Why I am betting on a woman to succeed Gord

Why I am betting on a woman to succeed Gord

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    Remember how the deputy was called wrongly for Alan Johnson?

The final Saturday of June last year saw a big political betting event come to a climax – who would come out on top in Labour’s hugely complicated electoral system in the ballot to be Gordon’s deputy. The polls said Alan Johnson, the betting said Alan Johnson, even Sky News and the Daily Telegraph website above called it for Alan Johnson only a few minutes before the big announcement was made.

Yet when the results came it was Harriet Harman, who I had got on at nearly 9/1 and had tipped here 23 days earlier. My argument then was that in the complex exhaustive ballot process the vast bulk of trade union, MP and ordinary member voters would place a woman within their top two or three choices. Also the polls showed that women members and trade unionists were significantly more likely to support a female candidate from the list of six that they were presented with.

My belief is that the same thing could happen in the next contest for Labour leader. For the one sure thing is that there will be a contest – nobody is going to be given a Brown-style coronation for many years to come. And when this occurs you could see a raft of candidates getting nominated including, surely, one or two women.

Just looking at last June and the complex election mechanics within the three electoral colleges which each getting a third of the votes and there’s a strong case for saying that a woman will make it to the final two – and the bigger the field the bigger chance of it going to the female front-runner.

There are a number of possibilities:-

  • Harriet Harman(16/1) herself who has the form in this type of election
  • Yvette Cooper(20/1) who would surely poll better than her partner Ed Balls
  • Jackie Smith (25/1) who is improving all the time as a communicator
  • Ruth Kelly (66/1) who always appears able
  • Tessa Jowell (50/1) the best TV performer that Labour has got
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    Mike Smithson

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