Nominations Close; Three Candidates for DLP Leader

Sanctus – There are to be three candidates to replace outgoing Democratic Left Party leader Charlene Hendry, the party’s central board announced today at 12:30pm. Culture Secretary Amanda Thomas, Sooma MP Nicola Allman, and Sanctus City Councillor Ethan Ringrose all attained the requisite nominations to contest the leadership election.

The nominations period was a cordial one, with nominees refraining from commenting on their competitors until the full field was known. The period was noted more for who wasn’t running, rather than who was; journalists and commentators were all surprised when big names, and favourites, like Homeland Security Secretary Kathryn Stewart, and Vice Chancellor and Treasury Secretary Niamh Winters declined to run.

As expected, however, the field is essentially moderates v. socialists, as DLP leadership elections always have been. Recent polling of DLP members suggests that Thomas is currently leading the pack, at 42%, with Ringrose just behind at 35%. Backbench MP Nicola Allman trails far behind at 15%, with the remainder being don’t knows/no preferences. Hustings will begin next week, though no candidate has yet committed to televised debates; Allman’s camp is eager for televised debates, likely to increase her profile, but both the Ringrose and Thomas campaigns are less enthused with the idea – their argument is that the party leadership is only open to DLP voters, and whoever wins will have public, televised debates during the upcoming general election campaign in December, and they don’t want voters to have debate fatigue.

DLP sources have suggested that, over the coming weeks, it’s possible that Allman will strike a deal with either Ringrose or Thomas to drop out in exchange for a cabinet position should the DLP be returned to government. Though she remains relatively unknown to many, those who do know Allman in parliament tell this paper that her stated ambition has always to be Foreign Secretary, and not necessarily Chancellor. While it is unlikely she would be selected as DLP leader, it remains equally unlikely that the successful candidate, if elected Chancellor, would appoint her to one of the most prestigious and important cabinet positions with no prior experience in either cabinet, or shadowing the post in opposition.

JOEY SESSIONS, Political Editor

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