The nominations for the Labour leadership are now closed, leaving us with 5 contenders: Ed Balls, David Miliband, Ed Miliband, Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott. John McDonnell withdrew earlier today and endorsed Diane Abbott, she also recieved a nomination from fellow leadership contender David Miliband.

The latest published polling on public preferences for the Labour leadership were in a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times at the end of last month, which had David Miliband leading on 23%, ahead of Diane Abbott on 9% and Ed Miliband on 8%. Amongst Labour voters, who may or may not be a better reflection of Labour members, David Miliband also led with 34%, ahead of Ed Miliband on 13%, Ed Balls on 10% and Diane Abbott on 7%.

Public preferences of course are largely a matter of recognition – it is worth remembering that in early polls of public prefences in the last Conservative leadership election David Cameron barely registered. What will be more insightful is when we start getting polling of the actual Labour party members and trade unionists who make up the non-Parliamentary part of the electoral college.

479 Responses to “Labour leadership nominations close”

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  1. @ Éoin

    Amber- signs need not be visible for them to be real. If couples who end a relationship have to live under the same roof because they cant sell their home due ot negative equity then thats an issue.

    8-) It is the price we pay for wanting to own our own homes. Responsibilities come with rights, Éoin. 8-)

    If children into their mid twenties still live with their parents and commute to work then that problem is real.

    8-) Lots of children/ parents are happy with this. What is wrong with extended families living together? 8-)

    if parents at the age of 50 have to remortgage their home just to get children onto the property ladder then that problem is real.

    8-) People don’t want everybody to have an absolute right to be part of the property owning class. It is something to aspire to, not be granted as a right. If parents choose to spread the benefit/ debt of being home owners across two generations, that is up to them. 8-)

    If couples have to spend 60% of their monthly income just to pay for their mortgage then that problem is real.

    8-) It depends what their monthly income is. Obviously, if spending 60% of their income on a modest property in a cheap area leaves them short of money for essentials that is not good. If they have chosen to invest in a property that is beyond their means & scrimp to afford it, that is their choice. 8-)

    IF people live in skeletons of homes becasue they would be pointless to furnish them since they’ll be selling up so soon, then for the children of that family- the problem is real.

    8-) I don’t understand this point. Labour passed legislation to prevent people being evicted during this recession. Repossessions have been tiny. 8-)

    If the fabric of a community is broken because the residents rotate so much then the problem is real.

    8-) Yes, where particular communities have social problems, there should be huge efforts to improve that community. You know I believe that very strongly. I applaud the transformation of such areas in Edinburgh. 8-)

    If neighbourhood watch schemes fail, or criminals find it easier to go undetected because the memebrship of an estate is so fluid then that problem is real.

    8-) Again, see what I have said already about communities with social problems. 8-)

    I am disappointed that you do not share these very sad concerns.

    8-) Some of the concerns are sad; those I share. Some are the whinging of people who want a free market in housing until its negative effects come home to roost. They have my sympathy but I am not going to design government policy around them.

    100% state owned housing allocated according to needs – how many people in the UK would vote for that? Huge building programs to provide social housing, paid for by government tax or borrowing – how many people in the UK would vote for that?
    I might wish they would but they won’t. 8-)

    People who rent homes at extortionate prices so some yuppy can impress his firends with a convertible saddens me deeply. I have witnessed every single one of these problems first hand.

    8-) I have too, Éoin. It makes me sad – but it does not make many people in this country sad. Most seem to think: “Well done, Mr(s) Landlord. You are providing housing & making a profit.”

    Even a policy where everybody is handed the keys to a house for free when they reach 21 would not make people happy. There would be constant whinging about how unfair it is that this or that person got a better one than somebody else! 8-)

  2. Woodsman,

    Gee the reds do not like Abbot i see…..

    I did not say I was in favour of Abbot’s decision. I am a parent myself. It is a wonderful privelege, one that makes me smile every day without fail. If Abbot thought that this was the best thing for her son, then I would not criticise her for it. I am not the condemning type. I taught in a wealthy boarding school and felt very sorry for the children. rich kids have just as many problems and challenges to confront as poor kids- they are just different types of problems.

