The opposition leader scores well on competence, but that is not enough to win back voters who have no image of the Britain that Labour would build
The day after Keir Starmer was confirmed as Jeremy Corbyn’s successor at the head of the Labour party, Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital with a severe coronavirus infection. What small portion of public attention was available for the new opposition leader vanished.
That accident of timing exacerbated a wider challenge that looks no less formidable as Sir Keir marks the first anniversary of his election. He inherited a shrunken parliamentary party. December 2019 was Labour’s worst result since 1935. The party was debilitated by feuding over the ideology and the character of Mr Corbyn’s leadership. It had no position on Brexit – a failure that expressed a cultural schism between a liberal, pro-European base and traditional heartland seats.