In the end it was all a bit down beat. The Labour Party announced at 10:45 a.m. that Starmer had become the next leader at having secured 56% of the votes in the first round thus easily beating Rebecca Long Bailey and Lisa Nandy. As expected Angela Rayner has won the deputy race
But instead of making a victory speech to a packed special conference as had been planned the party issued a short video statement from Starmer he had prepared earlier. This was of course, was down to the coronavirus pandemic which meant that the planned conference that Labour had scheduled for today didn’t take place.
The main surprise was the size of his victory securing more than 3% that the best poll for him suggested that he was going to get and second preferences didn’t in the end need to be brought in.
The question now is whether the new leader will be able to take his strong position in this election to reshape the party to be an effective force that will fight the Tories at the next general election. There’s little doubt that much needs to be done in particular dealing with the charges of antisemitism that has so dogged things for the last 3 years.
It is perhaps worth reminding ourselves that LAB leaders, other than Blair, have struggled at general elections. Only five times in the party’s entire history has it won a sustainable working majority and three of those were under Blair.