Labour Leadership Contest: Is Keir Starmer already first past the post?

It looks as though the Labour leadership contest has turned into a one-horse race and the media have started to lose interest

Update: 09.03.20

Keir Starmer’s bid to be next leader of the Labour party received a boost when he got the backing of Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister saying that the candidate has the expertise and eloquence needed to lead the party back into power following a disastrous showing in the 2019 general election.

Brown said that all three candidates were certainly worthy of the position but Starmer was his preferred choice. He highlighted Lisa Nandy’s commitment to empowering communities and Rebecca Long-Bailey’s focus on  green deal, however he made it crystal clear that Starmer is – in his eyes – the best chance that the party has of returning to power in the near future.

He said: “There is one candidate with the expertise, with the eloquence, with the dedication, with the commitment and indeed with the values that are necessary for Labour to return to power. Keir Starmer has all the qualifications that are necessary for a prime minister of the future. A vote for Keir Starmer is a vote for hope. It’s a vote for the future. It’s a vote for the values that all of us believe in deeply. Join Keir Starmer and let’s elect a Labour government.”

Starmer remains huge odds-on favourite to replace Jeremy Corbyn who will step down once a successor has been approved by the party, some bookies going as low as 1/25 that he is next in the hot-seat.


Next Labour Party Leader

(Odds provided by Betfred Bookmakers)


1/20 –  Keir Starmer

14/1 –  Rebecca Long-Bailey

33/1 – Lisa Nandy




Update: 02.03.20

Keir Starmer is very much on course to be the next leader of the Labour Party with most bookmakers now going just 1/20 that he succeeds outgoing Jeremy Corbyn in the coming weeks. Starmer has been accused of being complicit in alleged bullying of party members in what some have described as something of a smear campaign against the leadership frontrunner, however this doesn’t appear to have dented his chances of becoming the next leader of the party and allies of the shadow Brexit secretary have claimed that these accusations are an attempt to undermine Starmer and boost the chances of the preferred candidate for the ‘left’ faction of the party, namely Corbyn ally Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Nevertheless as the leadership contest begins in earnest with Starmer still the frontrunner, it is looking ever more likely that he will indeed be the next leader of the opposition and he will be tasked with the unenviable job of restoring public confidence in a party that is still very fractured in the wake of the general election defeat.

The media appear to have lost interest in this leadership race, part of the reason being the fact that it isn’t really a contest in the real sense of the word with Keir Starmer a shoo-in as far as the leading bookmakers are concerned, most operators going 1/20 that he’s next in the hot-seat.

The odds on each of the two other remaining contenders in the Labour leadership race have slipped with Rebecca Long-Bailey now a 16/1 shot ahead of Lisa Nandy who is now way out at 25/1.


Next Labour Party Leader

(Odds provided by Betfred Bookmakers)


1/20 –  Keir Starmer

16/1 –  Rebecca Long-Bailey

25/1 –  Lisa Nandy




Update: 26.02.20

Keir Starmer continues to enjoy a commanding lead with the bookies in the race to become the next permanent leader of the Labour party, however the odds on Lisa Nandy pipping him to the post have been cut in recent days. Starmer is still clear market leader at odds of 1/9, thus implying that he has a perceived 89% chance of becoming Jeremy Corbyn’s replacement in a few weeks’ time. Nevertheless while Lisa Nandy’s odds on being appointed party leader were as high as 33/1 just 24 hours ago, she now finds herself as low as 12/1 with some operators. This leaves Nandy hot on the heels of second-favourite Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Over the past 24 hours or so, a reported 46% of all bets in this market have been aimed towards the MP for Wigan and that has resulted in her price crashing.

The latter continues to drift in the betting market and having been as short as 2/1 in some circles, she is now a best price of 10/1. Long-Bailey looks pretty friendless in the betting markets and should her odds continue to drift, she will soon find herself drop down to third-favourite.

Whoever succeeds in being appointed as next party leader will have a tough assignment ahead of them given that Labour remain some distance behind the Tories right now and are currently 7/4 to win most seats at the next general election.


Next Labour Party Leader

(Odds provided by Betfred Bookmakers)


Keir Starmer –  1/9

Rebecca Long Bailey –  8/1

Lisa Nandy –  16/1



Update: 20.02.20

The odds on Keir Starmer taking the reins from Jeremy Corbyn in a few weeks’ time continue to shorten with the three remaining contenders further outlining their positions on several key issues ahead of the final vote. Noticeably all three candidates appear to have distanced themselves from outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn with none naming him as the best Labour party leader in the past 50 years. Only one of the three stated that they would choose to end the monarchy, this being Lisa Nandy.

A debate amongst the three contenders on Channel 4 earlier this week ended with most viewers believing that Keir Starmer had come out on top with a leading poll of 4,197 voters returning 1,307 in favour of the Shadow Brexit Secretary. Lisa Nandy came in second in the poll with 1,136 votes while the least popular was Rebecca Long-Bailey with a mere 446 votes.

Indeed some MPs are threatening to quit the Labour party if Rebecca Long-Bailey is successful in the leadership race with up to 40 MPs said to be considering their futures. This comes after 8 Labour party MPs defected in 2019 and formed the Independent Group for Change. More resignations came as a result of protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.


Next Labour Party Leader

(Odds provided by Betfred Bookmakers)


Keir Starmer  –  1/8

Rebecca Long-Bailey –  7/1

Lisa Nandy –  16/1



14.02.20 It’s blindingly clear that the Labour leadership contest has been attracting less and less interest from the British media as it rumbles on and on, although the successor to Jeremy Corbyn won’t be announced until April so there’s plenty of time left before the race goes to the wire. Starmer enjoys a massive lead with 280 Constituency Labour party nominations against Rebecca Long-Bailey’s 132 and he even won in Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency of Islington.

Principal rival Rebecca Long-Bailey has thus far failed to achieve the level of excitement which Jeremy Corbyn managed five years ago, while Lisa Nandy is attracting less attention around the nation than she is in Westminster with a decent enough 56 CLP nominations.

The big question is, is this a done deal? There are many reasons to be sceptical about this. A particular concern amongst the anti-Corbyn contingent – who would all be pretty content with Starmer as party leader – is that many younger party members don’t attend party meetings and as such, CLPs could prove to be something of a red herring and the power enjoyed by the pro-Corbyn grassroots campaign group might instead help Long-Bailey to a shock victory.

Starmer’s team are taking no chances with the shadow Brexit secretary continuing to steer to the left ahead of the closing membership stage of the contest. Earlier this week he vowed that he would stick to the policy of scrapping tuition fees for students and he has also revealed ten pledges along the way, these ranging from ending so-called illegal wars to hitting the highest earners with increased income tax. This is meant as a sign that he intends to maintain Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘radical values’. It also points to the fact that Starmer’s team don’t believe that the contest has yet been won, even if other signs suggest otherwise.


Next Labour Party Leader

(Odds provided by Betfred Bookmakers)


1/7  –  Keir Starmer

7/1  –  Rebecca Long-Bailey

12/1 –  Lisa Nandy

100/1 – Emily Thornberry