Voting has closed...
And counting has begun! Polls and other random people are suggesting all sorts of things: an estimated 330,000-340,000 votes cast, so roughly a 61% turnout if the 550,000 total eligible members figure is accurate, low turnout from union members (so presumably a high turnout from the £3 supporters), a general consensus that Jeremy Corbyn will get most first preference votes but few are sticking their neck out to say how many, or whether it will be enough.
I might be repeating myself (not for the first time, I can't be arsed to go back and check) but I originally thought once the four candidates were finalised, Jeremy Corbyn would win the majority of the popular vote but the Labour machine would find a way somehow to not allow him to win.
Using the Ladbrokes odds (betting's still open), they have Corbyn at 1/7 (with the odds still shortening), Cooper 7/1, Burnham 12/1 and Kendall 100/1. This seems to be the general consensus of the other bookies (some have Corbyn 1/8, Cooper ranging 13/2 to 8/1, Burnham either 12/1 or 14/1 and Kendall - well, anything from 100/1 to 250/1 (i.e. no chance).
So the bookies - who react to money and aren't often wrong - make it something like:
Corbyn 96.8% chance of winning
Cooper 2% chance of winning
Burnham 1.1% chance of winning
Kendall 0.1% chance of winning
So even now I'm quite optimistic that Jeremy C. could take the thing on first nominations alone, so certain seem the bookies of his overall chances. I just have a feeling that if they thought that there was even the remotest chance of a scenario involving second or third preference votes (which could get very unpredictable indeed), they'd be hedging a bit more.
I think the result will be somewhere between:
First preference votes - Corbyn 54%, Cooper 24%, Burnham 17%, Kendall 5%; automatic win for Jeremy Corbyn.
First preference votes - Corbyn 46%, Cooper 27%, Burnham 22%, Kendall 5%
Kendall is eliminated and those voting for Kendall as 1st preference have their 2nd, 3rd and 4th preferences transferred to the other candidates. I don't really know where those would go but my guess would leave the next stage at:
Corbyn 46%, Cooper 31%, Burnham 23%, Burnham eliminated and lower preference votes reallocated as before. So, what proportion of Burnham supporters would have Corbyn as a second preference? I reckon that although the majority will have Cooper as their second choice, there'll be enough for Corbyn to see him over the line.