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Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Connor Campbell - Market Analyst at Spreadex

Financial Preview 26/08/2015: Labour Leadership Election 2015, 14th August to 12th September 2015

An arguably reluctant candidate at the time of the nominations, Jeremy Corbyn, the MP for Islington North, barely snuck onto the ballot with 36 MPs backing the bearded anti-Blairite, only one more than the bare minimum needed. Yet since then the other candidates (Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall) have been left behind at the starting line with Corbyn surging ahead in the polls.

There has, however, been an interesting kink in this whole process, one to do with the new ‘One Member One Vote’ system. The new system is in response to Labour’s last leadership election, where many accused Unite of rigging the vote in favour of Ed Miliband. By paying £3 for a Labour membership anyone can ensure a vote, and has caused a surge in registration that largely backs Corbyn. And here is where the controversy lies; those against the Islington MP have claimed that the party is being flooded by registrations from non-Labour Party supporters who want Corbyn to win in order to render Labour electorally toxic.

Regardless, Corbyn’s swathe of controversial proposals (including scrapping Trident, renationalising the railways and a ‘maximum wage’ cap on top executives’ earnings) and anti-politician demeanour appears to have genuinely tapped into a strain of dissatisfaction with not only the current Tory government, but the kind of opposition the Labour Party has offered in that time. Those turned-off by the watered-down Tory party Labour could arguably be accused of becoming have found an outlet in Corbyn, and the latest YouGov poll (and take that with however big a pinch of salt you want) has the Islington MP with 53% of the vote. Spreadex, then, is offering 2/7 fixed odds on Corbyn becoming the next Labour leader.

Of course, this isn’t a one-man race, and Burnham, Cooper and Kendall have all varyingly been backed by big-hitters like Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Alastair Campbell and David Miliband, each warning that a Corbyn-led Labour will effectively hand the Conservatives the next election. Andy Burnham, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and MP for Leigh, is behind Corbyn at 15/4, whilst Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary and MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, is at 10/1 and Liz Kendall, Shadow Minister for Care and Older People and MP for Leicester West, is lagging far behind at 100/1.

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