UK Politics Odds: Starmer 5/1 to leave as Labour leader in 2021

  • Max Liu
  • 4:00 min read
Labour leader Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner
There were few smiles among the Labour leadership this week

Get the odds in the new betting market on the year that Keir Starmer will leave as Labour leader and the latest on upcoming by-elections from Max Liu...

"The Lib Dems are 17.016/1 to win the by-election in Chesham and Amersham but they took Amersham Town Council last week from the Conservatives and could be the focus of an anti-Tory alliance."

Two bad signs for the Keir Starmer at the end of a difficult week: Andy Burnham, while saying he doesn't want to become Labour leader, is saying that Labour would do better in the north of England if he were leader, and Betfair have opened an Exchange market on Starmer's exit dates.

The good news for Starmer is that in the early betting, 2021 is the 6.05/1 outsider, while 2024 is the favourite at 2.245/4.

Odds indicate IDS comparisons are misplaced

The next general election is 1.625/8 to take place in 2024 - although I like 2023 3.052/1 - so the odds in the new market indicate there is at least some confidence that Starmer will get his chance to lead his party into it.

So much for those comparisons to Iain Duncan Smith who was Conservative leader from 2001 to 2003 and failed to last an election cycle.

As for who will succeed Starmer, the newly-reelected Mayor of Greater Manchester Burnham is favourite at 5.79/2 while Angela Rayner, who emerged stronger from Starmer's bid to weaken her influence last week, comes next at 6.86/1.

Yvette Cooper, who is 17.016/1 to succeed Starmer, was asked by Andrew Marr today if she still wanted to be leader and declined to say "no". She also failed to back Starmer wholeheartedly or say whether Labour would fare better in the north under Burnham's leadership.

Lisa Nandy 9.417/2 is a growing force in Labour and, having run a decent leadership campaign in 2019, is an interesting one at the current odds.

Labour's next electoral test is set to come at the Batley and Spen by-election. They've held the seat since 1997 but the Tories, as reported earlier this week, are the early favourites.

The price on the Conservatives has drifted in recent days, though, and they're out to 1.511/2 with Labour in to 2.89/5.

Tories may not be certainty betting suggests in Chesham and Amersham

Why is all the talk about north? As Paul Krishnamurty pointed out in his in-depth analysis of the recent election results, the news is more positive for Labour in the south, where in younger areas with more graduates there is growing distaste for Boris Johnson's Tories.

There will be a by-election in Chesham and Amersham, Buckinghamshire, probably on the same day as Batley and Spen.

The by-election in Chesham and Amersham is taking place following the death of the well-liked Tory MP, Dame Cheryl Gillan who served the constituency since 1992. It has voted Tory since it was invented in 1974.

Gillan won 55.4% of the vote at the last general election. The Lib Dems took 26.3% there while Labour managed only 13%. So this is a solidly Tory seat in what has traditionally been Britain's bluest county.

It should make sense then that the Tories are 1.051/20 in the early betting on the Exchange. But Chesham and Amersham also voted 55% for Remain at the in-out referendum in 2016. Johnson was warmly received while campaigning in Hartlepool but he may not get such a friendly reception here over the next month or so.

Boris Johnson fist Hartlepool.jpg

What's more Chesham and Amersham is situated on the controversial HS2 rail route which is one reason why the Green Party 10.519/2 are second in the betting today. And yet there are calls for the Greens not to stand a candidate and instead for the opposition parties to do a deal to rally around whoever stands the best chance of taking the seat from the Tories and reduce their majority to 79 in the House of Commons.

The Lib Dems are 17.016/1 to win the by-election but they took Amersham Town Council last week from the Conservatives and could be the focus of an anti-Tory alliance.

For the Lib Dems to win the parliamentary constituency there'd need to be a swing of just under 15%. That's a considerable task but not as much as the 22% swing they achieved to take Richmond Park in a 2016 by-election.

It would require, of course, Labour to abandon its insistence on standing a candidate in every constituency at every election, or at least for Labour canvassers to throw their weight behind the Lib Dem candidate. It's another instance, then, where fresh thinking is required from the opposition.

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UK - Party Leaders: UK - Party Leaders (Year Keir Starmer replaced as Labour Leader)

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Wednesday 14 December, 5.00pm

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