How will the leadership election work?

8th May, 2015 7:56 pm

Manchester conference 2014

The leadership election, triggered by Ed Miliband’s resignation today, will happen under the rules agreed by the 2014 Collins Review, we can confirm. The plan at the moment is for a shorter election than the one that took place in 2010, with a new leader being in place before Labour’s conference in September.

The review changed the way in which Labour elects leaders, from a three-way electoral college system to a One Member One Vote (OMOV) system. Previously, equal weight was given to member, parliamentarian, and the trade union and affiliated societies sections – Ed Miliband famously won after a large victory in the third of these colleges.

Now, candidates will be elected by members, and registered and affiliated supporters, who will all receive a maximum of one vote. This means that, for instance, members of Labour-affiliated trade union will need to register as Labour supporters in order to vote.

In order to stand, candidates will need to be nominated by at least 15% of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) – now 35 MPs. The vote, as in previous elections, will be held by the Alternative Vote (AV) system, and the deputy leadership election will be held with the same rules.

A meeting of Labour’s NEC will take place early next week to agree the timetable and procedure for the two elections.

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  • Jane Manby

    So we can have a vote as a labour member but only for who the PLP tells us we can vote for.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      They’ve got to work with him most closely.

      • liversedge

        or her !

  • Any chance we can get Mhairi Black transferred from the SNP? She’s a young woman I could vote for.

    The SNP thrashed us in Scotland because, on the question of economic austerity, they were saying what we should have been saying.

    • Rob K. Mart

      Their candidates are also generally more interesting people.

    • FMcGonigal

      Has she ever had a real job outside politics?

      • Mannibal

        Apparently, she worked in Pizza Mario. Given that she’s still an undergrad, I think that’s about the best you could possibly hope for. At least she didn’t get it via nepotism.

  • steve Howard

    Ask your labour MP to nominate Ed Miliband

  • MonkeyBot5000

    In order to stand, candidates will need to be nominated by at least 15% of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) – now 35 MPs.

    Why? Shouldn’t they be proposed by party members? Why should being an MP give you more of a vote on who should become an MP.

    • Daniel Speight

      There’s the problem – the PLP is the problem not the solution.

    • liversedge

      You want an informed choice to be made as a short list, the PLP seems like the best place to start !

      Do you really think 200,000 people voting for 232 people is a sensible approach!?

      • MonkeyBot5000

        You’re right, how could we possibly have a large number of people voting for a smaller set of people to represent/lead them.

        If only we had some similar examples from recent history that might show us how it can be done.

        • liversedge

          232 is not small.

          • MonkeyBot5000

            I didn’t say it was small, I said it was smaller.

            Are you seriously going to debate the fact that 232 is smaller than 200,000?

          • liversedge

            Personally, asking me to assess 232 candidates and voting for the one I think is best to lead the party is a nonsense. I don’t have the knowledge, time or will to do that. And suspect I am not alone.

          • MonkeyBot5000

            No-one is asking you to do that. Not every MP is a candidate for leadership.

          • liversedge

            Oh, the penny drops ! *blush*
            i.e. only a small handful will step up.
            I now feel stupid.

            Sorry for wasting your time. I agree with you.

          • MonkeyBot5000

            Fair play – at first I thought you were saying that electing a group of 232 people would be a problem.

            Getting hundreds of different campaign flyers for one position posted through the door would be a bit of a pain.

        • FMcGonigal

          2003 California gubernatorial recall election: thee were 135 candidates and about 8.5 million voters.

          • MonkeyBot5000

            I was thinking more along the lines of last Thursday when we elected 650 people to represent the entire country.

          • FMcGonigal

            Sorry if I misread your post. I was thinking of the election of a single office holder where there are a large number of candidates.

      • FMcGonigal

        “Do you really think 200,000 people voting for 232 people is a sensible approach!?”
        YES, for example an initial round could be held where members name their choice as leader from among sitting Labour MPs.
        The top ten could then take part in a formal election.

    • FMcGonigal

      This also means there will be a maximum of of only six candidates. A lower thheshold (say 5%) would encourage a greater choice of candidates.

