UK LABOUR LEADERSHIP BETTING: Owen Smith is now the firm favourite to take over from Jeremy Corbyn

Owen Smith is now the firm favourite to be the next Labour leader — while rival Angela Eagle is falling by the wayside.

Ladbrokes also thinks that Corbyn is far more likely to be removed from his position in 2016 than at any other time, with even odds it will happen this year.

Smith, who cancelled the formal launch of his Labour leadership bid today out of respect for the terrorist attacks in Nice on Thursday night, is likely to take over from Corbyn according to the betting markets.

The BBC says Smith’s speech today was going to promote his stability in contrast to Corbyn’s reign, and that Smith was one of a “new generation of Labour MPs” who could “secure Labour’s future.”

Perhaps a more pressing concern for Labour members, though, are the voting rules which have consumed the party for the last week.

The National Executive Committee removed a loophole on Thursday that would allow Labour members who joined after January 12 to join the Unite union to vote in the leadership race. Now they must pay a £25 ($33) fee to take part in the vote.

In response, Momentum — the grassroots group which supports Corbyn — suggested that it may provide funds for its own members to vote in the leadership race. Whether that ruling is ultimately good or bad for Corbyn remains to be seen, but unnamed Labour rebels have reportedly become more optimistic over the week that their current leader is beatable.

Here are the current odds from the main bookmakers on who is most likely to be the next Labour leader:

  • Ladbrokes: Smith 11/10 — Eagle 7/1
  • Coral: Smith 5/6 — Eagle 4/1
  • Betfair: Smith 8/11 — Eagle 6/1
  • Paddy Power: Smith 1/1 — Eagle 6/1
  • Sky Bet: Smith 10/11 — Eagle 7/1

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