Keir Starmer won because he positioned his candidacy in a way that was likely to appeal to the prevailing mindset of those voting in the election.
To casual observers this will sound like a strategy that is obvious to the point of banality.
However, to plenty of Labour Party members – across the political spectrum – this will sound deeply clandestine.
Such folk would argue that it is morally reprehensible for a candidate to do anything other than make the case for things which they truly believe.
But the fact that Starmer successfully understood what voters wanted – and then aggressively marketed himself on that basis – should give great hope to Labour supporters who believe that in order for the party to achieve positive change they need to be in power.
Keir Starmer worked out the issues that were most important to Labour Party members and campaigned relentlessly on the ones that he could tenably represent: an end to internal disunity whilst continuing the fight against austerity; drawing a line under Brexit whilst remaining compassionate about immigration; promising a new approach whilst respecting the previous regime.
According to Labour’s most electorally successful leader, the party’s path to power is “self-discipline not self-indulgence; listening to what people are truly saying, not hearing only the parts we want to hear”.
So, whilst critics and supporters of other candidates might accuse Starmer of not really standing for anything, the ones who genuinely want the next government to be a Labour one should be comforted by his ability to achieve his goals by understanding the needs of the electorate.