    • Hmm, we vote for who should be our local PPC, then we vote for our MP…I think it’s right the PLP gets to pick who they think they could definitely work with best/happy to be the ultimate authority who whips them. In any case, this new OMOV is much more radical than the previous system and makes it more likely the next leader will be a Blair [yes, I know, the Iraq War, oh yeah, he was supposedly a Thatcherite, well he won elections and he did do a lot of good things, but that’s not the debate here. Sorry, I have to say that because Blair is such a toxic name -_-] rather than a Kinnock like Miliband.

    • Jimmy Sands

      Have you seen the clowns we vote onto the NEC?

      Dear God no.

  • Rob K. Mart

    We should avoid policy discussions. That should come later. We are looking for a leader. That means someone who has the capacity to lead, not just the party and not just the government, but the people, the country.

    The kind of people we do not want: political advisors; professional politicians with no world experience. senior MP’s tainted with the failure of the spin doctor advisor generation.

    RENEWAL does not mean RECYCLING the old.

    • Hugh

      “We should avoid policy discussions. That should come later. We are looking for a leader”

      Wasn’t that tried last time? For all the talk of Miliband as a policy wonk he stood on the promise of a policy review and gave only the most limited hints as to his actual thoughts for the first two years of the leadership.

      How about choosing someone who actually has and is prepared to articulate some ideas about what Labour could offer up front? Avoiding policy discussion with guarantee another focus-group obsessed monkey.

      • Rob K. Mart

        It was not tried last time. Ed Miliband was one of Brown’s followers.

        • Hugh

          I’m not sure that really answers the point. If you’re going to vote for someone who gets through a leadership contest without giving you a clue what his policy programme would look like then I’d reckon your chances of having another vaccuous career politician are pretty high.

          • Rob K. Mart

            I am assuming policy is formed by the party and refined by the party leadership. You appear to be assuming it is formed by the leader.

          • Hugh

            I’m assuming the policy direction and goals are formed by the “leader”. The clue’s in the word. The “policy formed by the party and refined by the party leadership” is pretty much exactly what Miliband promised, isn’t it?

            If you’re not going to vote according to their policy intentions what are you going to vote on – who looks best on telly?

  • Daisy Chain

    Does a candidate have to be a current MP?

    • CPFC

      of course the do!

      • SimonG

        Why ‘Of course’ ?

        Neither the party leader nor the prime minister need be an MP. Don’t forget that we have 4 assemblies/parliaments to run and that the party leader oversees all those.

        I’m not suggesting that he should, but just on a factual basis, there’s no reason why (for the sake of argument) Carwyn Jones couldn’t be a candidate.

        You might like to reflect that there’s only one country in this union where Labour holds the majority of the vote and is the ruling party. Carwyn has experience of leading a party and a country, plus doing that in a pluralistic PR elected assembly. No other candidate can get close to that level of experience of government.

        • Daisy Chain

          I think Cameron has done good hatchet job on the Welsh Labour Party.

    • FMcGonigal

      The Leader of the Opposition has to be in the House of Commons.

    • Jimmy Sands

      It’s not going to be David. Sorry.

      • Daisy Chain

        You read my mind. Just wondering who?

        • Jimmy Sands

          I’m a fan too. We made a huge mistake, but I think that ship has sailed.

          • Daisy Chain

            Probably, so who now? I just want someone who can tear that [email protected]*£7″d apart over the despatch box.

          • Jimmy Sands

            If that’s the criterion then probably Chuka, but I’m keeping an open mind.

          • imw101

            It’s not that you made a huge mistake. It’s that you all knew in your deepest hidden thoughts in September, 2010 that you made a huge mistake. And let it happen.

          • Jimmy Sands

            By “we” obviously I mean “they”.

  • Bah Humbug

    All prospective candidates should be asked the same question … “What did you do before you were elected as an MP, that qualifies you for this role?” … if they look blank, or cannot answer the question without using the words Spad, adviser, researcher etc, their offer to stand should be politely declined.

    • Kaine

      What possible non-political work could prepare you to be leader of a political party?

