How many Labour MPs will resign during 2017? SIX or fewer – 10/11; SEVEN or more 10/11. #Labour
— Graham Sharpe (@sharpeangle) January 14, 2017
Interesting new betting market up from William Hill on how many LAB MPs will quit the Commons this year. The bar has been set at six which seems reasonable given that we know about Copeland, Tristram Hunt and Andy Burnham’s promise to resign if he’s elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester.
There are lots of rumours circulating about other possibly escapees from the PLP and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw other developments in the next few days.
The Parliamentary Labour Party has not been a happy place since September 2015 when Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader. Less than seven months ago Labour MPs by 80% to 20% voted against Mr Corbyn in a motion of confidence. Corbyn has hung on since then.
What is causing disquiet for many MPs is the prospect of the boundary review and the impact that is likely to have on their continued presence in the House of Commons after the next election. Both Copeland and Stoke Central were due to be seriously affected by the review and it was no surprise that the sitting MPs feared for the selection process that was likely to happen if they’d have wanted to stay.
On top of that there must be many MPs whose sole reason for being in politics is that they aspire to ministerial office and can now see no future for Labour under Mr Corbyn.
There are others who have felt deeply uncomfortable by some of the policy positions espoused by the current leader a particularly on international matters, defence and BREXIT. Corbyn’s clumsy handling of the anti-Semitism issue hasn’t helped either.
So a further four MPs on top of the three that we already know about seems a reasonable total and the bet looks value.