The numbers are clear: it's between Corbyn and Cooper

Yvette's speech has changed the game - supporters of Andy and Liz must give her their second preferences, says Liam Byrne.


Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

Last week, Yvette delivered an absolute game-changer of a speech in Manchester – and on the phones there’s been a brilliant response. Lots of people have said that they were voting for Jeremy Corbyn BUT are now giving their first preference to Yvette because they want both a radical and credible Labour Prime Minister.

But some people have asked me – especially supporters of the excellent Liz Kendall – if my old mate Andy Burnham goes out firswon’t his second preference votes go to Jeremy – pushing Jeremy into first place??

Well, here’s the facts.

Over the last couple of weeks Yvette’s team has spoken to nearly 2,000 people who said they planned to vote Andy first (and just so you know the team’s surveys have Yvette in front of Andy on first preferences as well – especially in London and the South East where there’s big numbers of Labour members).

But a massive 66 per cent of Andy Burnham supporters said they were giving their second preference to Yvette. Just a tiny 13 per cent said they planned to second preference Jeremy or Liz
What does that mean? It’s simple. When Andy goes out, the overwhelming share of his vote goes to Yvette – putting her clearly on course to beat Jeremy in the final round.

The conclusion: as much as I welcome the way Jeremy has shaken up the policy debate, only Yvette can really best him to become Labour leader – and our next Labour Prime Minister.

So for those of my friends who are voting Liz Kendall – or Andy first, you can be confident about where your second preferences should go.

They need to go to Yvette Cooper.

Liam Byrne is Labour MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill and Shadow Digital Minister. He is the author of Dragons: Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain.