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24 September 2010

Ed Miliband now bookies’ favourite to win Labour leadership

Both the punters and the pollsters now predict an Ed Miliband victory.

By George Eaton

The votes may be in and counting may have began, but with the result of the Labour leadership election just a day away, Ed Miliband is gathering some final momentum.

Within the past few minutes, it’s emerged that he is now the bookies’ favourite to win the contest, the first time the markets have put him ahead of David. The news means that both the pollsters and the punters are predicting an Ed Miliband victory on Saturday.

Below are the latest odds from Political Smarkets:

Odds

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Over at PoliticalBetting, Mike Smithson is calling it for Ed, noting that the younger Miliband appears to have gained ground in the MP/MEP third of the electoral college.

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Elsewhere, the Guardian reports that David will serve under Ed if he loses the election, a sign that the elder Miliband’s camp is at least preparing for the possibility of defeat.

Meanwhile, the other candidates are beginning to take stock of their campaigns. Ed Balls all but concedes defeat, suggesting that his close association with Gordon Brown proved fatal.

He says:

Gordon lost the election, and I was the person most associated with his leadership. Early on in the crucial first few months everyone was looking backwards to Brown, and saying it was time to move on . . . A lot of people have said to me: “You have fought the best campaign, but this is a two-horse race.” It was very hard to break through that.

Andy Burnham criticises the electoral college system and calls for its replacement with a one-member-one vote system. He points out, as I have done before, that the vote of one MP is worth 600 times the vote of an ordinary party member. Whoever wins the leadership should put reform of the voting system on their agenda.