Jeremy Corbyn’s place as Labour leader has never been more secure. He won a mandate in 2015, then in 2016, before achieving a spectacular second-place “victory” at the recent general election. But who is on the list to replace him?
1. Yvette Cooper
Cooper, who served in the Blair and Brown governments, stood for the leadership back in 2015, but ultimately lost out to Jeremy Corbyn. The main obstacle in her way to the top is that she might not be well-perceived by Labour’s new pro-Corbyn membership.
The Guardian reported that she said she would not serve in a Corbyn shadow cabinet back in 2010, showing the split between her and Corbyn, however, she said she would now “consider” serving in a new shadow cabinet after the 2017 general election, as reported by the Telegraph.
2. Keir Starmer
Unlike Cooper, Starmer remains in the shadow cabinet. As Shadow Secretary of State for Brexit, Starmer is David Davis’ equivalent on the other side of the chamber. His loyalty by remaining in the shadow cabinet could play well with members when an election comes, which is likely reflected in his 4/1 odds by bookmakers William Hill.
3. Dan Jarvis
It has long been speculated that Jarvis could be a future leadership contender. Labour List reports that a YouGov poll gave Jarvis a surprising, yet significant level of popularity amongst the public.
However, like Cooper he would face a big challenge in winning over members, as the Guardian has reported that he and Corbyn do not share much of the same political outlook. William Hill gives him odds of 8/1.
4. Clive Lewis
The youthful, charismatic Lewis, has long been seen as a potential Labour leader. He was a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, which could do him favours with the Corbyn-supporting members, however, he quit alongside his decision to vote against the triggering of Article 50, according to the Telegraph.
His split with Corbyn over the issue could damage him in a leadership election, but once the UK is firmly out of the EU that split may no longer be relevant, and could actually help him amongst pro-EU members of his party.
William Hill gives him odds of 10/1.
5. Emily Thornberry
Thornberry is the shadow foreign secretary, and has been a member of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet since the beginning, albeit in a variety of different roles, which could help her with the party’s membership.
She could also be a strong contender among those who feel the time is right for Labour to have a permanent female leader, especially after two female Tory leaders and prime ministers. She looks like someone who is well-placed to take over, however, her “white van” moment, as reported by the BBC, could come back to haunt her.
William Hill gives her odds of 12/1.
6. Lisa Nandy
Nandy initially served in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, but was one of many shadow cabinet members to quit after the 2016 EU referendum, according to the Guardian.
Her William Hill odds are 12/1.
7. Rebecca Long-Bailey
Long-Bailey has served as Shadow Business Secretary since early 2017.
The New Statesman reported that she was one of the MPs who nominated Corbyn in the first Labour leadership election in 2015, which could help her with Corbyn-leaning members, however, she was only first elected to parliament in 2015, which could hinder her chances if members are looking for experience.
Her WIllliam Hill odds are 14/1 – the same as David Miliband’s, who is not even an MP.
A dark horse?
Political commentators and pundits do enjoy speculating, and while one of these seven may well be the next leader, there is one thing that should be considered. Before the last leadership race – and even during it – Jeremy Corbyn was not seen as leadership material.
Like Corbyn, his eventual successor could come from nowhere.
Yvette Cooper would be wise to not forget this.
When do you think Jeremy Corbyn will step down? Will he lead Labour into the next general election?
The William Hill betting odds referenced can be accessed here. All odds are accurate as of 28th July.