The contenders to succeed Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour party

Amid rumours that backbenchers in the Labour party are becoming increasingly concerned about Labour's prospects at the next election if Ed Miliband is still leader, here are the leading contenders to replace him...

Yvette Cooper

The shadow Home Secretary (above) would have strong backing among MPs and trade unions to become the party’s first permanent woman leader. Supporters believe a woman leader would boost Labour’s electoral appeal and unsettle David Cameron. Odds with the bookmakers: 9/4

Andy Burnham

The former Health Secretary came fourth in a five-horse race for Labour leadership in 2010, one place behind Mr Balls. He has won plaudits since switching from the education to health brief in opposition and accusing the Coalition of privatising the NHS. Odds with the bookmakers: 4/1

Alan Johnson

Seen by many Labour MPs as the “king over the water” who could transform the party’s fortunes. The former postman became leader of the postal workers’ union before entering politics and rising to become Home Secretary. Critics say he lacks the ambition needed to be a party leader. Odds with the bookmakers: 14/1

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