Both papers note that Benn is running as a “New Labour” candidate. The Independent‘s Andy McSmith, who seems to be being briefed directly by Benn’s campaign, reports that he will “be competing with the Education Secretary Alan Johnson for the “loyalist” vote from those who want the Labour Party to stick to the formula that has won them three general elections.”
McSmith goes on to suggest that Benn believes that Harman and Hain are more critical of the government’s current direction than him but will find their support shifting to Jon Cruddas. This would leave him perfectly placed to pick up the mantle of “next generation” Blairite.
However, the Guardian correctly reports that Dennis Skinner will back Benn – the left-wing MP is likely to surprise many by supporting a Brown-Benn ticket. Benn will have to resolve the tensions inevitable in any coalition that stretches from Dennis Skinner to Denis MacShane.
Whatever your opinion, and The Daily has made clear our own, it’s shaping up to be a fascinating race and we will be reporting the latest and analysing the campaigns throughout.