Smarkets tips Starmer as new Labour Leader

There’s just one day left until the Labour leadership vote is concluded, and betting exchange Smarkets has said that Sir Keir Starmer is ‘effectively guaranteed’ to be the new leader.

Starmer, who is currently trading at 99%, has held the lead in the vote since Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would be stepping down.

Meanwhile Rebecca Long-Bailey now stands at 40/1 to assume Labour leadership, compared to Lisa Nandy at 200/1 and Jess Phillips at 270/1.

For context, this trio were all given double-figure chances (52%, 25% and 12% respectively) shortly after the disastrous result for Labour in December’s general election.

Commenting on the markets, Smarkets Head of Political Markets Sarbjit Bakhshi said: “With Sir Keir Starmer (99%) and Angela Rayner (96%) apparent shoo-ins for the Labour Party’s leadership and deputy leadership this weekend, their next focus will be on picking a strong shadow team that can beat Boris Johnson’s at the dispatch box.

“Current Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been a rising star of sorts in recent weeks, and looks set to be a formidable opponent for whoever becomes his opposite number. Our market suggests it could be either Rachel Reeves (39%) or Anneliese Dodds (25%).

“Elsewhere, the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis is under intense scrutiny. Johnson built his premiership around ‘getting Brexit done’, but Covid-19 is disrupting every facet of society, including his ability to build a post-Brexit future for the UK.

“Our Brexit markets suggest little faith in his control of events, with a 94% implied probability of the transition period being extended beyond the end of this year.”

Starmer has also taken the lead in the exchange’s Next Prime Minister market, trading at 23%, closely followed by current Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak who is trading at 20%.

Meanwhile punters have also backed Boris Johnson resigning from Downing Street in 2020, jumping from 2% in March up to 14% at the beginning of April.

Bakhshi continued: “While trading activity on our exchange indicates that the Prime Minister is expected to remain in place until 2022 or later at 77%, our market on who will succeed him suggests his greatest challenger could well not be the likely leader of the opposition, but Sunak, who has risen to 20%.

“Failure to complete the Brexit process while surrounded by his cabinet of Brexiteers might mean that Johnson faces an internal coup before he has to face Starmer in an election. Far from Boris getting Brexit done, it might be Brexit that does for Boris.”

Rachel Reeves is the 39% favourite to be the new Shadow Chancellor, ahead of Anneliese Dodds who is trading at 25%.

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