BOROUGH MP Andy Burnham has told supporters he has an “outside but realistic chance” of becoming the new Labour leader.
The shadow health secretary - along with rivals Jeremy Corbyn, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall - will learn who is to replace Ed Miliband on Saturday.
We end it with an outside but realistic chance of winning. That is a real achievementAndy Burnham MP
In an email to his team after voting closed on Thursday, Mr Burnham said: “We have coped with the inevitable ups and downs with good humour and run a strong, positive and professional campaign of which you can all be very proud.
“Most importantly, we have stayed true to our values and competitive right to the end of the race.
“We end it with an outside but realistic chance of winning. That is a real achievement.”
He added that the race had “tested us all on every level” and that “thousands of ordinary, decent party members are now worried about where we are heading”.
Jeremy Corbyn, who started the contest as a rank outsider and needed the help of MPs who do not support him to win a place on the ballot paper, is now the odds on favourite to win.
Labour’s voting system could still throw up a surprise, however, as if no contender achieves 50 per cent in the first round of counting, second preference votes come into play, which could allow Mr Burnham or Yvette Cooper to take the top job.
Blairite Liz Kendall has appeared to struggle to secure significant support and has admitted she faces a big challenge to win.
• Follow live updates from the Labour leader announcement on Wigan Today from 10am on Saturday.