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Odds put Yvette Cooper second to Jeremy Corbyn in leadership race

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 September 2015

Paddy Power reckon it's a dead cert for Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn (Lauren Hurley/PA Wire)

Paddy Power reckon it's a dead cert for Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn (Lauren Hurley/PA Wire)

Yvette Cooper emerged today as the biggest challenge to favourite Jeremy Corbyn in the battle to become the next Labour leader, after last night’s Sky News live debate - at least according to political punters.

With just a week to go until the leadership announcement, Betfred has seen a surge in bets on Ms Cooper, who now has the second most favourable odds after frontrunner and MP for Islington North Jeremy Corbyn.

Ms Cooper now has odds of 5/1 behind Jeremy Corbyn, who’s odds stand at 1/4, after fellow candidate and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the Labour party should have a woman leader “when the time is right” during a live Radio5 call in.

The popular betting website also revealed that one Londoner had put in a £5,000 bet for Mr Corbyn when the odds where at 4/6, meaning if Mr Corbyn wins they stand to make £12,500.

Another £5,000 bet was but on Andy Burnham when he was the favourite to win, earlier in the campaign

Betfred has taken over £500,000 bets already during the topsy-turvy campaign with a week, half of the company’s takings during the General Election.

Betfred spokesman Peter Spencer said: “The General Election itself surpassed all expectations in betting terms but this leadership campaign with its twists and turns has captured the public mood. Each of the gang of four has been the favourite at one point. The swing for Corbyn has been nothing short of remarkable.”

Andy Burnham was the long-standing favourite to win the leadership competition but the emergence of Islington North MP Corbyn led to Betfred having Leigh MP Burnham in third place at 7/1 from Evens a month ago.

Liz Kendall is still a 100/1 shot.

Mr Spencer added: “Corbyn has hit a cord with the Labour supporting public who are seeking a change in the Labour supporting public. Burnham has drifted from being favourite to Corbyn’s biggest challenge to third place today.

It is going to be an interesting weekend with him having a lot of ground to make up before the poll closes next Thursday. Cooper has quietly got on with getting her message across. She’s been expressing support for some of Corbyn’s ideas but adding a dash of reality stressing the need for Labour to have policies that would win a general election.”

Betfred estimates to have taken 10,000 bets on the Labour leadership election and claims that around 80 per cent of them have been for Jeremy Corbyn.

“We call him the Marmite candidate,” Mr Spencer said. “You either love him or hate him. That’s what’s caused so many people to bet because it’s right up in the people’s psyche.”

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