Smarkets tips Keir Starmer as new Labour leader

Sarbjit Bakhshi – Smarkets

Following on from the Labour’s disastrous performance in last December’s General Election, losing 60 seats and recording its biggest electoral defeat since Michael Foot’s 1983 campaign, bookmakers are pricing the early contenders competing for Party leadership.

With Jeremy Corbyn’s successor to be decided on April 4, former shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer continues to be the front runner, followed by ‘momentum figurehead’ Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Speaking to Sarbjit Bakhshi, Head of Political Markets at Smarkets, he explained: “Keir Starmer has been at the top of our Labour leadership market since just before Christmas, with his price currently at 55%, down slightly from a high of 62% last week.

“Rebecca Long-Bailey is the only other contender to touch more than 50% – in the days after Labour’s catastrophic General Election result – and although she has fallen since then, the Salford and Eccles MP remains second-favourite at 27%.”

Other MPs that have been tipped for the position include Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Clive Lewis. But while the Labour Party has never had a female leader, punters are continuing to back the possibility that this is not likely to change.

Bakhshi continued: “The gender of the next Labour leader is predicted to be a male at 65%, which may be slightly out of line when one considers that after Starmer, Long-Bailey (27%), Lisa Nandy (9%), and Jess Phillips (7%) are all ahead of the next man, Clive Lewis (2%).

“Going by these odds, if Starmer doesn’t make it, Labour might get its first permanent female leader.”

With the General Election over, Brexit continues to dominate the UK political landscape, with no agreement yet reached between the UK and the European Union. However, markets have seen a shift in Johnson’s favour with punters backing a 2020 Brexit.

Bakhshi added: “A 2020 Brexit appears certain as it is trading at 99% on our market. With Prime Minister Johnson back in Government with a decent majority, he should be able to get his deal through Parliament. This would pave the way for a Brexit at the end of January followed by a long negotiating period to clarify the UK’s relationship with the EU.”

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