At the moment, the race really does seem too close to call. But it is just worth reflecting for a second how crucial the new leader’s first few weeks will be. 3 days after the result is announced, the leader will need to give the leader’s speech at conference. Then just over three weeks later, he’ll have to determine Labour’s response to the most important spending review in a generation.
One Tory who was part of the Cameron circle in the early days think that Labour is throwing its new leader a hospital pass. His view is that any new party leader needs some space to experiment and that the conference speech and the spending review will mean that whoever wins the Labour contest won’t have that. Instead, they’ll have to make decisions within that first month that will restrict their political freedom of movement for the next four and a bit years.