Jeremy on the ballot paper

JCJeremy makes it onto the leadership ballot paper – well done, Mr Corbyn. Whilst I will not be voting for him I do think his presence in the debates is important. The broad church needs a broad debate.

Now that Jeremy is on the ballot paper this opens the possibility that he could win. He appeals to those who want purity in their democratic socialism, and his leadership would signal a leftwards shift. However, even Mr Corbyn must understand the need to embrace the widest electoral reach if he wants to see a Labour Government.

I suspect he will finish fourth. His appeal must broadly inhabit the same area as Diane Abbott, who came fifth (of five) in 2010.

There is a fear, articulated by some on the Twittersphere, that the low bar for having a vote in the leadership contest will encourage entryism. This is feared from two quarters; those Tories who want the least electable leader chosen, and those on the far left who want someone who mirrors their views. I expect that some will register as supporters just do cause mischief, but they will be vastly out-numbered by the quarter of a million genuine Labour Party members.

However, I think the killer argument for the inclusion of Mr Corbyn is that Labour has to broaden its appeal. At a tad over three in ten voters attracted in May we were thumped. We have got to persuade more to back us. Whilst I think that this will largely come from the centre ground, there is a significant number of disaffected lefties who have deserted us to. A leadership debate confined to just Liz, Yvette and Andy does little to encourage these people.

I will argue for a vote for Liz, but I am pleased for Jeremy and his supporters. I will listen to his voice, and will doubtless find much to agree with (I am, after all, a member of both the CLPD and Compass). He will also shift the debate somewhat, and a strong showing by him will mean that a socially progressive agenda remains at the heart of Labour policy.


One Response to Jeremy on the ballot paper

  1. Teresa Merrison says:

    He will get my vote, I have been waiting to find out if he got on the list. The fact he has, done it for me.

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