How Joe Biden Could Offer Keir Starmer A 'Template' To Win

Ned Simons
·2-min read

“Look what happens when the Labour Party moves so, so far to the left,” Joe Biden said following Jeremy Corbyn’s election defeat in 2019.

Democrats in the centre of the party seized on Labour’s loss to Boris Johnson as proof Bernie Sanders could not beat Donald Trump.

One year on, Biden is on the verge of capturing the White House having staged a dramatic comeback against the Democratic left in the primaries.

Now the lessons are flowing the other way across the Atlantic, says YouGov’s Marcus Roberts. The pollster’s director of international projects says the former vice president is offering Keir Starmer a “template” of how to win.

“Lesson number one is the candidate is the centre of gravity,” he says. “You need to be ahead on favourability, ahead on approval numbers, whether that’s best PM or best president. If your candidate leads on those things, that can buy you the space for lesson number two, which is policy can be radical if the candidate is reassuring.

“Biden is running on the most progressive and liberal platform that the Democrats have had since FDR, or potentially ever,” he says. “However everything about him screams normalcy.

“He is there as the guarantor that nothing crazy is going to happen in America after the Democrats are elected — even as he is proposing some of the most far reaching economic and social reforms the country has ever seen.”

Roberts, who has worked for both Labour and the Democrats, sees a “lot of parallels” in personal style between Biden and Starmer. “They are not fire-breathers, they don’t naturally energise and inspire their party’s bases, but they do speak to the common sense values of the mainstream of their nations.”

The third lesson Roberts says the Democrats can teach Labour, is that if they win it will be because the Biden campaign correctly identified the “blue-collar Trump/Obama voters as the most important voters in the election”.

“If Starmer wins it’s because...

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