Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of remaining Labour leader are stronger than ever since winning the first round of Labour membership betting last week, while rival Owen Smith’s odds are going into freefall, according to bookmakers.
Most give Corbyn odds of 1/6, even shorter than the already-strong odds of 2/7 he had on Thursday.
Owen Smith’s odds, on the other hand, have crumbled even further in the same period, down to 4/1 from 7/2.
The surge for Corbyn will be in part thanks to the launch of his re-election bid on Thursday in which he outlined a promise to tackle the “five ills of 21st Century Britain” — inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice, and discrimination.
Smith, meanwhile, is still finding it tough to play down his past work as a lobbyist with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which some people take as evidence he is not committed to a free and public NHS — an accusation Smith has called “complete nonsense.”
In a move reminiscent of one-time Conservative leader hopeful Andrea Leadsom, Smith was also forced to alter his CV on Friday. His website had previously stated that he was a director and member of the UK and Ireland board of Amgen,” an American pharmaceutical company.
But Amgen told the Guardian that he was never actually on the board, saying: “Owen Smith’s position at Amgen did not give him any involvement or influence on the topics raised here — he was an employee in the UK for 18 months and was not an officer of the company or board member.”
The results of the Labour leadership election will be announced on September 24.
Here are the current Labour leadership odds for both Corbyn and Smith:
- Ladbrokes: Corbyn 1/6 — Smith 4/1
- William Hill: Corbyn 1/7 — Smith 4/1
- Betfair: Corbyn 1/6 — Smith 4/1
- Paddy Power: Corbyn 1/8 — Smith 4/1
- Sky Bet: Corbyn 1/6 — Smith 7/2