Editor’s Letter

Plenty of positives for Labour – but where does the party go from here?

New polling has certainly put a spring in the step of the opposition, writes Chris Stevenson

<p>Party leader Keir Starmer has been talking strategy with Barack Obama</p>

Party leader Keir Starmer has been talking strategy with Barack Obama

As the scandal over Christmas parties continues to engulf Boris Johnson and Downing Street, some of the latest polling shows that Labour continues to make gains. An Opinium poll has Keir Starmer's party holding a 9 percentage point lead over the Conservatives – 41 per cent (+3 from the last equivalent poll) to 32 per cent (-4).

Starmer has clearly found a line that resonates with the voters – "one rule for them, one rule for everyone else" – with our letters mailbag in recent days full of readers taking the exact same stance. Whether this recent increase in support will continue is open to question – and it is always best to point out this is just one poll (although the trend is definitely for Labour for to making ground across a number of recent polls).

Which is why I read with interest the news that Starmer and the new shadow foreign secretary David Lammy held two hours of private talks with former US president Barack Obama last week about how centre-left parties can return to power. “It really is about how progressive parties win and how Labour can fight back in an environment where our opponents have 10-to-one more funds than us,” Lammy said of the discussions.

Obama is obviously still an incredibly recognisable figure and there is no doubt much to learn from a man who resided in the White House for two terms – I wonder what the Labour frontbench will do with the information from the discussions?

It is certainly a more positive position for the party than we have seen at other points over the last 18 months, with readers often lamenting in their correspondence that Labour hasn't always pushed as hard as it could over the conduct of the government during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I'd be interested in hearing your views on the matter.

Yours,

Chris Stevenson

Voices editor

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