The new Labour leader will be announced on Saturday in tandem with the deputy leader following their horrific election loss and failure to enter No 10 following December’s general election. Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer is expected to win the contest over Shadow Business Secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Wigan MP, Lisa Nandy.
The party had hoped to announce the new leader at a members’ conference in London but due to the coronavirus outbreak, members will receive a notification electronically.
The candidates have also been asked to record a victory speech which will be played once they have won the contest.
Speaking on Sunday, Ms Long-Bailey said: “I think it’s trying to deal with these strange times and have an announcement on the leadership contest so that our members and the public can view from their homes really.
“It’s logistically quite challenging and I think we’ve all been asked to do this victory speech so that it can be sent out over the airwaves as quickly as possible after we win.”
Angela Rayner has been tipped as the favourite to become the new deputy leader of the party to fill the position after Tom Watson departed last December.
Ms Rayner is competing against Rosena Allin-Khan, Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler and Ian Murray.
After the ballot closed, Sir Keir said: “It’s been a long campaign and it’s ending in circumstances that none of us could have predicted.
“But we’ve kept it positive, we’ve demonstrated unity.”
It is hoped a new leader will help regain the seats in the north and Midlands which were lost to the Tories in 2019.
However, former No 10 adviser Nick Timothy has warned the party will struggle to recover the Red Wall seats.
He told ITV’s Robert Peston: “Whoever is leader of the Labour Party will find it difficult to bring together the voters that they have retained who are the new core voters for Labour – public sector workers, urban voters, university towns – and the white working classes that they’ve lost in the regions and in Scotland and Wales.
“Those are big structural problems for Labour and I think it will be difficult for any individual to put that right quickly.
“I think Lisa is the most interesting of the three candidates in the Labour leadership campaign to date.
“She’s at least shown an interest in trying to get the Labour Party to listen to the voters they’ve lost in the period between the Brexit referendum and the General Election in December.
“Keir Starmer is a competent and intelligent person.”
Voting began on the contests on February 24.
The new leader will follow Mr Corbyn who has led the party for five years and two elections.