Isabel Hardman

What happens if Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t win?

What happens if Jeremy Corbyn doesn't win?
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Jeremy Corbyn is ahead in the Labour leadership race to the extent that it will now be something of a surprise if he doesn’t win. YouGov has published a poll putting Corbyn 32 points ahead of Andy Burnham on first preferences on 53 per cent and 21 per cent respectively, and 24 points ahead of Yvette Cooper in the final round voting on 62 per cent to 38 per cent.

Corbyn is now the 1/2 favourite to win the contest according to Ladbrokes. He has had the Big Mo for weeks, and as ballots go out this week, he is sustaining that momentum at just the right time.

In fact, if he doesn’t win the contest, as well as a feeling of surprise, there is likely to be a round of accusations that his supporters were unfairly weeded out, which will make the foundations for whoever has been elected leader very shaky indeed. The breakdown of the poll shows that Corbyn’s support is strongest among those who joined after May’s election - what if his supporters believe that more tried to join but were turned away?

And even if there aren’t those accusations, the hard left of the party will have won itself more authority and purchase in the party than it might ever have dreamed of before this contest began.