Conservative candidate Ryan Stephenson is odds-on favourite to win the seat — prompting accusations from Labour that expelled former Labour MP Galloway was helping the Tories win by taking votes from Labour.
Almost half of opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer’s own party members think he should quit if Labour loses a by-election in West Yorkshire.
A YouGov poll for Sky News found 41% of Labour members said Starmer should be replaced if the party’s candidate Kim Leadbeater loses the Batley and Spen seat outside Leeds on Thursday, compared to 48% who thought he should soldier on.
Even if Labour holds the seat — as is looking increasingly unlikely — a third of members thought the leader should step down.
Labour members were clearly pessimistic, with almost two-thirds believing Labour would lose the next general election to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.
An overwhelming 69 per cent of members said they thought Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham would be the best candidate for a new leader — even though he is not an MP and therefore disqualified.
Burnham finished second in the 2015 leadership election, winning the support of a fifth of party members compared to Jeremy Corbyn’s 60%.
Odds Against Labour Win
Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that senior Labour party figures believed Leadbeater — the only hopeful shortlisted in the party’s selection process despite only joining weeks earlier — stood “only a 5% to 10%” chance…