Events overtake prediction

One of the problems of a deadline several days in advance of publication and even longer before what’s written is read is that events can overtake predictions.

So it was with Jane Clifton’s post-election postmortem in the Listener in which she writes of Labour’s leadership contest:

As has been wittily remarked, it’s a case of too many Davids and not a single Goliath. Although it’s true the biblical David was the winner, as yet none of the three –  Parker, Cunliffe or Shearer – shows signs of having a magic slingshot. If, as appears most likely, David Parker gets the job . . .

Sometime between Clifton’s deadline and publication Parker announced he was pulling out of the race.

I must admit my political bias made me hope he’d become the leader.

There is nothing to stop a list MP becoming Prime Minister. But a man who lost a seat after one term, was rejected even more firmly in the next election then managed to gain only 3,751 votes out of the 36,929 cast in this one would have had to work very hard to broaden his appeal with the electorate.

Today we’ll find out which of the other Davids will get the job.

Given the difficulty the both appear to be having to convince both caucus and the wider party membership to reach consensus on which it should be and the challenges facing the party, the winner might find this was the contest to lose anyway.

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