Monday, 18 July 2016

Labour unity

On the face of it, the decision by the parliamentary Labour party to stage a hustings to select one candidate to challenge Jeremy Corbyn is bizarre. Voting by the alternative vote system is now well-established and there is therefore no danger of vote-splitting. Jonathan Calder suggests one possible reason - Labour contests can get personal and nasty, and the results will not play well with the voters at large. News media will store up the insults and replay them during a general election campaign.

A more likely explanation is fear by the Eagle camp that Owen Smith will be more attractive to rank-and-file Labour and confidence that she has more supporters in the Westminster village.

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