It is understandable that every Labour MP, MEP, councillor, activist, member and supporter will have severe concerns that the party will lose the next General Election, and that much hangs on what Gordon Brown and the new deputy leader do over a maximum of 30 months. That said it is equally understandable that the main issue that the contenders (pictured) for deputy talk about the election, in particualrly arguing why they are the right person to bring all factions and strands of thinking within the party together and reconnect with the electorate.
But is this the wrong message to use to establish a reconnection. Voters are familiar with all the contenders, to some extent at least, but may not know much about them. The lack of baggage is an opportunity for them to position themselves as the new part of the package that will lead the government. On the this basis talking purely about the election and not their vision for government may offer the wrong impression: "all they are after is an election victory so which of them would make the best salesman" could be the first thought. Sadly, despite other issues beign raised by the contenders, they prioritise how they can help Labour win again and the media focus on that part of their message, so the ordinary voters may form a negative perception of the new deputy from day one!