Latest News and Odds for the next Leader of the Labour Party
January 8, 2020
The list of contenders to be the next Leader of the Labour Party was completed yesterday with Rebecca Long-Bailey throwing her hat into the ring. The 40-year-old MP for Salford & Eccles, who is also Shadow Business Secretary, announced her candidature in the veteran socialist magazine, the Tribune, and has asserted that she is “not anybody’s continuity candidate”. However, it is clear that she endorses the party’s policies presented to the public during the December General Election, blaming the disastrous results on a failure of strategy rather than substance. She considers current Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a “ten out of ten” politician and her loyal support of the MP for Islington North will undoubtedly reel in votes from many hard-core socialist MPs and then, later in the election process, trade unions and affiliates and the party members. Bookmaker SkyBet offers odds of 11/4 that Rebecca Long-Bailey will be the next Labour Party leader.
However, Keir Starmer, the 57-year old MP for Holborn and St Pancras and Shadow Brexit Secretary, remains favourite to be the next Leader with Coral and William Hill offering best current odds of 5/6 to secure the support of at least 22 MPs or MEPs by next week. Keir Starmer already has 23 MPs who support him, way ahead of Rebecca Long-Bailey who has just 7 at the moment.
Jess Philllips, the straight-talking 38-year-old MP for Birmingham Yardley, says “Politics needs honest voices” and, talking about the General Election defeat, asserts that “Trying to please everyone usually means we have pleased no-one”. Her positive vision to bring back the working class voters into the Labour fold has some support within the Parliamentary party. Bookmaker Betfred offers odds of 14/1 that she will be the next Leader and certainly, she is expected to receive sufficient nominations to advance to the next stage of the leadership selection process.
Lisa Nandy, the 40-year-old MP for Wigan, has shot up from being a rank outsider to a real contender, with bookmaker Marathonbet offering odds of 6/1. She greatly impressed many of her fellow MP’s at the recent hustings where all candidates made their pitch for votes, and her position at the middle of the party could well appeal to voters in the future. She may receive sufficient nominations to progress but will need to improve her name-recognition within the party as a whole to have any realistic chance of becoming the next Leader of the Labour party.
The betting odds offered on the final two contenders indicate that their chances of progressing forward to the next stage in the contest are slight indeed. Emily Thornberry, 59-year-old MP for Islington South & Finsbury, had at one point been hailed as an obvious choice for Leader but her support has slipped away and the Shadow First Secretary of State is considered a 100/1 outsider by bookie Ladbrokes. Clive Lewis, the 49-year-old MP for Norwich South is similarly not fancied, with odds of 40/1 from bookmaker William Hill.
Former Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, who served under Labour leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, has issued the party with the bleak message that a continuity candidate would represent a “collective suicide note” for the Labour party. The choice of the new Labour Party leader will be vital to reposition the party and the winning candidate – to be announced on 4 April – undoubtedly has a major challenge ahead to regain the trust of the electorate of the United Kingdom.