Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Poll: who should be Labour's new deputy?

Amid all the New Year predictions about the political year ahead, perhaps the most uncertainty surrounds the identity of John Prescott's successor as Labour deputy. Unlike the Labour leadership, it's a genuinely open race, with Jon Cruddas and Hilary Benn currently heading a field that also includes Alan Johnson, Hazel Blears, Peter Hain and Harriet Harman.

So I thought it was time to introduce a poll which will run for the rest of this month on who it should be. I have also included Jack Straw in the field as he has not ruled out joining the race.

To clarify, I am after views on who you think should get the job, not who you think it will be. I have already nailed my own colours to the mast on the latter point, backing Jon Cruddas in the political forecasting contest.

To vote, click HERE or go to the Current Polls panel in the sidebar.

The result of my first poll, on whether Labour's next leader should call a General Election immediately on taking office, resulted in a surprisingly narrow majority of 54pc saying yes, he should.

Of course, Gordon Brown won't do this, although I don't think it's beyond the bounds of possibility that he might call one in the summer of 2008 after a year in office, once he has had a chance to show the public that he is a real politician with real values and not some manicured PR man.

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GuardianReader said...

A general election in 2008? Why would Gordon do that when he can have at least two if not three years as PM?

Labour have yet to select most of its candidates for the next election, with MPs scrabbling for reselection under the new boundaries, and the retiring MP selections not started.

If I were Gordon, I'd want my people in the right seats, and I'd want them to definitely get elected, so I'd want them to have spent more than a few months in place.

I would expect Gordon to pick his time carefully, but not as early as 2008.

Paul Burgin said...

My vote goes to Hilary Benn, although Jon Cruddas should get some post!

james higham said...

I'd like to know your opinion on this, Paul. Which would you put your money in? Early election?

Paul Linford said...


I have already said who I would put my money on - Jon Cruddas. That doesn't necessarily mean I would vote for him though.

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MorrisOx said...

Whoever ends up deputy it cannot come soon enough. Thee is almost the stench of death about Prescott, while Blair continues his futile jaunts as the play-act PM.

Paul, I think there's more sport in speculating just how deep Broon's clear-out will go.

I stick with my whispers of the Hainster, though the little boy who sometimes disappoints Tony Benn is coming on strong.

RedEye said...

Hilary Benn should get it. He may get it, though Hain and Cruddas seem more likely to.