Labour’s recent electoral history has been a tale of failure, but with Jeremy Corbyn out of the way is there anyone standing for leader who can actually beat Boris Johnson at the next General Election? Asks Joshua Mackenzie-Lawrie of Get Britain Out

Given the last 2 month’s focus on Brexit and the Government’s 80-seat majority, many would be forgiven for forgetting there is a Labour Leadership election going on. However, despite one of the worst electoral results for Labour in the last 80 years, it doesn’t seem as if lessons have actually been learnt. Even Tony Blair has accepted Brexit is now an inevitability and one Labour should accept, but no one seems to have told the 2 leading candidates – Rebecca Long-Bailey (MP for Salford and Eccles) and Sir Kier Starmer (MP for Holborn and St. Pancras). Both have committed to fighting for close alignment with the European Union and Sir Kier has even gone as far as suggesting Freedom of Movement should return!

With this blatant disregard for the current political realities, is it really possible for any of the current Labour Leadership candidates to lead the Party to a General Election victory in 2024?

As things stand, Sir Kier appears to be the front runner to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour’s Leader – and he is so fond of telling us about his past experience and his sensible approach which will allow Labour to take on Boris Johnson. However, this seems to ignore the key problem with Sir Kier. As Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, he is and has been, the man responsible for the Labour Party’s disastrous Brexit policy at the last General Election. While Labour may think by the time it comes around to the next General Election voters will have forgotten Brexit, this is quite frankly wishful thinking. With Brexit successes already being evident, you can bet the Conservative Party will be running on a clear message of: ‘Look we delivered on what we promised, and will continue to do so!’

If it is Sir Kier who ends up winning the Leadership election, then does he actually change anything? He is yet another metropolitan London-based politician who does not represent those traditional Labour voters in the so called ‘Red Wall’ of constituencies in the North – which fell to the Conservatives. As a result, Labour will probably be left in the perpetual land of winning votes in some big cities, but falling short winning key constituencies.

Rebecca Long-Bailey on the other hand, seems to be neither here nor there, but is simply serving as a mouthpiece for the old Jeremy Corbyn regime which was so roundly rejected by the electorate last time round. Yes, there were some successful and popular policies which could have brought radical change to our politics, but they – and Long-Bailey – simply were not believable as a package. This is something which is hardly surprising when – after the election – she rated Jeremy Corbyn’s Leadership 10/10.

How are the Labour Party meant to return to their position as a well-respected and formidable political party if they are simply refusing to even accept there was something wrong at the last election? Blaming the media can’t be the only problem they discovered about their campaign!

In some ways Lisa Nandy MP is the only remaining candidate for the Leadership who seems to understand that things actually need to change, with more focus on traditional Labour areas, instead of just the young metropolitan city regions. The response to this has been a pretty resounding rejection of her ideas by the new membership of the Labour Party, many of whom seem to resent the mere idea of some Labour voters backing Brexit and switching to the Conservatives in 2019.

However, while it seems Nandy has at least a modicum of common sense, she has still failed to actually recognise the full extent of Labour’s failure at the last election. She has largely ignored Brexit during her campaign – instead getting bogged down over issues relating to trans-gender rights – something which effects a tiny percentage of the population.

All of this fundamentally paints a picture that with Boris Johnson looking solid on his promise to get Britain out of the EU, the Labour Party has no real answer to his popularity and electoral success. Lisa Nandy could potentially set Labour on the right path back towards power, but the membership are not interested in listening to the campaign she is putting forward at the moment.

Meanwhile, with the Leadership election not scheduled to finish until April 2nd, Labour’s electoral popularity continues to plummet, and leaked internal memos show the Party is expecting to suffer one of its worst ever results in the upcoming local elections on May 11th. One thing is certain, whoever wins this Leadership election will have a mountain to climb before they even stand a chance of getting anywhere near Number 10.

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