Race to Grab Ed’s Post

The bruised Labour party will unveil the timetable to replace the resigned leader Ed Miliband. The party’s national executive committee is expected to set out the timetable for the election next week.

ed milibandMPs wishing to stand as leader and deputy leader have to be nominated by 15% of their colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party to be eligible to stand. As Labour now has 232 MPs, this means prospective candidates must get at least 35 signatures.

Possible contenders include shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.

Andy Burnham is the bookies favourite, with odds of 5/2 to take the helm. His flagship policy of handing billions of pounds from NHS funds to local councils was reportedly vetoed by Ed Miliband, expect to see this idea revived if he becomes leader.

Yvette Cooper would be the first female leader of the party, should she be elected. The shadow home secretary and wife of shadow chancellor Ed Balls is a formidable politician.

Despite only being elected in 2010, Chuka Umunna, who represents the London seat of Streatham, is another leadership hopeful. The shadow business secretary is said to have the backing of Tony Blair and apparently names the Tory Michael Heseltine as a political hero.

Dan Jarvis, the relatively unknown MP for Barnsley Central since a by-election in 2011, is currently the shadow justice minister, but is said to have leadership ambitions. The ex-Special Forces MP is seen as the New Labour option. Bookmakers put his odds of winning the contest at 5/1.

Tristram Hunt, who is seen as one half of the new Blair and Brown partnership along with Chuka Ummuna, is a possible contender for the leadership. The shadow education secretary was parachuted into the safe seat of Stoke-on-Trent in 2010. Critics have accused the politician, who is the son of a peer, of waging a class war on private schools.

Liz Kendall is another comparatively unknown MP, who is a strong contender for the leadership. The MP for Leicester West is seen as a Blairite, who believes in choice for patients in the NHS and that private providers should be allowed to work within the health sector.

Under rules agreed last year, all Labour Party members, registered supporters and affiliated supporters – including union members – will be allowed a maximum of one vote each on a one member, one vote system. When the election is held, they will be asked to rank candidates in order of preference.

If no candidate gets 50% of all votes cast, the votes will be added up and the candidate with the fewest votes eliminated. Their second preference votes will then be redistributed until one candidate has 50% of all votes cast.