With Truss in the doldrums, who should Starmer and the Labour Party fear most?

EDITORIAL

SACKING her Chancellor may have bought her a couple of weeks, but even the most pro-Truss analyst would not dare to suggest she will occupy No 10 for the long-term – bar a miraculous political comeback.

With Labour continuing to commandeer a substantial lead in the polls, Keir Starmer will be itching for a General Election – though he won’t dare call for it in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

Should Truss resign and, as has been reported, the Conservative Party carry out a ‘coronation’ style affair to usher in the new Downing Street resident, Labour will face a new opponent – their third in the space of a few months – in a strong position.

But with Sir Keir on top, there’s nothing to lose for any new Prime Minister – and everything to lose for Labour.

Who, then, should the Labour leader fear, if anyone at all?

THE RUMOURED

Rishi Sunak

He may have lost out to Truss with the Tory faithful this summer – but, in an economic sense, everything the former Chancellor and his allies predicted would happen under a Truss government has.

It’s tipped that he and third-placed Penny Mordaunt – an impressive performer in the Commons – are being prepared for a run together.

A smart performer with a solid track record as Chancellor – and recognisable to many – he could give Keir a tough time.

Fear Factor: 8/10

Jeremy Hunt

Some may see Hunt, arguably yesterday’s man, as a human shield for Truss’s reckless economic plans.

But the Sunak backer holds all the cards, and too much leverage over No 10 for the Prime Minister to treat him the same way she did Kwasi Kwarteng. According to Oddschecker, he has the second highest implied probability of becoming PM at around 26 per cent.

He is, perhaps, too similar to Keir in a technocratic sense – and his botched past record gives Labour the edge.

Fear Factor: 5/10

THE LOSERS

Suella Braverman

This weekend The Times reported that Braverman, who makes Priti Patel look like a Corbynite, has been making manouevres to place herself as the candidate of choice for the Tory right.

She did well at conference to put some distance between her and the boss – but Britain may not be ready for her lack of experience.

Having said that, Braverman would likely go all guns blazing on Starmer on cultural and social issues such as the gender debate and migrants. It could help to distract from the economic woes.

Fear Factor: 6/10

Ben Wallace

He didn’t run in summer, so we’ll call that political bottling as opposed to losing.

Wallace is a measured performer and is seen as reliable and loyal – two things the public like.

But there’s no spark that separates him from Starmer – and do Britons want a military man lecturing them?

Fear Factor: 6/10

THE DARK HORSE

Boris Johnson

You knew this was coming.

While David Cameron resigned shortly after stepping down as PM, Johnson has silently remained on the backbenches.

He’s popular with his colleagues and the Tory grassroots.

But should Starmer, who played his easy hand fairly well against Johnson, fear him at all?

Even while down and out, Johnson was an entertainer at the despatch box, and charmed media and the public alike at the worst of times.

But it’s a public which can now see through him. And Starmer will realise that.

Fear Factor: 7/10

Are you?

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Featured Image: UK Parliament @Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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