THE BLOG
09/09/2015 08:04 BST | Updated 09/09/2016 06:12 BST

If You're Undecided in These Final Hours, I Encourage You to Support Andy Burnham

So if you're undecided in these final few hours, I encourage you to support Andy Burnham - the candidate who gives us the best chance of winning the 2020 election with a programme that is true to our Labour values.

I have been watching the leadership election closely since my early favourite candidate left the race. I didn't have a clear preference for Andy, Liz or Yvette and I have been listening carefully to the arguments each of them has been making.

There is a great deal at stake for the party in this election, and it is my view, coming towards the end of the process, that Andy Burnham is the candidate who can unite the Labour Party and lead us to win at the next election. Last night, I sat with dozens of other MPs to phone the people who are still left to vote - and the majority shared my view.

Andy has tapped into something very important in this race; a mood amongst members for Labour to be bold for the challenges ahead. It's a mood reflected in the manifesto that Andy produced which sets out big ideas for education, the economy and social care.

The manifesto also has another key advantage in that it is a programme that can win seats for Labour in London and the South of England. It is a programme that can win hearts and minds and win back trust in the Labour Party on areas like the economy.

Andy has grown in stature in this race and proved his unique ability to unite our Party coming out of it. With Andy, we will be able to move forward united and get on with the vital job of effective opposition.

Just last night, another poll of the wider public by ORB for the Independent showed that Andy is the candidate who will improve our election chances most too. We must win elections for the millions of people who rely on a Labour government.

Why has Andy topped eight of those polls? He's got the quality that every politician wants most - he is clearly in touch with the public and it makes him the strong and passionate communicator we know well.

So if you're undecided in these final few hours, I encourage you to support Andy Burnham - the candidate who gives us the best chance of winning the 2020 election with a programme that is true to our Labour values.

Helen Hayes in the Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood