Anas Sarwar now bookies’ favourite to succeed Kezia Dugdale

Debating Chamber Scottish Parliament

New odds from Ladbrokes indicate that the MP-turned-MSP is on track to be the next Scottish Labour leader.

The ongoing leadership contest was triggered by Kezia Dugdale’s resignation, who made her intentions to stand down clear during an interview with the BBC’s Brian Taylor.

A timetable for the subsequent leadership election was agreed by the party’s executive over the weekend, with the winner to be announced on the 18th November.

So far, two candidates are running, the former GMB trade union organiser Richard Leonard, and the former dentist Anas Sarwar. Both candidates were only elected to Holyrood at the 2016 election.

In the day after Dugdale’s resignation, the betting odds shifted, putting Neil Findlay and Alex Rowley as front-runners at different points, but the odds settled to Richard Leonard being the favourite to take over two weeks ago, as reported here on HITC.

However, Anas Sarwar is the new favourite, with Ladbrokes offering evens for a Sarwar leadership (as of 10th September). The company offers odds of 5/4 for a Leonard leadership, suggesting that the race could be a close one.

What has been happening in the contest?

Sarwar recently wrote in iNews, and said that:

“The path to Number 10 runs through Scotland, which is why I was delighted to speak alongside him on his recent tour of constituencies across the country.”

He goes on to say that he want Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister, in a move that suggests he is trying to remove the image he has of a Corbyn-critic, having previously made calls for him to step aside, as reported by the Scotsman.

Meanwhile, Holyrood Magazine has reported that one of Jeremy Corbyn’s former top aides, Simon Fletcher, is now part of Leonard’s campaign team.