  3. Eoin – It would be irresponsible to elect as leader a candidate who does not have a track record in cabinet/executive positions IMO.

  4. @ Éoin

    Which bit of the Diane Abbott thing don’t you get? She blasted others for getting places at the best state/ state supported faith schools they could find then sent her child to a private, fee paying school.

    This shows Diane cannot empathise with others. She does not understand a situation until it affects her, personally.

    I cannot admire that lack of empathy in a leader. Diane would need to become less judgemental very quickly to succeed as leader.

  5. Eoin, there are good reasons to send some kids to boarding school (not too young if possible) and there is even some provision within state system to do so where it is needed. It was DA on her high horse about other Labour figures who did the same as her that has annoyed people, not that she made her choice. She would not score high on your loyalty scale, but as a backbencher she has her freedom.

  6. DA V DM

    All hypocrisy is equal, but some is obviously more equal than others.

  7. Eoin – I did not say I was in favour of Abbot’s decision.

    My apologies. But your point was on principles and why her decision mattered.

    My point was less on her freedom of choice but more on if you want free education for all to graduate level is she really the right mouthpiece?

    I think DA will bring good dynamics to the debate but I do not think she is likely to prove the best candidate.

  8. @ Sue

    David Miliband has a winning idea with the community activist leaders. My son will apply for the training; as will thousands of others. Maybe they will extend it to 1000 per year if the money can be raised to pay for it. 8-)

  9. Personally, would the loss of Bernie Grant have contributed to a slight loss of focus for DA? He was an inspiration.

  10. I did not find the personality driven commentary of Abbott/Portillo/Neil very constructive

  11. Fascinating hearing peoples views on Diane Abbot. And to think she is a member of the Labour Party eh….

    She was in fourth place on my list of five…. does this now mean she drops one to five? The very thought!

  12. BillyB,

    Experience does matter. It can also hinder but on the whole it is to be preferred. Do you think at 62 will Diane Abbot be too old to contest a GE?

  13. Eoin,My perception of DA is that unlike K Vaz and P Boateng she to forged a path into mainstream media, which is a good thing, but at the expense of a frontline position in her party. Perception counts for a lot and she would now appear to be closer to Portillo and Neil than may of her own party.

  14. Sue Marsh

    “I rejoiced when we found a Campbell to match the Ingham”

    That is where it all went wrong. If the UK breaks up Bernard Ingham wont get his due share of the credit. Historians will blame Thatcher, and she had responsibility, but without BI we would not have begun the slide to sofa government, hymn sheets, PR and the marginalisation of cabinet and parliament resulting in an illegal war and heirs to Blair in all three parties.

    “This is how I see DM as being Blairite, but that doesn’t mean he will go on to support any of the things you dislike so from Blair.”

    If he does, the nationalists will continue to quietly progress in the SP if not at Westminster. For many diappointed people on the left, Blairism started with Formula 1.

    “The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.”

    Julius Ceaser in Act 3, Scene 2.

    Blairism is a tarnished brand image. You need new one.

    DM may not be ideal, but she isn’t a pretty, well mannered 40’ish public school boy in a suit.

    Now I think about it, GB wasn’t such a bad choice.

    What you need is Nicola Sturgeon, but she’s in the SNP an too far on the left for some.

  15. Eoin – Is this a London ting? Do you get her show?

  16. John B,

    It probably is a myth that needs exploding, if it turns out to be the case that Nuu Labour really isnt natural bedfellows for Social Democrats. T’will be very sad indeed but there are parties such as the Greens and SNP that might well prosper

  17. Reading my posts I am not expressing myself well. Along the lines of judging a person by their friends, tracing the trajectory of the original members of Bernie’s black caucus (a Labour achievement?), I would say that it would be as likely, rightly or wrongly, that DA followed the FF path, as that she could be leader.

  18. Billy,

    Yes I know the show. It is on quite late though and besides I am stickler for good manners and the main guy has none. Portillo is a harmless enough creature?

  19. Eoin, It is ok for Andrew and Michael, but for a sitting MP that kind of tittle tattle belongs to the privacy of one’s own kitchen table.

