We need a leader with the broadest appeal

Let’s be honest, anything other than fourth place would be a surprise for Jeremy Corbyn, let alone the wider party. He is getting my fourth spot. This is less for reasons of what he stands for (which is, in my opinion, a rather mixed bag), but because he is the least electable of the four on offer.

It seems that some are convinced that the leadership election somehow writes the 2020 manifesto. It does not – the leader debate is all about who spearheads our 2020 challenge. The leadership election is all about getting the most electable candidate selected.

It is also, should we forget, about who leads HM Opposition. It is about who faces Mr Cameron over the despatch box, who can best hold the Government to account, and who can provide the most credible face to a putative Labour Government.

In many ways what comes out of Liz’s, Yvette’s, Andy’s and Jeremy’s mouth is less important than how it is articulated. We should be looking for the candidate with the broadest appeal. On that criterion alone, Jeremy is fourth.

However, Jeremy has already articulated an important truth – the party needs to become more democratic. Whoever succeeds I hope they will make members more engaged in policy making.

We are picking the glossy jacket cover, and perhaps sketching out a few chapter titles. The contents of the book is what I, and the quarter of a million fellow members of party, will have a hand in writing over the next four years.

We were rejected in 2010 and 2015; those who need a Labour Government on their side cannot afford another rejection in 2020.


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