Is the Jon Cruddas Wagon about to Roll?

Is the Jon Cruddas Wagon about to Roll?

Expectations of a Leadership Bid launch next week



A further development in the Labour leadership campaign this evening to add to David Miliband’s earlier announcement is that Jon Cruddas seems very likely to stand, having apparently told the Compass Group that the party needs a new direction.  Paul Waugh has tweeted to expect an announcement of a leadership bid next week.

Cruddas stood for the Deputy Leadership 3 years ago as a voice from outside the elite and of the members.  He polled strongly in the first round but didn’t do particularly well picking up transfers - but that was when Labour was in power.  It’s possible that things might be different now, especially with an expectation of a 5-year parliament.  One precedent might be 1983, when Neil Kinnock – a man without previous government experience – was elected leader to succeed Michael Foot.

If Cruddas does get the early momentum from the left, it might prevent other potentially spoiling candidates joining the fray.  One reason that Brown got his free run is that Meacher and McDonnell got in each other’s way and in the end neither was able to get the nominations.  By announcing early, he may have sidestepped that pitfall.

Could he win it?  I’m doubtful.  It seems too big a step for an electoral college which has traditionally favoured favourties.  Even Neil Kinnock had been a Shadow Cabinet member before being elected leader.  His bid also remains little more than rumours at the moment.  Still, he may well be the only candidate who marks a definate break from the New Labour years and the 25/1 offered by Stan James doesn’t look bad value.

David Herdson

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