This weekend’s shock news that London Mayor Sadiq Khan has sided with Owen Smith against Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Leadership Election has seen bookmaker William Hill reduce its odds on Smith winning party leadership from 11/2 to 9/2.
Khan who had been thought of as a ‘Corbyn stalwart’, changed his position on the current Labour leader, citing that the party was ‘extremely unlikely’ to win an election under a Corbyn incumbency.
The endorsement of Smith by Khan who became London Mayor in May has slightly boosted Smiths chances of becoming Labour Leader, as William Hill predicts that the MP for Pontypridd has only an 18% chance of winning the party leadership.
Issuing further market insight William Hill Political Spokesperson Graham Sharpe commented: ‘Ninety-five per cent of all the money bet on the outcome is for Corbyn, including one bet of £60,000 in a Durham betting shop, but Mr Khan’s comments have boosted Mr Smith’s chances.’
The bookmaker further states that 68% of all individual bets have been for Smith, with 32% for Corbyn. ‘This is not unlike the pattern during the EU Referendum when Remain attracted the majority of money but Brexit the majority of individual bets’ added Sharpe.
In their latest polls, the majority of UK newspapers have Corbyn ahead of Smith by 20-22 points. Corbyn holds a dedicated support from the Labour Party members, however with the wider UK public, Corbyn has been best described as ‘political marmite’.
The Labour Party Election will be held at the ‘Leadership Conference’ on 24 September.