This article first appeared at betting.betfair.com on 19th January 2020
Keir Starmer has received a further boost to his campaign to be Next Labour Leader with the release of a new Yougov poll of Labour members. When last taken at the end of 2019, he was estimated to be 61-39 ahead of Rebecca Long-Bailey in the final, head-to-head round of the party’s AV electoral system. Yougov now have it as 63-37.
Timely numbers for those punters who’d previously backed the Shadow Brexit Secretary down to [1.34], only to see his odds drift markedly in response to a different poll from Survation, which showed Long-Bailey on course to win 51-49. Starmer is now back into [1.39] compared to [5.1] for RLB. Of the rest, only Lisa Nandy at [15.0] is vaguely competitive in the betting.
Where are we, and which polls should we trust? First, Starmer’s front-runner status is hard to dispute. He won more than twice as many endorsements from colleagues and has taken an early lead in CLP nominations.
Perhaps to decisive effect, Starmer is benefiting from an unproven, yet prevalant narrative that he is the most electable and that Long-Bailey is unelectable. He’s also just been endorsed by lifelong socialist and trade union activist Ricky Tomlinson – demonstrating an ability to win support across the party.