is similar to yours, so I won't repeat. The field is better than 2015 (Corbyn vs 3 New Labour types with little new to say), but the worry is that they are pulling their punches at the moment and tring not to upset potential party voters. This is a problem because the defeat was heavy and the challenge huge. Itís a pity that the hustings donít have real voters.
The letís not rock the boat tendency has particularly affected Starmer, who wants a boad coalition of support. He is very capable and would be able to rebuild trust with some lost voters (I donít think the remain/leave thing will be a major barrier).
RLB is at the more competent end of the Corbyn spectrum, but thatís not saying much. She is clearly floundering, with no consistent theme or approach. She was groomed to take over the Corbyb mantle and has discovered that a lot of the membership have moved on. The Corbynites know she is lightweight, henmce them fishing around for other candidates (Lavery, Burgon etc).
Thornberry is experienced, a good speaker and performer, but those who want a soft left alternative to RLB have for the moment moved behind Starmer/. She wonít get on the ballot.
Which leaves Nandy. In my view she is the smartest, articulate, from what is left of the red wall and has the nearest to a Ďbusiness as usualí will not cut it approach. She is starting from a position where she is less known than the other three, which may prove too hard to overcome, but she is already on the ballot and has momentum (if not Momentum).
I will be voting Nandy1, Starmer 2, but expecting the latter to win.
Won't do this as a poll but would be interested to get views on what people think of the 4 remaining candidates.
Whatever your politics (I know this place is often regarded as left-leaning, but I think there is a wider range than sometimes perceived) what do you think of them and who (if any) do you think stands the best chance of improving Labour's electoral chances?
My thoughts for what they're worth -
Starmer - for some, the obvious choice with his successful career outside of politics. Has the intellect and the gravitas, he probably looks the most "Prime Ministerial" if that's still a thing. Downsides though - easily cast as a metropolitan Remain type. Maybe lacking a bit of the sparkle and charisma that people expect in a leader, can come across a bit stiff and formal at times.
Nandy - see she has just got onto the final ballot today, ahead of Long-Bailey which is somewhat surprising. Seems to be doing well though, beginning to develop something of a calm and assertive style under questioning. Northern MP who stuck to her guns in terms of respecting the Leave vote. She is relatively unknown and way back in the polling but could easily start to build some momentum (no pun intended). Again, she maybe hasn't got the big, bold personality some may want, can't see her making any grandiose, tub-thumping speeches to packed audiences but given the chance, she might just turn out to be a sober, competent and inclusive figure who people warm to over time. Not too close to any particular faction in the party (though the die-hard Corbynites won't be backing her!).
Long-Bailey - I just don't see what qualifies her to be leader of one of the largest political parties in Europe. She's intelligent and seems a decent person but I haven't seen anything that makes me think she could overcome the huge challenges ahead, not least that large sections of the party (not to mention the media) will take against her from the start due to the Momentum/Corbyn association. Just seems too lightweight to be able to bridge the huge divide. She will get a high percentage of the vote though, I am pretty sure of that due to her position on the political spectrum within the party so has to be viewed as a serious contender.
Thornberry - possibly the biggest personality of the four. She'd be up for the fight and has a good legal mind like Starmer but rightly or wrongly, there's this perception that she is disdainful towards the working class in general and Leave voters in particular. Just feel she'd be too abrasive and, as leader, would maybe lack the broad appeal the party needs.
That's my two cents. I've been leaning towards Starmer myself but Nandy has impressed me so far. Still quite a way to go so I'll see what they all have to say for themselves before deciding. Even if you have no time for Labour and none of the above would induce you to give them your vote, it would be good to get your take on it.