The 2017 LAB leadership contest starts on June 9th whether Corbyn quits then or not

The 2017 LAB leadership contest starts on June 9th whether Corbyn quits then or not

Yvette Cooper could be the only contender & win without an election

The first phase of Labour’s 2017 leadership contest ended on Thursday afternoon when nominations closed for the June 9th General Election. Those like John Rentoul who have analysed the list of candidates for seats that LAB could possibly hold onto say that there will not be enough Corbyn supporting MPs elected in the general election for them to make a nomination according to Labour’s rules.

The hard left’s plan to change the rules to reduce the threshold at the September conference in order to make it easier for them to get somebody on the ballot have been thwarted by Mrs May’s calling a general election in June.

If Corbyn on June 9th decides not to quit after his likely massive general election defeat then he is not going to be able to hang on until the Party Conference for the rule change. It is hard to see in these circumstances him not facing an immediate challenge and the chances are that this time, in the aftermath of an appalling defeat, he’d lose.

In an excellent analysis last month the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush wrote of the head of steam that has built up behind Yvette Cooper. There’s a growing consensus that this time Labour has to choose a woman and Cooper herself made a strong impression amongst the PLP with some excellent Commons performances.

According to Bush there might not even be a contested election:

At present, no other candidate is even getting close to Cooper’s levels of support in the PLP. If there is a heavy defeat on 8 June, I wouldn’t be shocked if the parliamentary Labour party gives the leadership to Yvette Cooper by acclamation, just as they did with Gordon Brown

The best price you can get in Cooper is 9/2.

Mike Smithson

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