Photo: Bloomberg The UK Labour Party will announce its new leader today, following a vote among party members that began
The UK Labour Party will announce its new leader today, following a vote among party members that began in February.
When voting closed on Thursday, Sir Keir Starmer, a critic of former leader Jeremy Corbyn, was reported to be the frontrunner for the position. Starmer has been broadly considered the favourite from the onset, in part due to his bold anti-Brexit stance and support for social and climate justice. If Starmer wins, he will focus on uniting the diverse bases of the Labour Party, including working class towns alienated by Corbyn’s stringent leftism promoted at December’s election.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the vote out of the spotlight in the UK, providing the Labour Party with an opportunity to redefine its platform as the major opposition party to Boris Johnson’s Tory government.
The Conservatives’ failed “herd immunity” strategy—responsible for a slow initial response to the virus—and low daily testing will certainly come under fire. However, Labour’s greatest opportunity may lie in the UK’s increased social spending to fight the epidemic. When the country eventually begins its economic recovery, expect Tories to promote sharp reductions in government spending to reduce its budget deficit. This may push many working class and rural voters to Labour in the 2024 election.
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