Compared to Brexit or a Donald Trump presidency, the fate of the increasingly irrelevant Labour Party may seem like small beer. Nevertheless, the rise and widely predicted, pending fall of Jeremy Corbyn continues to compete for headlines and provide plenty of betting activity.
Despite defying the odds, media derision and vitriol from most of his colleagues to win the leadership in 2015; then overwhelmingly defeat a challenge in 2016, there is virtually zero chance of Corbyn enjoying a smooth, successful 2017 with the party coming together behind his leadership.
Rather, following today’s shock resignation of Labour MP Jamie Reed, one significant by-election defeat could trigger another challenge and potentially destroy Corbyn’s leadership and his project. Reed’s Copeland constituency and it’s previous incarnation has voted Labour solidly since 1935 but, in the current climate, this part of Cumbria looks far from safe Labour territory.