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8 June 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:18am

Labour leadership update: time for Abbott to step aside?

Calls for her to give way to John McDonell who is leading this lunchtime + UPDATE, 15.20: Harman nom

By James Macintyre

According to the lunchtime leadership nomination figures shown on the Labour Party site, John McDonnell is leading the left-wing charge over Dianne Abott by 15 to nine. This has led some, including the former Labour adviser and now excellent Guardian writer Tom Clark, to call for her to consider her position.

He has just posted on Twitter: “Unless it swaps by this evening, she should step aside.” This view contrasts with that of George Eaton, writing on The Staggers, who has argued that Abbott has more “potential” when it comes to gaining support.

Either way, the real wild-card remains Andy Burnham. “If he gets on, it changes the whole dynamic of the campaign,” says one seasoned Labour figure. But at the time of writing, that still looks unlikely. The smart money is that it will be as it is now: David Miliband v Ed Miliband v Ed Balls.

UPDATE, 15.20: Harriet Harman has nominated Dianne Abbott. This is an attempt to widen the field of candidates and may lead to the late surge that I speculated about here.

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