Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey are favourites to be next Labour leader

Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey are the leading contenders to take over from Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader amid a battle between left-wingers and centrists for the soul of the party.

Moderate Mr Starmer and his Corbynite rival are both 3/1 to become leader if Mr Corbyn steps down as expected, with Yvette Cooper in second position at 8/1. 

Whoever is successful will face a huge battle to rebuild the party as it looks set to languish on just 191 seats – down 71 on 2017 – and trailing the Conservatives by a massive 86. 

Keir Starmer is joint favourite to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, according to the latest odds

Keir Starmer is joint favourite to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, according to the latest odds

Keir Starmer is joint favourite to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, according to the latest odds 

Mr Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey (pictured are at 3/1 to become leader if Mr Corbyn steps down as expected

A confrontation to succeed Mr Corbyn will pitch Labour’s hard Left with the moderates who have been out in the cold for four years.

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, is reportedly poised to take over as interim leader for six months to help his wing of the party to regain control. He is on 16/1 to go on to become leader, according to Ladbrokes .

He is understood to want his protege Ms Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary or shadow employment minister Laura Pidcock – who is on 12/1 – to take over.  

But the moderates will fight back with candidates including strongly pro-Remain Mr Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary. 

Other likely candidates are Emily Thornberry, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, who is not rated by Ladbrokes but listed elsewhere at 17/1 and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner on 10/1.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon and Treasury spokesman Clive Lewis could also throw their hats into the ring.

Odds for Labour leadership contenders

Keir Starmer 3/1

Rebecca Long-Bailey 3/1

Yvette Cooper 8/1

Angela Rayner 10/1

Laura Pidcock 12/1

John McDonnell 16/1

Lisa Nandy 16/1 

Source: Ladbrokes  

Even though he is on Labour’s moderate wing the bookies make Sir Keir, the former director of public prosecutions, favourite to succeed Mr Corbyn.

But Mr McDonnell has said he believes the next leader should be a woman. Labour has never had a female leader in its long history, although Margaret Beckett and Harriet Harman both stood in in acting roles.

The party is also likely to be plunged into fresh arguments over Labour’s disastrous Brexit policy.

Voters struggled to understand Mr Corbyn’s tortured position – that he would negotiate a new deal with Brussels which would then be put to a referendum in which he would remain neutral.

The policy, which satisfied neither Leave nor Remain supporters of Labour, was vociferously attacked by union boss Len McCluskey.

The hard Left is likely to use the party’s Brexit position as a scapegoat for Mr Corbyn’s poor performance, saying they would have hung on to more working-class seats in the North had they not adopted it.

But the moderate wing will point to Labour’s tax-and-spend manifesto, which would have hit millions of ordinary families, as a reason for the defeat.

Yvette Cooper in second position at 8/1

Yvette Cooper in second position at 8/1

She is followed by shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner on 10/1, according to Ladbrokes

She is followed by shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner on 10/1, according to Ladbrokes

Yvette Cooper in second position at 8/1 followed by shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner on 10/1, according to Ladbrokes 

They will also point to Labour’s failure to clamp down on its anti-Semitism problem, which saw the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accuse Mr Corbyn of allowing the ‘poison’ of anti-Semitism to infect Labour.

In his final pre-election rally in north London on Wednesday, Mr Corbyn said voters faced a ‘very clear choice’ between ‘breaking off any serious relationship with Europe’ under Boris Johnson and an ‘adult, responsible way’ under Labour.

A Labour spokesman said after the exit poll was revealed last night: ‘It’s only the very beginning of the night, and it’s too early to call the result.

‘We, of course, knew this was going to be a challenging election, with Brexit at the forefront of many people’s minds and our country increasingly polarised.

‘But Labour has changed the debate in British politics. The Tories only offered more of the same.’  

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry was not included in the Ladbrokes odds, but elsewhere is listed at 17/1

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry was not included in the Ladbrokes odds, but elsewhere is listed at 17/1

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry was not included in the Ladbrokes odds, but elsewhere is listed at 17/1 

John McDonnell - who will be under huge pressure to step down as Shadow Chancellor if Labour's election disaster materialises - has odds of 16/1

John McDonnell - who will be under huge pressure to step down as Shadow Chancellor if Labour's election disaster materialises - has odds of 16/1

John McDonnell – who will be under huge pressure to step down as Shadow Chancellor if Labour’s election disaster materialises – has odds of 16/1

link

(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply