Keir Starmer Tipped To Lose Labour Role Before Next Election

Keir Starmer Tipped To Lose Labour Role Before Next Election
© PA

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer is tipped to be axed from his post as Labour head before the next UK general election, according to the bookmakers.

Starmer has been in charge of the Labour Party for 16 months – during which time the ruling Conservatives have maintained a strong lead in the polls.

That is despite a coronavirus pandemic that has seen more than 130,000 deaths, a Brexit deal that is already under threat just six months after it was agreed, and a rising education crisis around grades and school meals.

Starmer replaced Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in the spring of 2020 as the party swung back towards the centre ground, compared to the left-wing policies of Corbyn.

But the MP for Holborn and St Pancras has so far failed to gather the support required from within his own party to truly take on Boris Johnson.

Starmer Opinion Poll Drop

According to YouGov, Starmer’s approval rating has plummeted to just 22%. It hit an all-time low of 17% back in May after the Tories won the Hartlepool by-election – something deemed unthinkable at Labour HQ.

Since then, Starmer has fielded calls from all sides of the party with guidance – and at times instruction – on what needs to be done to make Labour a viable rival to the Tories at the ballot box.

Labour are currently polling around five points behind Johnson’s Conservatives, and the split in the party is still present.

Corbyn is suspended, the far-left members of the party are unhappy, and when Starmer recently told the Financial Times he was “very proud” of what Labour had achieved under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, it was met with an antagonistic reaction from Corbynistas.

All the while, the odds on Starmer being axed sooner rather than later continue to fall. He is now 4/5 to lose the leadership by the end of 2023 – which would be six months before the next scheduled general election.

In comparison, he is 2/1 to take Labour into that election, and has been pushed out to 10/3 to still be there by 2025.

The odds indicate just how sceptical the markets and political betting punters are that Starmer will both succeed in keeping Labour together and in winning the next election.

Labour Election Chances

The Tories are currently Evens to win a majority at the UK general election – a dramatic come-down from 2/1 just four months ago.

Labour, meanwhile, are 3/1 to secure a minority government in 2024, which appears incredibly unlikely, especially with the SNP still polling highly in Scotland, a Labour heartland that until the last decade could be relied upon to bring in MPs.

Who would replace Starmer remains to be seen but Manchester mayor Andy Burnham – who lost to Corbyn in the 2016 leadership battle – is tipped as the favourite at 5/2.

Angela Rayner, who was sacked and then promoted by Starmer during an ill-advised shuffle earlier this year, is the second favourite at 5/1 – an indication of just how firmly Burnham is leading the race should Starmer be ousted.