Owen Smith’s odds of winning the next Labour leadership election have shortened — even though he was criticised in some quarters for saying on Wednesday that he wants the Labour party to “smash [Theresa May] back on her heels.”
Most bookmakers give him odds of 7/2 to beat Jeremy Corbyn in the party election on September — a slight improvement from the 4/1 odds they gave him before the remarks.
Corbyn’s odds have lengthened slightly, but he is still the strong favourite to win, with average odds of 1/6.
Smith was in South Yorkshire on Wednesday setting out his plan to end the austerity measures of the Conservative government. When he was questioned about his analogy of smashing May, he said that it was merely rhetoric and that he did not advocate violence.
A few hours after the speech, Smith’s camp issued a full apology, saying the remarks were “off-script and, on reflection, it was an inappropriate choice of phrase and he apologises for using it”, according to the Guardian.
Corbyn, meanwhile, awaits the verdict of a High Court judgement today following a legal challenge against the National Executive Committee (NEC) for automatically putting him on the election ballot even though he may not have secured enough MP support if he had been forced to obtain the votes.
Michael Foster, a Labour donor who brought forward the case, says Corbyn must gain the support of 20% of Labour MPs and MEPs to be on the ballot. With Shadow Home Office minister Sarah Champion “un-resigning” her post earlier this week, Corbyn could well get those votes even if Foster’s case is upheld by the court.
Here are the current odds of Corbyn and Smith winning the Labour leadership election:
- Ladbrokes: Corbyn 1/5 — Smith 7/2
- William Hill: Corbyn 1/6 — Smith 7/2
- Betfair: Corbyn 2/9 — Smith 7/2
- Paddy Power: Corbyn 1/6 — Smith 7/2
- Sky Bet: Corbyn 1/6 — Smith 7/2
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