There are still a few hours left in the Labour leadership race but judging by Owen Smith’s mood you wouldn’t know it. In an open letter to supporters, Smith has all but conceded defeat in the race. He described the summer contest as a ‘long and bruising’ encounter and went on to say that the ideas he suggested during the bloody leadership bout…
‘…will remain as relevant after this contest as they have been during this contest. They are part of my vision for Labour and Britain’s future and whatever the outcome of this contest I will continue to make these arguments and do all I can to see us back in government.’
His letter marks a quiet and depressing end to a campaign which never really recovered from Diane Abbott sticking the knife in during the early stages of the contest. YouGov’s latest poll suggests Corbyn could enjoy as much as a 20 point lead over his rival when the result is announced on Saturday. And the bookies are so sure of Corbyn triumphing that if you wagered £100 on him winning you’ll win just £1 back.
Smith has hardly helped himself in this race: offering to get around the table with Isis was a stand out blunder. But even when Corbyn has made gaffes himself, the damage has been limited. The same YouGov poll which suggests Corbyn will win comfortably on Saturday reveals the row over the Labour leader claiming he had to sit on the floor of a ‘ram packed’ Virgin train did barely anything to change people’s perception of Corbyn; if anything, remarkably, it made ten per cent of those