— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) November 24, 2015
Expect big things for Jim McMahon OBE if he wins the by-election
One thing that’s puzzled me about the Oldham by-election is why the leader of Oldham council put himself forward as candidate. He’s already a big figure within the party and, indeed, was being widely tipped as a serious contender for the second biggest elected post in England after the Mayor of London.
This is, of course, the elected mayoralty of new greater Manchester authority – the heart of George Osborne’s so called Northern Powerhouse. Whoever gets that will have a massive job and a huge amount of personal power. By comparison the role of a back bench opposition MP will seem rather small.
I cannot believe that the bright and resourceful Mr McMahon has not thought that one through and that he’s seen an opportunity for himself in moving his ambition from a regional to a national level.
It is not as though the current crop of LAB MPs contains many really talented people with leadership potential. That was, after all, the reason why Corbyn stood out in the summer contest. The pool of available top level talent in the party is so small.
One thing that those who’ve observed him during this campaign have commented on is how able he is and what a good candidate LAB has. He’s personable, articulate and engaging. He’s also said to have a real presence and he’s still in his mid-30s.
He could be a good long shot bet as Corbynâ€™s successor.