With Truss fuelling poverty and inequality, Starmer needs to show he’s ready for a titanic battle. He could win like Blair, or lose like Kinnock
For Labour opposition leaders, knowing that success is a possibility can be the trickiest stage of all. Tony Blair, in the final months before he won power, was famously described as like a man carrying a priceless vase across a slippery floor. For a party that loses more general elections than it wins, and yet is often ahead in the polls, holding a brittle supremacy over the Tories is a familiar feeling.
In one sense, Keir Starmer is carrying a smaller vase than Blair was. Few expect him to win by a landslide. And yet the floor he needs to cross is wider: the next election might not be for two years. Even Labour becoming the largest party in a hung parliament, and thus Starmer the probable head of a coalition government, would be quite an achievement given the current Conservative majority and the onslaught from them and their press allies that is likely to come.
Andy Beckett is a Guardian columnist