LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn is heavily tipped to cease being Labour Party leader before the next general election.
Corbyn is given just a 30% chance of leading Labour into the 2020 election by the Betfair betting exchange, despite the under-pressure leader insisting that he has no plans to step down.
His leadership is under renewed pressure after Labour surrendered the once-safe seat of Copeland to the Conservatives in last week’s historic by-election. Labour had previously held the west Cumbrian seat for over 80 years.
The party’s deputy leader Tom Watson has shot down speculation that the party is headed for another leadership challenge but a number of MPs have expressed their dismay over Tory candidate Trudy Harrison winning in Copeland.
Labour MP for nearby constituency Barrow-in-Furness John Woodcock said it was “disingenuous” to describe Copeland loss as anything other than a “disaster” and added that Labour is heading for an electoral catastrophe.
Corbyn to go before Next General Election?
Yes — 1.4 (2/5 or 70% chance)
No — 2.98 (2/1 or 30% chance)
As for who is tipped to eventually replace Corbyn, former shadow Business Secretary Clive Lewis remains favourite to be next Labour leader. Betfair’s betting exchange gives Lewis a 13/2 chance of taking over, while shadow Brexit secretary Kier Starmer is seen as the next most likely candidate at 8/1.
Salford MP Rebecca Long-Bailey — who those close to Corbyn see as their preferred successor — is rated at 13/1.
Next Labour Leader?
Clive Lewis — 7.6 (13/2)
Keir Starmer — 9.2 (8/1)
Rebecca Long-Bailey — 13.5 (13/1)
David Miliband — 15.5 (15/1)
Lisa Nandy — 16.0 (15/1)
John McDonnell — 19.5 (19/1)
Dan Jarvis — 20.0 (19/1)
Chuka Umunna — 24.0 (23/1)
Hilary Benn — 25.0 (24/1)
Emily Thornberry — 28.0 (27/1)
Lewis has not denied that he has registered four website addresses in preparation for a leadership bid, Huffington Post reported on Sunday. However, as Business Insider’s Adam Bienkov pointed out earlier this month, Lewis would likely face an uphill challenge just getting on the ballot if a leadership contest was to take place. A leadership hopeful needs support from 15% of Labour MPs and MEPs in order to stand, a threshold Lewis would struggle to meet.
YouGov published research last week suggesting that London mayor Sadiq Khan would be best placed to replace Corbyn. The polling company found that Khan was the highest rated Labour figure among 3,333 respondents when they were asked to judge 19 MPs and Khan by name recognition and likability. Khan is unlikely to make a return to Westminster politics soon, though, having only been elected as London mayor in May.
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