Even to the dimmest of Labour MPs it must now be coming clear than although Sir Keir Starmer is no fool he’s no winner either. And if you wanted proof just look at a new poll showing Labour are 9 points behind the Tories for the post of West Midlands Mayor.
The West Midlands does matter. It embraces the nation’s second city of Birmingham plus Coventry and Wolverhampton. If he can’t win there where can he win.
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The battle for Mayor is between the former managing director of John Lewis Andy Street (he bailed before the company imploded) who squeaked home to be Mayor in 2017 and Liam Byrne, the ex-Labour financial secretary.
He became famous not for his policies but the note he left in his desk for the incoming Tories in 2010 saying; “The money’s all gone.” It was too close to the truth to be a joke. Its hung round his neck ever since.
The poll of 1,000 voters for the firm Redfield and Wilton show the stories on 46% and Labour on 37%. If Byrne failed to win in the upcoming May elections it would be a disaster for Starmer who is facing sniping from the Corbynistas as well as talking behind hands from the Right of his party.
The real issue for any leader of Labour these is why they can no longer be certain of the working class vote. The answer of course is that they have moved on over the last decade.
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Increasingly they work for themselves and on that basis they don’t have the affection for the benefit classes they used to have. Race also plays a problem.
White working class feel too much time is spent worrying about minorities and not enough on their issues. It’s a difficult problem for Starmer as 86% of the voting population is white and 14% of colour.
Unless Starmer creates a new identity for Labour not only will he not win a General Election in 2024 he may not even be the leader when the day comes.
READ MORE: Click here to read more articles from Kelvin MacKenzie