The Labour leader could take his party to victory, if only he had a long-term vision

It is easy to overstate Labour’s current woes. Keir Starmer’s personal ratings are better than any Labour leader for more than a decade. Whatever your explanation for the party’s 2019 rout, a formidable challenge confronted anyone who inherited the crown after such a calamitous drubbing, and Starmer’s leadership clawed back a 20-point deficit.

When Jeremy Hunt describes Starmer as the Tories’ biggest threat since Tony Blair, he reflects a genuine nervousness in their ranks. Senior Labour figures believe that the swing voters who serve as kingmakers under our first-past-the-post electoral system remain aggrieved about Jeremy Corbyn and the associated political baggage, but claim that such voters are willing to listen to Starmer. Their firm belief is that Labour’s central task is to rebuild credibility – from a sense of competence to patriotism – before such voters will be prepared to listen to anything the party has to offer.

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