The majority of the panel predict that Jon Cruddas will stroll in if he stands. Across the ideological spectrum, there’s a sense that Tony McNulty and Liam Byrne are also likely to make the cut. On the left, there is a strong expectation that Peter Hain, the blogging Cabinet Office Minister Tom Watson and Sadiq Khan, who was named newcomer of the year at The Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards in 2005 but later ran into controversy over the bugging of a conversation between him and Babar Ahmed, will also win promotion to the top table.
Of the current Cabinet, a majority believe that Shaun Woodward will not win election if he stands. There’s also a view on the left that John Hutton, Geoff Hoon and Paul Murphy will struggle to achieve the necessary support.
One consequence of electing the shadow Cabinet is that as it becomes increasingly likely that Labour will be sent into opposition by the electorate, pleasing the PLP selectorate is going to become more and more important to those Labour Cabinet Ministers and MPs who want to be on the frontline in opposition. It is yet another factor that is going to put a strain on the discipline and unity of the PLP.