LABOUR LEADERSHIP BETTING: Owen Smith is now a real threat to Jeremy Corbyn

Owen Smith MP 3Matthew Horwood / Getty ImagesOwen Smith has been campaigning for his Labour leadership bid for the past week.

Owen Smith is catching up with Jeremy Corbyn to win the Labour leadership election, according to the latest bookmaker odds.

The result of the election, decided by Labour members, will be announced on September 24 — just before the party conference.

Corbyn is still the favourite but his odds are slipping, while Owen Smith’s continue to improve after a week of campaigning.

Smith formally announced his leadership bid on Sunday at the College of the Valleys in south Wales, and has made tackling inequality a major part of his vision, saying:

“We need more than posturing, we need more than sloganising. It’s not enough just to be anti-austerity, you have to be pro something. I’m pro-prosperity, I am pro standing up for working people.”

Voting on the next Labour leader has been a source of great controversy. The National Executive Committee’s (NEC) decided last week that Corbyn would automatically be on the ballot without needing votes from his own MPs — many of whom have openly rebelled against him in a vote of No Confidence.

The decision provoked Labour party donor Michael Foster to say he will launch a legal action the NEC, but constitutional expert Dr. Peter Catterall told Business Insider that it was a “waste of time” and would only make the party’s infighting even worse.

The NEC has also decided that Labour members who joined after January 12 must pay a £25 fee to vote for the next leader. While it is unclear what impact that will have on Corbyn, bookmakers seem to think the whole situation is increasingly good for Smith — though it seems Angela Eagle now has no chance at the leadership.

Here are the odds for the Labour leadership election from the main bookmakers

  • Ladbrokes: Corbyn 8/13 — Smith 11/8 — Eagle 16/1
  • Coral: Corbyn 8/13 — Smith 11/8 — Eagle 12/1
  • Betfair: Corbyn 4/6 — Smith 10/11 — Eagle 16/1
  • Paddy Power: Corbyn 8/13 — Smith 11/8 — Eagle 12/1
  • Sky Bet: Corbyn 5/6 — Smith 1/1 — Eagle 18/1

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