Following the on-air announcement of Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation of Labour leader by the next general election, the race officially began. Initial contenders included Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Sir Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, but in the few days this has reduced to just Lisa Nandy, Sir Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry and Rebecca Long-Bailey. Clive Lewis withdrew after only securing 5 of the necessary 22 backers needed in order to get his name on the ballot paper on the day of the first cut off. Jess Phillips also quit the race after failing to win the necessary backing from trade unions and local parties to get on the final ballot.
Sir Keir Starmer is the only male in the race, despite being urged to step down by fellow members in order to allow the possibility of Labour’s first female leader, he is still in running for the position. After securing his place on the final ballot paper as a result of nominations from unions Unison and Usdaw, and the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (Sera), an affiliate group, Sir Keir appears to be the frontrunner in the race.
Emily Thornberry now faces the most difficult route in securing her spot into the next round of the leadership race after Lisa Nandy made it onto the final ballot paper after winning the backing of the GMB union, and with Rebecca Long-Bailey due to pick up the support of the major Unite union and become Sir Keir’s main rival in the leadership race.
Voting for the new leader of the Labour Party is set to start on the 21st of February when the ballot opens for registered supporters with the ballot to close on the 2nd of April, and results expected to be announced on Saturday, April 4.