Labour leadership odds

William Hill are offering odds on the next leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party. At time of posting, Gordon Brown is the odds-on favourite (something like ten to one on) to win leader, but the next closest at six to one is John Reid. I am not enamoured by the latter possibility. The next person, David Miliband, is an outsider at 26.

More interesting is the deputy leadership race. At time of posting, the top two candidates are Benn and Cruddas, at 4.5 and 5.5 respectively. Hain and Johnson are at seven, Harman at eight and Blears and David Miliband at nine. There's then a jump to Jack Straw at fifteen.

Unsuprisingly, Brown is the odds-on favourite for leader. Odds aren't even offered for McDonnell (bit strange, as they're offering odds on people who have said they're not standing). The race for deputy, though, is rather more interesting. Aside from the jokes about Benn running for deputy leader, there's a genuine chance that Cruddas might win. I rather hope so; the ideas of not being the deputy prime minister and regenerating the party are attractive. The ideas for regeneration are strong and not the veneer that comes out of high command from time to time. Equally, Hain, Johnson, Blears and Miliband are contenders.

When I ran (unsuccessfully) for General Secretary of the LSE Students' Union, I published a manifesto. Unfortunately, as I was doubting it at the time, I published a rapidly revised version that was more 'user-friendly' and less of an argument for a case. I wish I'd gone for the unrevised version (amongst many other things, not least using the picture I used for my unsuccessful Education & Welfare race the following year instead of El Dave, the logo on this blog), particularly as I was never going to win. That is increasingly making me lean towards Cruddas; yes, the policies are important, but to develop policies that work we need to be properly plugged into our areas and they have to be policies that members want to promote, in part because they feel they've had a genuine contribution to their creation. The process matters as well as the outcome.

Not least amongst these are problems with the Labour Supporters' Network. This will aggravate the problem by making people feel even more of a disconnect - no voting powers, for instance - and is controlled from the centre. When one considers the idea of primaries that has been bandied around, it's hard not to see a desire for Labour to become a cadre party. Not only would this be bad for Labour, it'd be bad for democracy in Britain.

As to the others, I don't know what they stand for in terms of this election. I've heard Peter Hain (who I think has done a good job at Northern Ireland) called opportunist. Perhaps, but I think he might pick up on a similar feeling within the party. As has been reported, Hain is courting unions and the left; he does have a background as an anti-apartheid campaigner and so on.

We live, as they say, in interesting times.



Links to this post:

Create a Link


Click here for my Blogger profile


Ubuntu - linux for human beings

Firefox 2

Add to Technorati Favorites

Locations of visitors to this page

Powered by Blogger

Click here to find out why.

  • Atom RSS Feed

recent posts


friends' blogs


political blogs


blogs i like


photography blogs




political tools




sadly gone