Rushanara Ali stepped out of the race to allow other candidates a chance to make the ballot.
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From a two-horse race to a free-for-all: what does it mean for the deputy leadership race?

The Labour deputy leadership race has gone from a foregone conclusion to a free-for-all. How did it happen?

With 25 minutes to go, the deputy leadership election was a two-horse race. Stella Creasy had just five names to go, but just nineteen MPs were left to nominate. Angela Eagle was nine short, Ben Bradshaw 10 short, Rushanara Ali short by 11. All were mathematically in reach, but in the words of one insider "no hope at all now". 

Then Ali changed everything. "Rushanara deserves a huge amount of credit," said Chuka Umunna, who switched his nomination from Ali to Creasy after the former dropped out to allow the other candidates to make the ballot.

More impressively still, she didn't, in the words of one Bradshaw supporter "slink off and lick her wounds": Ali and her supporters roamed the chamber searching for colleagues to get Bradshaw, Eagle and Creasy on the ballot. Supporters of other candidates also leant their nominations. Ivan Lewis, who is supporting Caroline Flint, gave his nomination to Creasy, saying it would have been "impossible to justify preventing Stella from putting her case to Labour Party members". 

A field of two is now a field of five. The preferential voting system makes it all but impossible to predict who will win, but Ali, who will not be in the race, has likely already done enough to secure a return to the frontbench when the new leader takes office. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.

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“Trembling, shaking / Oh, my heart is aching”: the EU out campaign song will give you chills

But not in a good way.

You know the story. Some old guys with vague dreams of empire want Britain to leave the European Union. They’ve been kicking up such a big fuss over the past few years that the government is letting the public decide.

And what is it that sways a largely politically indifferent electorate? Strikes hope in their hearts for a mildly less bureaucratic yet dangerously human rights-free future? An anthem, of course!

Originally by Carly You’re so Vain Simon, this is the song the Leave.EU campaign (Nigel Farage’s chosen group) has chosen. It is performed by the singer Antonia Suñer, for whom freedom from the technofederalists couldn’t come any suñer.

Here are the lyrics, of which your mole has done a close reading. But essentially it’s just nature imagery with fascist undertones and some heartburn.

"Let the river run

"Let all the dreamers

"Wake the nation.

"Come, the new Jerusalem."

Don’t use a river metaphor in anything political, unless you actively want to evoke Enoch Powell. Also, Jerusalem? That’s a bit... strong, isn’t it? Heavy connotations of being a little bit too Englandy.

"Silver cities rise,

"The morning lights,

"The streets that meet them,

"And sirens call them on

"With a song."

Sirens and streets. Doesn’t sound like a wholly un-authoritarian view of the UK’s EU-free future to me.

"It’s asking for the taking,

"Trembling, shaking,

"Oh, my heart is aching."

A reference to the elderly nature of many of the UK’s eurosceptics, perhaps?

"We’re coming to the edge,

"Running on the water,

"Coming through the fog,

"Your sons and daughters."

I feel like this is something to do with the hosepipe ban.

"We the great and small,

"Stand on a star,

"And blaze a trail of desire,

"Through the dark’ning dawn."

Everyone will have to speak this kind of English in the new Jerusalem, m'lady, oft with shorten’d words which will leave you feeling cringéd.

"It’s asking for the taking.

"Come run with me now,

"The sky is the colour of blue,

"You’ve never even seen,

"In the eyes of your lover."

I think this means: no one has ever loved anyone with the same colour eyes as the EU flag.

I'm a mole, innit.