Bookmaker odds balloon on Keir Starmer to be next Labour Party leader

Keir Starmer, CalaisTHEY say that the bookies never give anything away, but their margin callers often find it harder to price up their political markets than the 3.50 at Market Rasen. It’s why they often cap the amount of money which can flow through their politics bets. Many of them called last week’s referendum result wrong, for example, while famously here Glenda Jackson held her seat in Hampstead and Kilburn in 2010 at a bumper 7-1.

And so it is again, the bookies look a bit punch drunk as they, like the rest of us, struggle to work out what will happen next and then what odds to offer on their next Labour Party leader markets. With the gears grinding on another online campaign to get Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer to throw his hat into the ring, a trend can just about be marked out in the bookmakers’ call on the likelihood that his time is now for him.

At one stage in January, he was paged as low as 8-1 with some bookies and gambling exchanges to be the next leader, a low price given the number of potential contenders, the fact that we didn’t know when a leadership contest may occur or what would come to pass before one was held. Last week, before the EU referendum and the shadow cabinet revolt, he had only drifted to around 12-1 with most number takers.

And yet, almost from the moment he resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow team, a move which added to the pressure on the Labour Party leader and therefore made a leadership contest more likely, his price with most bookmakers suddenly ballooned. He became a wilderness bet at around 40-1. You can track his progress with the misery makers  here, and below are some examples:

William Hill
Keir Starmer to be next Labour leader
June 23: 12-1
Tonight: 33-1

Bet365
Keir Starmer to be next Labour leader
June 23: 11-1
Tonight: 40-1

Betfred
Keir Starmer to be next Labour leader
June 23: 12-1
Tonight: 40-1

It would be easy to think here that the bookies fear the unpredictability of the voting Labour membership and altered the price accordingly, now viewing Keir as someone who would be seen by Corbynistas as a traitor to their hero. Or that he has made clear to someone that he won’t be getting involved.

What is certain, is they dare not do the same with Angela Eagle, due to be the first head over the parliamentary trenches tomorrow and therefore delivering the bluntest blow to Corbyn yet. She’s heading in towards even money to take the Labour crown this evening.

But remember, kids, stay in school. Don’t gamble. Gambling is bad.

 

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