Chuka Umunna and Andy Burnham are the early market leaders in the betting on the next Labour leader following the party’s poor performance in the General Election and the subsequent resignation of Ed Miliband.
Miliband failed to convince the electorate that he could be trusted with the economy with his shadow chancellor Ed Balls even losing his seat in his Leeds constituency.
Umunna is seen as one of Labour’s rising stars since his election in Streatham in 2010 and is a general best price of 9/4. Burnham, MP for Leigh since 2001, has greater experience in government having served in various roles under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, most notably as Health Secretary in the year leading up to the 2010 election. Burnham is 7/4 favourite with Paddy Power, but Sky Bet go 7/2.
Yvette Cooper, who first became an MP when Blair swept to power in May 1997, is considered to be the third serious contender in the early betting. Cooper, wife of Ed Balls, worked her way through various government roles to become Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in Brown’s administration. She is a 9/2 chance.
Dan Jarvis, available at 8/1 with Bet365, is the only other runner in single figures on the first day of betting. Rachel Reeves and Stella Creasey, both 25/1 shots, are among the other contenders to become the party’s first permanent female leader.
Bookmakers were as surprised as most people with the General Election results – although they expected the Conservatives to win most seats, just two weeks ago you could have got odds of 7/1 with Ladbrokes on a Conservative majority.