Archive for the 'Labour leadership' Category


Voting closes in the LAB leadership contest with Starmer rated as a 99% chance on Betfair

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Just like in September 2011 when Ian Duncan Smith’s victory in the CON leadership race was overshadowed by the 9/11 attacks Starmer’s expected victory in the 2020 LAB leadership race isn’t going to get as much attention as would have been the case without the coronvirus pandemic. On Betfair punters have for nearly a month rated him as a 98%+ certainty.

My guess is that Starmer won’t be phased by this and his first big moves will be in the Labour party itself. When parliament returns to normal Starmer will surely be a more formidable opposition leader than the two time general election loser, Corbyn, was.

Whatever UK politics is going to change from Saturday when the outcome will be announced.

This was from YouGov’s final selectorate poll.

Mike Smithson


The current big UK betting market: Who’ll be next Shadow Chancellor?

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

This market from Ladbrokes about who will succeed John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor is an intriguing market.

I’m working on the assumption that Sir Keir Starmer wins the Labour leadership quite comfortably which gives him plenty of latitude in who to choose. I’m ruling out anyone who is in the Deputy Leader race as I think they’ll end up focussing on that role exclusively.

I’m ruling out Rebecca Long Bailey because I have a hunch that Starmer wants to move on from the Corbyn era, even though Boris Johnson’s government is enacting the most socialist agenda the UK has experienced if not in history but certainly living memory.

I think the 10/1 on Lisa Nandy looks good, she’s had a very good campaign, and would go in some way into closing down the line that Labour has never had a female leader. She’s been a decent performer in the media and she’s not tainted by association with the Corbyn sect.


PS – It seems downright surreal to be writing a thread about betting on domestic politics whilst Covid-19 rages all over the country, like the band playing on whilst the Titanic was sinking. Apart from the US Presidential election I suspect betting on politics, particularly the outcome of the next UK general election will be pointless until the Covid-19 crisis is over.


Starmer moves to a 91% chance in the betting after a LAB selectorate poll has him winning outright on the first round

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

It’s been reported this evening that a new YouGov/LAB selectorate poll for Sky Nws has:

  • Starmer 53%
  • Long-Bailey 31%
  • Nandy 16%

A total of 1,323 party members/supporters/affiliates were interviewed from Feb 15-Feb 20th.

Under Labour’s election rules if no candidate has 50%+ on first choices then the second choices of the contender with the fewest votes are added to the totals. So if Starmer does indeed get 53% that would obviate the need for second preferences to be taken into account.

This has helped push Starmer to a 91% chance on Betfair.

Mike Smithson


Starmer looks set for victory but the campaign has told us little about what he stands for

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

Remaining loyal to Corbyn without attacking Blair has been quite an achievement

Ever since the first YouGov LAB membership poll at the end of December there has been little doubt that Sir Keir Starmer was likely to be the winner. The ballot forms of being distributed and are now being returned and you can expect maybe half of them to have arrived within the next week.

To recap Starmer topped the MP nomination stage and then had little problems in the CLP and affiliated organisation nomination phase where he completely overwhelmed the other contenders. So the chances must be that on April 4th Starmer will be declared the winner and become the new leader of the Opposition.

But thus far the campaign has told us little about where Starmer would like to take Labour as the Indy notes in its editorial today:

Refusing to “trash” New Labour’s record in government while also refusing to say anything bad about Mr Corbyn’s leadership seems flatly contradictory. We must, therefore, concede that Sir Keir has some leadership qualities in that he has managed to sustain the unsustainable for two months of the campaign so far. But leadership requires vision, ideas and decisions. This is, after all, a leadership contest.

Another big question will be how Starmer actually performs and whether the high hopes that clearly exist for him within the movement are going to be fulfilled. The first prime Minister’s Questions with Starmer in the LOTO slot is going to be interesting and we’re going to have to get used to a very different approach than that which Corbyn has taken.

Mike Smithson


Ladbrokes make it 2/1 that RLB will finish third behind Starmer and Nandy in its leadership finishing order betting

Monday, February 24th, 2020

Ladbrokes have this market on the correct finishing order in the Labour leadership market after the final round.

The tweets by Matt Singh indicate that Rebecca Long Bailey is going to finish last but I’m always dubious when people talk about private polls and do not publish the polling tables.

At 2/1, Starmer first, Nandy second, and Long Bailey third, it’s not exactly stellar odds when you remember the last public poll had Long Bailey in second place 25% ahead of Lisa Nandy.

I’m not confident in playing this 3-2-1 market, any prediction I make will likely end up in the dusty bin of bad tips. With Labour leadership elections conducted under the alternative vote system makes it harder to predict this market than a straight forward, but hugely flawed, first past the post election.

So I will not be playing this market, perhaps PBers can spot some value in this market, if you can, let me know.



Memo to Sir Keir Starmer: Unless LAB can start winning MPs in Scotland again the chances of you becoming PM are slim

Friday, February 21st, 2020

Your first big electoral test looks set to be the Scottish Assembly elections next year in a part of the UK where for decades your party was totally dominant. Recovering some of the ground lost there to the SNP might be an indicator that a general election victory could be in reach.

The charts above from the Commons Library analysis of the last general election set out in stark terms how Scotland’s Westminster MP party distribution changed dramatically less than five years ago. Labour went into GE2015 defending 41 of the 59 Scottish seas and ended up, like at GE2019,with a single MP.

So from a situation where LAB getting two thirds of Scotland’s MPs was almost a forgone conclusion you start from a base north of the border at the next general election as the fourth largest party. And without that hefty block of Scottish LAB MPs what will soon be your party has to make many more gains in England and Wales.

All this changed, of course, in the aftermath of the September 2014 Scottish IndyRef. Although the vote was to remain within the UK the referendum set off a dramatic rise in the SNP which in May 2015 won all but three Scottish seats.

The overall picture is very daunting for LAB. In September 2015 when Corbyn became leader he declared that Scotland was his first priority. Assuming you become leader you need to do the same but unlike Corbyn you need to make a success of it.

Mike Smithson


With the LAB leadership nomination stage coming to an end punters are getting a tad nervous about Starmer

Friday, February 14th, 2020
Betfair market movements from

Today marks the end of the second stage of LAB’s leadership election – the period when CLPs and affiliated organisations have made their nominations.

As can be seen from the betting chart everything appeared to be going right for ex-DPP and Shadow BrexSec, Keir Starmer. Four days ago he reached his peak in the betting a 90% chance. That’s now started to edge down and as can be seen he’s now at 84%. It is hard to say what’s driving this because he has done so well with constituency parties and affiliated organisations.

For RLB this has most been a downhill battle from being a 50% betting chance just after the general election.

The next stage is the postal ballot with that closing on April 2nd and the result being announced on April 4th.

Mike Smithson


Ashcroft poll: 73% LAB members say the antisemitism issue was invented or wildly exaggerated by Corbyn’s opponents

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

And All segments, it seems, apart from LAB members rate Tony Blair as the best party leader of recent times