The Tories are feeling quietly confident and Corbynistas too are pleased with Jeremy’s performance in the election campaign. The only people who are not happy are Labour’s moderates. They are desperate to oust their left-wing leader.
Quietly in the background Chuka Ummuna 16/1 and Yvette Cooper 9/4 are getting their leadership campaigns ready to go on Friday. They need to be ready just in case 68 year-old Corbyn surprises us and stands down after the election. In that case it is game on for them. Their hope is that a Labour Party that has just had the reality check of losing a general election badly, is ready to select a centrist again.
The likely Corbyn-anointed candidate in that situation is hard to predict. John McDonnell 16/1 will of course be keen to have a crack at completing the internal revolution. McDonnell’s problem is that most Labour MPs detest him and he needs enough of their nominations before he can even become a candidate. Clive Lewis 7/1 has left-wing credibility with a broader appeal and is the darling of the left-wing media. He is in with a fair chance of being the left’s candidate.
Guido’s money however is on someone who is keeping a surprisingly low profile, Tom Watson at 20/1. The deputy leader is standing back from the fray, being careful to not antagonise Corbyn’s supporters. He has the advantage of being in office and having a grip on the Labour Party organisation.
Besides Corbyn he is the only likely candidate with his own personal mandate – he won 198,962 votes to become deputy leader.
He would happily let the moderates and left-wingers beat each other up before stepping in as the compromise candidate to steady the ship with the backing of the unions that finance the Labour Party.