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Labour Leadership – Runners and Riders

by Barry

With the first stage of a rather ridiculously convoluted leadership process having reached completion, we have 2 races on the card, the Main Chase, and the Deputy Hurdle.  Lets review the Runners and Riders

The Main Chase had one declared runner withdraw, The “Monarchist Decision” ridden by Clive Lewis, who it seemed didn’t turn up with all of its gear.  

So that leaves 5 runners so far, (and lets not forget that this is a qualifying race for the “Premiership Hurdle”): 

  • “Continuity” ridden by Rebecca Long-Bailey
    • A relatively new runner but seen to have a lot of momentum in the race.  Anticipated to keep more to the left hand side of the track where the going is harder.
  • “Northern Soul” ridden by Lisa Nandy
    • Very much the dark horse in the race, has seen support from the likes of Owen Jones in the past and has  good support across the party. 
  • “Gobby Cow”  ridden by Jess Phillips
    • Very outspoken and likes to tell it like it is.  Whilst it might not be elegant, you can easily see how she would make it difficult in the future race, the “Premiership Hurdle”.
  • “Steady she goes” ridden by Keir Starmer
    • The only Stallion in the field, and really many have been saying how its right that a Mare should be winning in this event.  Very competent and collected, but not very exciting to watch, though it is anticipated this may have to change later in the race.
  • “Foreign Lady” ridden by Emily Thornberry
    • A good pedigree with some great showings in previous races, indeed her previous outings at “PMQ Handicaps” proved to be too good for some and she was withdrawn to let others shine. 

The race is slightly convoluted race, where an initial hurdle is followed by a 3 month sprint to the winning line.  It would appear that some of the riders might struggle at the first hurdle, though Rebecca Long-Bailey and Keir Starmer are anticipated to sail over it.  Whilst Starmer has the most going power right now, as Corbyn showed in previous years, the MP declarations can count for little when it comes to members votes.  It all depends on what the course looks like, which will be set by the crowds, will it be a long left hand bend, or will it straighten out, something we haven’t seen for a few years.

The second race, the Deputy Hurdle, is ran on the same course, and there is the chance that the result might be affected by the order the races are won, or even by the fact that people may put accumulator bets on both, or attempt to balance their backing between the two. 

  • “The Doctor is in” ridden by Rosena Allin Khan
    • A very intelligent and committed rider, with some very witty showings, but still not very well known in the broader fanbase, needs to gain more exposure to the fan-base if she is to be cheered home.
  • “Age of Experts” ridden by Richard Burgon
    • Needed a bit of a last minute bunk up to get to the starting gate on time.  Some concerns about the direction he might take, but expects to largely be led by the pack.
  • “Equality” ridden by Dawn Butler
    • Strong record of wanting to ensure everyone can race, and will be interesting to see how the race develops for her.
  • “Braveheart” ridden by Ian Murray
    • The only runner to come from north of the border, where historically has been a  powerhouse of trained runners, but has somewhat dwindled away.  The way Murray rides should bring knowledge and understanding of how the whole field needs to look in the future.
  • Educated Lass” ridden by Angela Rayner
    • The current clear leader in the race, liked by a wide range of fans.  Pundits mistake the late training for a lack of ability, but has has been shown to be very capable.

This race will be interesting and perhaps overcast a bit by the Main Chase, but the winner will be taking over from the Retiree, Tom Watson, who fought tooth and nail for MPs to not leave the party, and then went on to step down anyway, not that you could blame him, the going had become very soft, boggy and almost a quagmire in places.  The new winner will need to do a lot to repair the track and pull the field back together.

It will be interesting to see how the races pan out.  Whilst I can’t see me keeping this racing metaphor going very long, my current odds for my own support would be:

  • Philips – 3:2
  • Nandy – 2:1
  • Starmer – 3:1
  • Thornberry – 5:1
  • Long Bailey – 50:1

And

  • Murray – 2:1
  • Rayner – 3:1
  • Allin Khan – 5:1
  • Butler – 50:1
  • Burgon – 100:1

That said, both races will be long and we may get some upsets, some of the riders may produce previously unseen qualities and skills and everything is up for grabs.

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