The poor gallery journos. They’ve got to turnout copy each and every day on the Labour leadership race but, well, not that much actually happens. The contenders have laid out their pitches and, now, they’re going around repeating it to members. So, there’s a lot of story invention: ‘twitter rows’ that aren’t, ‘momentum’ stories based on nothing, ‘gaffes’ that ain’t. The latest is the idea of Jones winning, which, funnily enough was also the media jocks’ first idea, which they got bored of for a week.
OK, yes, 2 years ago when the media was bored with the two real candidates and clamoured for the outsider instead, they got what they wanted. Shearer. That won’t happen again. First, members and workers aren’t as stupid or media-driven as caucus. Second, anyone with any brains will have noticed that a number of rightwing pundits are saying that ‘Jones would be the smart choice, but Labour won’t go there’, which is the most transparent bluff in history. Third, there’s an object lesson in why not to listen to the media jocks when they tell you who should lead your party. He’s called Shearer.
Regardless of all that, here’s why it’s pointless even talking about Jones winning. He has, maybe, 4 votes from his caucus colleagues. That means of the 40% up for grabs from caucus, Jones has 5%. That means he has to win more than 45% from the remaining 60% held by the members and the unions. Who thinks that Jones is going to win three-quarters of the members’ votes, let alone the unions’? Yeah, nah.
Even to come second, and so theoretically have a chance of getting through with the second preferences, Jones would need a majority or there abouts from the members and unions. It’s just not going to happen.
Don’t expect the journos to come back to Earth, though. They need a story. A bit of suspense. And they’re very, very willing to listen to clueless righties who imagine they know something about Labour.