The race for the next leader of the Labour Party begins today with Salford’s own Rebecca Long-Bailey as one of the final selection.

Only members of the Labour Party are allowed to vote and will face a choice between Long-Bailey and her fellow MPs Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy.

The ballot will be open until April 2, with the winner to be announced two days later.

Starmer is odds on favorite to win after securing the endorsement of Unison and more than half of the constituency parties. Ms Long-Bailey has the backing of some senior party figures and Unite, while Nandy remains the outside candidate.

Members will vote via post or online and choose a candidate using the alternative vote system.

Candidates are ranked in order of preference, as there are more than two candidates the first to reach 50 per cent of the vote is the winner.

If no candidates reach 50 per cent then the one with the fewest first preference votes is knocked out and their votes are reallocated based on the second preferences.

The work that has been done to win the leadership however will be overshadowed by the amount of effort that will have to be put in to get the Labour Party back to where it was in the early Tony Blair era.

He or she will be targeting the next general election, due to take place in May 2024.

The new leader’s priority is expected to be to iron out the divides among the party, including such thorny issues as the divide between left and right wing ideologies and Brexiteers and Remainers.

At the same time they must promise how they plan on rebuilding the Labour that won three consecutive electoral victories, all while convincing members with conflicting ideologies to set aside differences after a disastrous election result.

In addition to this, the new leader must confront the antisemitism that has threatened to destroy the party’s reputation.

On Saturday night the candidates went head to head in Channel 4’s debate, discussing a range of issues including trans rights, antisemitism and cannabis decriminalisation.

According to a poll done by The Express Sir Keir Starmer was victorious in the debate, followed closely by Lisa Nandy with Rebecca Long-Bailey receiving the least votes.

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