• Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Lisa Nandy: ‘a sense of hope and ambition’

ByAlex Hendy

Feb 3, 2020

Young, energetic, and with a Northern accent, Lisa Nandy is poised to be the effective messenger that Jeremy Corbyn was not. The outcome of the next election will depend on two things. First, the ability of Labour to prosecute the case that Boris Johnson has betrayed the British people, bringing disaffected Labour voters back home. Nandy, a great communicator, has it well within her ability to make plain the callousness and apathy that a Tory government will inevitably have at its core. Second, the leader must retain the enthusiasm of the millennials whom Corbyn was able to energise. A woman of colour who speaks with authenticity, will be able to retain the eagerness and zeal of the young voters that almost lead to a Labour victory in 2017. To cement Labour’s advantage amongst the young will lead to a new generation of Labour voters. This won’t cancel out the Tories’ advantages of favourable media coverage or wealthy donors, but it will start levelling the playing field.

Be mute the tongue that endorses the dire prospect of a Londoner Labour Leader. Labour will not regain its position by furthering the nocuous narrative that it’s the party of out-of-touch elites and ‘champagne socialists’. Entertain the prospect that a candidate who grew up in Manchester, studied at Newcastle and represents Wigan might actually be more relatable to the ‘red wall’ constituencies than a London MP whose furthest venture north was Oxford or Cambridge University.
Cut to the night of December 12th: Labour endures severe losses in the leave-voting seats of the North. Yet, Wigan stands out; re-electing Nandy. This prowess at the ballot box evidences her canny, electioneering instincts. Labour MPs, knowing her record, will rally behind her, trusting that she will provide stable leadership. Party unity will in turn lead to coherent policy and messaging.

It is basically verboten to attribute importance to the way a candidate talks or looks; these crucial traits continue to be covered by innuendo-talk of ‘brand’ and ‘feel’. And yet, this is crucial to a messenger’s success. Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn were hobbled by their lack of chutzpah and oratory finesse; this is Nandy’s greatest strength. Speaking, she comes across as down-to-earth and relatable but leaves you with a sense of hope and ambition. By building a coalition of millennials and ‘Red Wall’ voters, Lisa Nandy will surge into Downing Street like no other.


Image: NCVO London via Flickr