Jeremy Corbyn has launched a recruitment drive with just over a fortnight to go before the winner of the latest Labour leadership contest is announced on 24 September. The left-winger is looking for a £34,000 ($45,207) a year policy researcher and a speechwriter for the leader's office, whose salary will be dependent on experience.

Both roles are being advertised on the popular Westminster jobs board Work4MP, with applications closing on 21 September. The job specifications stress that the employees will be given fixed term contracts "only for the period that Jeremy Corbyn is the Leader of the Labour Party".

But based on how close the hiring process is to the election announcement, IBTimes UK asked Corbyn's office if this was an indication he was confident of victory over his sole challenger Owen Smith.

"We don't comment on staffing matters," a spokesman for the Labour leader told IBTimes UK.

Bookmaker William Hill has said Corbyn, who almost secured 60% of the vote in 2015, is now a "virtually unbackable" favourite to win the contest, with odds of 1/25 (96% chance of victory).

"Serious betting support for Owen Smith has virtually dried up in recent days and the only positive element for him is that two thirds of all the individual bets placed have been in his favour," said Graham Sharpe, a spokesman for William Hill.

A poll from YouGov for The Times, of more 1,000 Labour members between 25 and 29 August, put Corbyn 24 points ahead of Smith (62% versus 38%).