Given the good ship Corbyn is going down in flames, I thought it would be fun to have a stab at who might possibly succeed him as leader of the Labour Party. Bear in mind, it’s possible to see a scenario in which another leadership election happens in a year’s time or less: Labour lose the Oldham West by-election, then do terribly in May 2016, and then Corbyn decides he can’t take anymore regardless of John McDonnell’s threats of Leninist retribution. Or, Corbyn could dig his heels in and refuse to go no matter what electoral horrors come Labour’s way, thus meaning the next leadership election won’t take place until after Labour gets crushed in 2020. Either way, the candidates will be taken from the current PLP or a vastly diminished PLP, so we can speculate right now, can’t we?
The once golden boy of the Labour Party, he would be a decent contender – should he actually run this time for more than five minutes. Taking into account his bowing out of the race embarrassingly early last time round, betting on Chuka is probably a long shot.
Now we’re talking. Jarvis didn’t run last time, but he could probably be convinced to stand if there was a leadership contest in the very near future. Particularly given he probably just saw the writing on the wall last summer. A former platoon commander who served in Kosovo and Iraq, on security and defence issues – becoming ever more important these days – Dan is essentially the anti-Corbyn, and is feasibly the only leader who could possibly turn around public opinion on these topics pre-election if the chance came up. He’d easily be the best shot at Number 10 if he ran, but given the membership picked Jez last time round, I wouldn’t bet on that being taken heavily into consideration. Note: possibly considered a Tory by Labour’s rank and file because he’s held a gun before.
Was the only losing candidate in the last leadership contest who didn’t emerge completely embarrassed, meaning she’d be a credible candidate next time round. A lot of the soft left might have buyer’s remorse over Corbyn and vote for her if the contest happened in the next couple of years, so she still has a realistic shot.
After running one of the worst campaigns in the history of the universe and then sucking up to Corbyn while still not being close to left-wing enough for the left of the party, one hopes Burnham would have better sense than to run again. But that is almost certainly a false hope.
I remain a fan myself, but the 4.5% last time round is a bit of a nail in the coffin.
Would probably run. No chance.
You may have noticed that there are no John McDonnell types up there. That’s because if the leadership contest happens in the next couple of years, the PLP will never let any of the hardcore Marxists onto the ballot. If it happens in 2020, most of those above will probably have been deselected, independent MPs (or MPs for another party possibly), or voted out via the Tory tsunami, so guessing who becomes leader of the sub-100 PLP at that stage is a bit of a fool’s errand. Probably someone not even in the Labour Party at this time, rather some sort of Communist Party activist yet to make the leap.