Labour Leadership Politics Betting – The Final Field

Shadow Brexit Secretary is rightfully election front-runner

Keir Starmer /Shadow Brexit Secretary ©imago images / i Images 08.01.2020

The race to be the new leader of the Labour Party gets underway in earnest today with the winner set to be announced, after a series of votes among the parliamentary Labour Party, in April. There are currently six MPs in line to replace the outgoing Jeremy Corbyn and they’ll be tasked with the job of rebuilding the party after the disaster of last month’s general election.

Sir Keir Starmer 8/11 5/6 8/11
Rebecca Long-Bailey 5/2 5/2 2/1
Lisa Nandy 10/1 10/1 9/1
Jess Phillips 12/1 12/1 14/1
Clive Lewis 25/1 25/1 33/1
Emily Thornberry 50/1 80/1 50/1

(Betting Odds were taken from Bet365, Paddy Power & William Hill on January 7, 2019 at 10:13)

The Final Six

Sir Keir Starmer: Shadow Brexit Secretary and MP for Holborn and St Pancras. Hopes to pick up pro-Corbyn votes among the Labour leadership by aligning himself to the left of the party but wants to reel in the radicals who have pushed the party away from the centre ground in recent years. Remains committed to Corbyn’s plan for a green new deal to tackle the climate crisis. Has accepted that Brexit will now happen but wants Britain to maintain close international links with all former and future trading partners – 5/6 with Paddy Power.

Rebecca Long-Bailey: Has the backing of the current Labour leader and the party’s far left. The Salford and Eccles MP and Shadow Business Secretary did not push a pro-remain Brexit agenda and has not spoken openly on the subject since the election. A strong supporter of the unions, she is guaranteed to get plenty of votes initially at least – 3/1 with 888sport.

Lisa Nandy: The Wigan MP did not agree with Labour’s eventual election promise to hold a second EU referendum but wanted to fight for a ‘softer’ Brexit than that pursued by the government and far right. She’s not an extremist by any means but she has been quoted as saying Labour must not stray far from the Corbyn-era radicalism – a general 10/1.

Jess Phillips: Often outspoken backbencher. The Birmingham Yardley MP is a vociferous and often passionate critic of Boris Johnson and the Conservatives and can hold her own in a debate. But she has also targeted the Labour leadership in the past and that may cost her in the long run, though her views on climate change and Donald Trump will resonate – a best 14/1.

Clive Lewis: A relative latecomer to the leadership contest. The 48-year-old Norwich MP is an outspoken pro-remain member of the parliamentary Labour party. He has had his differences with the current leadership and wants the party to work with the Greens to formulate a credible action plan on climate change – a general 33/1.

Emily Thornberry: The Shadow Foreign Secretary since 2016 and and outspoken critic of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. Was among Corbyn’s inner circle and that may lose her a few votes, though was very critical of Labour’s election manifesto which she thought was unrealistic and too vague. Looks to be in direct competition with Rebecca Long-Bailey and is probably less electable – 80/1 with Paddy Power.

Betting Analysis

Labour members and MPs have a choice between sticking with the policies of the hard-left and likely further time in exile, or drifting back towards the centre and making inroads back into their former heartlands.
Four of the candidates for Labour Party leader are women but the cause of female MPs was done serious harm by the catastrophic years of Theresa May as PM. Though she was a Conservative, voters of both sexes may be reluctant to put another woman into a position of power so soon. That’s not sexism, just reality, much as it grieves to say so.
Keir Starmer seems level-headed, is highly intelligent and researches his facts. Labour could do a lot worse than have the 57-year-old as their new leader but the odds reflect that fact.