Liz Kendall said to be under pressure to pull out of the race in an effort to stop Corbyn

Liz Kendall said to be under pressure to pull out of the race in an effort to stop Corbyn


Could she could back Cooper in return for being Shadow Chancellor?

One immediate effect of the YouGov Labour leader poll is, as the Times is reporting on its front page this morning, that pressure is being put on Liz Kendall to pull out of the race in order to make it easier to stop Corbyn. According to the report:-

An ally of Ms Cooper called on Ms Kendall to make a sacrifice similar to that made by Gordon Brown, who stood aside to allow Mr Blair a clear run in Labour’s leadership race. “The moderates came together to make sure they didn’t split the vote in 1994 — something like that needs to happen again.”

A source close to Ms Kendall rejected any suggestion she withdraw. Others said collusion to deny Mr Corbyn could backfire. “We don’t want Liz pulling out, and then Corbyn blaming his defeat on tactical voting by Blairites.”

One scenario that’s being tallked about is that Liz has/could do a deal with Yvette Cooper to endorse her with the suggestion that in the event of a Cooper victory Kendall would become shadow chancellor.

What the veracity of that is I don’t know but my sense from watching last night’s Iain Dale LBC leadership debate is that something could be in the offing. Kendall appeared very subdued without her usual punchiness while Cooper was the most animated that I’ve seen her at any stage during the prolonged campaign.

Certainly looking at the dataset from yesterday’s YouGov poll Cooper would be by far the biggest beneficiary of a Kendall withdrawal. Of the small sub-set of Kendall backers two thirds make Cooper their second preference with just a quarter opting for Burnham.

The battle would then be between Burnham and Cooper for who would make, according to the polling, the final split with Corbyn.

On Betfair the Cooper price has tightened. If Kendall did pull out endorsing Yvette then the Cooper odds would surely tighten.

Mike Smithson

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