  20. She liked Gordy Brown didnt she? And she loves her child and she is an ethnic minority. That’s three things I have in common with her :) :) She is probably a bit too left for me.

  21. Sue Marsh

    “I would have great difficulty in supporting DA, but not because she is a left wing candidate, simply because I think she is an opportunist, a hypocrite and would be a disastrous leader. ”

    Heir to Blair in a different packaging then?

    How about an oldie with some experience? Vince Cable used to be in the Labour party. He’s not as old Churchill was when he became party leader.

    Or a wee bald fat guy like Alex Salmond, though apart from having several other jobs he’s too far to the left and was thrown out of the SNP once for that reason.

    No, considering image and position in the political spectrum, it should be Angela Merkel.

    Seriously though, this looks like another election where “None of the above” would have a clear majority.

  22. John B,

    Davod made that point and it is difficult to brush it aside. That is not to say they will not grow into the role but you have a point.

    Makes one wonder what country we live in where noone over 50 dare run for the leadership….

  23. Eoin Clarke

    “Makes one wonder what country we live in where noone over 50 dare run for the leadership….”

    At one point we had in office at the same time, (with the ages at which they subsequently retired or died in office): Eisenhower 71; Churchill 75; Tito 80; Adenauer 87; De Gaulle 79; Stalin 75. Mao 83.

    Anyone in the UK today, no currently in employment, and of the age (65) Churchill was when he first became PM would be unlikely to get an interview for a job two levels down frm his previous position.

    You ask why you have to be under 50 for this job.

    Ingham, Campbell, Bell, (see my earlier post) focus groups etc.

    Maybe “Bambi” should come back when he grows up a bit, but not before about 2018.

  24. John B,

    The question is what skills desirous for PMship are lacking in a 40yr old that a 60 yr posesses?


    Tis all very well being a whippersnapper with some radical notion that you have the unique medecinal cure for the nation’s woes….

    but what do ‘we’ all do when it goes horribly wrong?

    Saying that Lord Liverpool was a decent PM- so I guess there are exceptions to the rule..


    Bambi? – he’s past it… his first five year plan got lost in the woods

  25. After working as a research fellow and policy analyst at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) from 1989, DM was appointed Secretary of the IPPR’s Commission on Social Justice (minimum wage etc) in1992 by Labour leader John Smith. Has held positions of reponsibility within party and government uninterruptedly. Ali C calls him “brains”.
    Other references suggest there is not such a clear Blair/Brown split among a grouping that includes Douglas Alelexander, A Burnham, Ed M, Ed B, Yvette C Liam Byrne etc

  26. *also* includes

  27. Eoin Clarke

    “…… there are parties such as the Greens and SNP that might well prosper.”

    With PR, as formerly in Scotland, the Socialists too.

    Their present absence from the parliament is because the party split on personalty issues (Tommy Sheridan was the only one that had a personality) and both groups have given up politics meantime to spend more time with their lawyers.

    The voters know that one lot are perjurers, but they don’t know which.

    Someday the Socialists will be back, but not next year.

    The Greens will have list gains next year at the expense of the SNP restoring their previous position prior to “AS for FM” on the ballot paper. For that reason as much any increasing concern over environmenal
    issues the Greens are on the way up, and are the most attractive option for the disaffected Labour activist who can’t overcome current antipathy for the SNP nor vote LibDem while they are in coalition with the Cons.

    The SNP could split after independence, but then so could Labour. Until then Cons will be toxic as coalition partners unless the Tory right is quiescent for the full duration of this parliament and Margaret Thatcher dies nearer the begininng than the end of it.

    Then Cons could even compete with the Libems to be in coalition with NewLabour, not just the SNP

  28. @Billy Bob – “Private Health: often they take the money and/or mess up and say no more we can do… then it is back to the good old NHS.”

    They also use state trained staff (as do private schools) without paying anything for the substantial cost of training.

    Make em pay – there’s one cost saving idea I would put to GO.

  29. This debate is great. Pretty soon it’s going to be which candidate is ‘least worst’ as leader of the labour party. Reminds me of the dark old days of the Tory leadership elections…….

    maybe EB might just sneak through before anyone realises what has happened……….and all my Xmases will have come at once :-) :-)

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