Betting markets often get things right. For example, in last year's Scottish referendum the markets had 'no' to win. Of course they do make mistakes, this year's election being the epitome of that, but almost everyone got that one wrong.

So what do they say about the Labour leadership contest?

William Hill's latest odds suggest that Andy Burnham is still the favourite to win, but that Jeremy Corbyn - helped by his rise in popularity in recent weeks - will get the highest number of first preference votes. For those unaware the Labour leadership contest is conducted under a preferential system in which voters rank the candidates. After the first count the candidate that comes last gets elimated and their votes are distributed amongst the other candidates. The process continues until there is a winner.

Therefore, that means that Corbyn could get the highest number of first preference votes, but Burnham could still come through as the winner.

William Hill's odds for the next Labour leader are as follows (from 5th August):

  • Andy Burnham 11/8
  • Jeremy Corbyn 6/4
  • Yvette Cooper 11/4
  • Liz Kendall 50/1

The company's odds for the candidate that will get the highest number of first preference votes:

  • Jeremy Corbyn 1/5
  • Andy Burnham 5/1
  • Yvette Cooper 7/1
  • Liz Kendall 66/1

Overall, things are looking bad for Liz Kendall, the candidate seen as the furthest from Jeremy Corbyn on the political spectrum. Initial analysis from after the election may have suggested that the party would move right to win from the centre, perhaps under a Kendall-like figure, but with Corbyn's rise, and Burnham's recent pledge to renationationalise the railways (as reported by the BBC), it seems certain that no matter who wins (other than Kendall) that Labour will be pulled in a leftwards direction.

Furthermore, if Corbyn does win the most first preference votes, but if Burnham or Cooper wins the leadership, then that leftwards pull will be hard to ignore.

*Photo via Flickr. Taken by Gary Knight under this agreement.

Who do you think will win the Labour leadership election? Have they got what it takes to defeat the Conservatives in 2020?

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