THE Labour Party’s imminent leadership contest has got off to a disastrous start after a poll of Express.co.uk readers found there is no outstanding candidate to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.
The Labour leadership race is set to officially commence in the new year after Mr Corbyn announced he would not contest the next election after suffering a humiliating defeat at the ballot box. The left-wing leader oversaw the worst Labour result for almost 100 years after Labour heartlands in the north abandoned the party in favour of the Tories. The Labour Party won just 203 seats in the election – its worst showing at the polls since 1935.
The contest to succeed Mr Corbyn at the helm of the party is set to be fiercely contest with shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey the current bookmakers’ favourite.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and the backbenchers Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips – are all understood to be in the running.
However an Express.co.uk poll of more than 4,000 readers found there is no clear frontrunner to replace Mr Corbyn.
The survey conducted on Tuesday December 17 between 11.06am and 9.30pm, asked 4,155 readers’ ‘Who should replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader?’
Shortlisted in the poll were senior Labour MPs who have been widely considered frontrunners to replace Mr Corbyn including Rebecca Long-Bailey, Angela Rayner, Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Yvette Cooper,
However neither of the six possible candidates impressed the voters in the poll.
A huge 31 percent (1,283) of participants voted for ‘other’ – but respondents listed no alternative candidates.
The most popular candidate was Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, who received 20 percent (818) of the vote.
In the remarkable poll , 14 percent (577) of people were unsure and voted ‘Don’t know.
Elsewhere Jess Phillips and Rebecca Long-Bailey were tied on 10 percent, Keir Starmer received seven percent, Yvette Cooper six percent and Angela Rayner trailed on just two percent.
Several Express.co.uk readers’ were less than impressed with the credentials of either of the Labour candidates with one insisting its was a “terrible selection”.
Another claimed the contest was irrelevant as Labour would be out of power for 10 years, and another insisted the party might be better off keeping Mr Corbyn.
One reader wrote: “Clearly they have a terrible selection and will have to choose the least dangerous ..but… be careful what you wish for.”
A second commented: “I’d rather keep Corbyn than any of those.”
A third reader said: “With any of that lot you would see the death of the Labour Party.”
A fourth said: “The next Labour Prime Minister is at least 10 years away and we haven’t seen the individual yet.”
A fifth simply said: “It doesn’t matter.”
Labour’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, reportedly wrote to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee recommending the contest starts on January 7, with the view of having a new leader by the end of March.
On Monday Rebecca Long-Bailey was tipped as the top person to replace Mr Corbyn with15/8 odd, according bookmakers Ladbrokes.
Lisa Nandy followed with 7/2 odds, Keir Starmer with 6/1, Angela Rayner 8/1, Jess Phillips 10/1 and Yvette Cooper 12/1.
Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “After receiving the backing from senior figures, money has poured in on Long-Bailey succeeding Corbyn as leader.
“However, Nandy is the biggest market mover, and has seen her odds crash into becoming a serious contender as well.”