Understanding the Cooper surge

Understanding the Cooper surge

In the last 36 hours there’s been some movements with Betfair and the other traditional bookies which has seen Yvette Cooper replace Andy Burnham as the second favourite in the Labour leadership race as above charts show. My initial thought it was to do with a poll, but the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush has posted this, which suggests Andy Burnham’s gaffes and poor campaign have finally caught up with him.

But Kendall’s supporters are overwhelmingly giving their second preferences to Cooper regardless. My estimate, from both looking at CLP nominations and speaking to party members, is that around 80 to 90 per cent of Kendall’s second preferences will go to Cooper. Burnham’s gaffes – his “when it’s time” remark about Labour having a woman leader, that he appears to have a clapometer instead of a moral compass – have discredited him in him the eyes of many. While Burnham has shrunk, Cooper has grown. And for others, who can’t distinguish between Burnham and Cooper, they’d prefer to have “a crap woman rather than another crap man” in the words of one.

From the outside Andy Burnham has run the worst leadership campaign a favourite has run since Michael Portillo’s 2001 leadership bid where Portillo managed to finish third in what was seen as a two horse race. You can see why Andy Burnham finished fourth in the 2010 leadership election narrowly ahead of Diane Abbott, he’s not very good at this.


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