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Chuka Umunna launches his bid for the Labour leadership

Chuka Umunna has launched his campaign for the Labour leadership with a video in Swindon, where the party was defeated by the Conservatives in both seats.

 

North, South, East, West - Labour can and must win in 2020. - C

Posted by Chuka Umunna on Tuesday, 12 May 2015

 

Chuka Umunna has confirmed he will stand for the Labour leadership with a video posted on his Facebook page. Umunna will have a formal launch event at a later date, but has chosen to make his intentions clear while visiting Swindon, where Labour lost heavily to the Conservatives in both Swindon North and Swindon South. 

David Cameron launched the Conservative manifesto in Swindon, and the decision to kick off his campaign in the town underlines Umunna's focus on winning back seats from the Conservatives and securing a Labour majority in England. In the video, the shadow Business Secretary rebuffs the idea that it may take Labour a decade or more to recover from the 2015 defeat, insisting the turnaround can be completed in just five years. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.

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Donald Trump's healthcare failure could be to his advantage

The appearance of weakness is less electorally damaging than actually removing healthcare from millions of people.

Good morning. Is it all over for Donald Trump? His approval ratings have cratered to below 40%. Now his attempt to dismantle Barack Obama's healthcare reforms have hit serious resistance from within the Republican Party, adding to the failures and retreats of his early days in office.

The problem for the GOP is that their opposition to Obamacare had more to do with the word "Obama" than the word "care". The previous President opted for a right-wing solution to the problem of the uninsured in a doomed attempt to secure bipartisan support for his healthcare reform. The politician with the biggest impact on the structures of the Affordable Care Act is Mitt Romney.

But now that the Republicans control all three branches of government they are left in a situation where they have no alternative to Obamacare that wouldn't either a) shred conservative orthodoxies on healthcare or b) create numerous and angry losers in their constituencies. The difficulties for Trump's proposal is that it does a bit of both.

Now the man who ran on his ability to cut a deal has been forced to make a take it or leave plea to Republicans in the House of Representatives: vote for this plan or say goodbye to any chance of repealing Obamacare.

But that's probably good news for Trump. The appearance of weakness and failure is less electorally damaging than actually succeeding in removing healthcare from millions of people, including people who voted for Trump.

Trump won his first term because his own negatives as a candidate weren't quite enough to drag him down on a night when he underperformed Republican candidates across the country. The historical trends all make it hard for a first-term incumbent to lose. So far, Trump's administration is largely being frustrated by the Republican establishment though he is succeeding in leveraging the Presidency for the benefit of his business empire.

But it may be that in the failure to get anything done he succeeds in once again riding Republican coattails to victory in 2020.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.