April: Special conference to announce results
Current Candidates for Party Leader:
Clive Lewis – MP for Norwich South, Shadow Treasury Minister
Clive Lewis is seen as the underdog in this race. His pro-remain stance and criticism of the party’s Brexit strategy distances him from the departing leader. Lewis’s candidacy is however, unlikely to harness enough support to stand him as a serious contender, especially against competitors Rebecca Long-Bailey, Sir Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry.
You can visit Lewis’ campaign website here.
Polling at: 7% (YouGov)
Rebecca Long-Bailey – MP for Salford and Eccles, Shadow Business Secretary
Largely believed to be the ‘continuity Corbyn’ candidate, Rebecca Long-Bailey is a steadfast socialist. She vocally blamed Brexit for the election result and is seeking to unite the North with the South. With a loyal movement left behind by Corbyn, Long-Bailey is likely to benefit from the support of Momentum and her Northern roots.
Read her leadership bid article here.
Polling at: 20% (YouGov)
Lisa Nandy – MP for Wigan, Backbencher
Another underdog, Lisa Nandy has become increasingly known following the election, frustrated at the level of trust and lack of connection with towns and cities in the North. She argues that in order to win an election, the North will be instrumental. She resigned from Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet in 2016, critical of his inability to form a ‘broad’ and ‘inclusive’ cabinet. Nandy has also challenged the shadow cabinet for its remain-leaning Brexit policy.
Lisa Nandy’s vision.
Polling at: 5% (YouGov)
Jess Phillips – MP for Birmingham Yardley, Backbencher
Jess Phillips is an outspoken feminist who rarely holds back and has been a strong critic of Corbyn, his Brexit position and handling of anti-Semitism. Campaigner and activist, Phillips has worked with numerous charities, particularly domestic abuse survivors and Alzheimer sufferers.
Follow the link to Jess’ leadership video.
Polling at: 11% (YouGov)
Sir Keir Starmer – MP for Holborn and St. Pancras, Shadow Brexit Secretary
A high-profile cabinet member, Starmer is the current Shadow Brexit Secretary and key orchestrator in the party’s endorsement of a confirmatory referendum on a renegotiated deal. Starmer is a former Director of Public Prosecution and a relatively centrist candidate, having distanced himself from Corbyn’s handling of anti-Semitism.
Find out how ‘another future is possible’ at this link.
Polling at: 31% (YouGov)
Emily Thornberry – MP for Islington South and Finsbury, Shadow Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary
Thornberry was the first to enter the race and has been the party’s biggest critic after being relatively side-lined during the election campaign. A prominent Remainer, Emily Thornberry is a loud presence on the frontbench and has already challenged the Prime Minister during his time as Foreign Secretary.
Find out more about Emily on her website.
Polling at: 6% (YouGov)