This article first appeared on December 13th at gambling.com
The post-mortem began less than a minute after 10pm last night, when the exit poll accurately predicted Labour’s worst result since 1935. Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed he won’t lead Labour into another election but, frustratingly for the 6/1 bet advised in January on all three party leaders leaving post in 2019, he hasn’t resigned yet.
Nevertheless, the leadership contest is effectively underway. When it starts officially, so too will a deputy leadership election. One leading candidate for either post, Laura Pidcock, will not be involved having lost her seat.
In my last update, I recommended two bets – 6/1 about Keir Starmer and 5/6 about any woman leader.
Both are strong positions. Starmer is half those odds at 9/4 generally with Political Betting Sites and almost all his credible rivals are women. The only other man I can see competing seriously is Clive Lewis (28/1 with Betway), who has been reported as a likely runner.
So much depends on how the party explains defeat. There will inevitably be a narrative, booming out of Westminster TV studios, that they need to ditch Corbynism, Momentum and that radical manifesto. That the only way to defeat the Tories is to reposition in the centre ground.
Obviously Corbyn’s leadership, divisions and controversies such as anti-Semitism, and a manifesto lacking credibility, played a big part. I often felt over the past year that a Starmer-led Labour would be winning.