LABOUR LEADERSHIP BETTING: Owen Smith's chances suddenly look very good

Owen Smith MPWykehamistwikipedian / Getty ImagesOwen Smith is expected to launch his Labour leadership bid today.

Owen Smith, the former shadow Work and Pensions Secretary who resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s cabinet last month, has cruised past Angela Eagle in the betting odds to be the next Labour leader.

Smith is expected to launch his leadership bid later today, according to the BBC. He shares Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity policies, but he will still find it tough to win over the party members.

On Tuesday evening the National Executive Committee voted by 18-14 that Corbyn would automatically be on the ballot — which is lucky for him as there is a good chance he would not have secured the necessary MP votes otherwise.

Corbyn remains very popular with party members — and William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said bookmakers would not be caught out by him again:

“When Labour voted Jeremy Corbyn into leadership he started off as a 200/1 outsider with William Hill — this time the bookies are taking no such chances and Hills have installed Corbyn as red hot favourite at odds of 1/2 to see off the challenges of 2/1 chance Owen Smith and 6/1 shot,Angela Eagle in the leadership contest.”

Sharpe added that whether Corbyn would still be leader by the time another General Election rolls around was a different matter, with odds of 8/13 that he would, 6/5 that he’d be out before then.

Angela Eagle, meanwhile, launched her leadership bid on Monday, but bookies do not seem to be taking her seriously. Her press conference was overshadowed by Andrea Leadsom’s announcement that she was dropping out of the Conservative leadership race, essentially paving the way for Theresa May to be coronated as the next Prime Minister.

Here are the current bookmaker odds on Owen Smith and Angela Eagle becoming the next Labour leader:

  • Ladbrokes: Smith 6/4 — Eagle 5/1
  • William Hill: Smith 2/1 — Eagle 6/1
  • Betfair: Smith 2/1 — Eagle 6/1
  • Paddy Power: Smith 5/6 — Eagle 9/2
  • Sky Bet: Smith 10/1 — Eagle 5/1

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