      • Bah Humbug

        Any work that gives you a perspective on life that is something other than that derived solely from experience working in the political sphere. Work that gives you an insight into the pressures of running a business, dealing with customers, working in a team making tangible product, the challenge of providing leadership in arduous conditions, the opportunity to care for people who need support. Involvement in a charity, to better understand the voluntary sector, and the challenges facing those providing such services.

        Life experience. A richness of perspectives that enable you to more readily empathise with a significant proportion of those with whom you work, with whom you engage, and for whom you are providing representation as a servant of the state in your role as an MP, directly and through leading/managing your political peers.

        Skills. Personal and interpersonal skills that ground you in the real world … a world that is not an abstract bubble in which you are numb to the issues faced by your constituents and the wider population. Skills that are transferable … conflict resolution, negotiation, project planning, chairmanship, presentation, oratory, empathy, resilience, flexibility, rationalising, reflection, effective interaction with a multitude of stakeholders, teambuilding, leadership, strategy development etc etc etc.

        Those whose experience is one-dimensional are more likely to see the world in one dimension. Those with a panoply of experiences are more likely to engage more effectively with those around them, because they have developed the skills required to do so.

        • Andrew Briggs

          That perfect piece of prose could form the basis of the selection process.

        • MonkeyBot5000

          …project planning…flexibility…reflection…

          Our deficit would probably be a lot lower if we’d had a healthy dose of these three over the last 20 years.

        • imw101

          Except no-one with those skills would ever want to be an MP let alone the leader of a Left wing political party.

          • Bah Humbug

            I disagree. There are plenty of people with such skills working in the church, voluntary sector, social enterprise, cooperative movement etc (by way of examples), who may be minded to step into politics if they thought they could make a difference.

            Part of the problem – and this extends across all political parties – is that politics is considered by too many people as a career, with a well-defined path, rather than a vocation/calling into which someone might transfer later in life, once they have obtained such experience and skills as I describe above.

      • liversedge

        Hi Sammy,

        Credibility.
        Language.
        Personal stories to elucidate and elaborate.
        Different thinking.
        Contact with the real world.
        Contact with people who don’t agree with you.
        Stress and Pressure of real people.

        Do you need me to go on ?

      • Jamie Floyd

        one of the parties greatest leaders came from the mines, who’s handshake could break stone, but sadly not bend iron.

        A voice of the people not privilege is what is needed. someone who earned their education by studying in the day and working by night. some one who has balanced their homes books when the numbers make no sense. ubove all they must now the parties roots and not stand for the tory nonsense of new labour.

        someone of this caliber would get the members returning in droves

      • imw101

        Accountancy? Being able to read a balance sheet?

      • MacGuffin

        Running a business, perhaps? Has anyone, ever, in the Labour Party ever done that?

        • Chris Anjuna

          I’m a Labour Councillor and SME ower , quite a few of us about 😉

          • MacGuffin

            Run for Parliament, for God’s sake, and kick out the social workers.

    • Michael Murray

      The greatest calumny perpetrated about Ed Miliband was that he had never worked in a proper job. Ed had been a television company researcher. Why should this job be regarded as inauthentic? Why should such jobs as researching or teaching disqualify you as a Labour politician yet digging up the roads or emptying dustbins qualify you as a Labour Politician? Surely we need people with a wide range and mix of experiences to represent us! Let’s stop all this silly talk about people who haven’t done a proper job. A job involves selling your labour and doing work for remuneration. That’s all. If you have done that then you have done a proper job.

      As for the election of a new leader, for God’s sake let’s get on with it as quickly as possible. The last thing we need to be doing is procrastinating and engaging in navel gazing. I don’t give a monkey’s if the PLP do the nominating. They know the people after all and have to work with them. We need someone in place pronto before the Tories start burning the house down.

      • Bah Humbug

        My comment did not relate to Ed Miliband; rather, I was referring to the selection of a new leader. WRT researcher etc, I would concur, and my brevity was obviously too pronounced: I meant political researcher, political adviser etc – i.e. people whose experience of work is limited to the rarified world of politics.

      • Hugh

        “The greatest calumny perpetrated about Ed Miliband was that he had never
        worked in a proper job. Ed had been a television company researcher.”

        For a year, working on A Week in Politics. Are you sure that’s the greatest calumny perpetrated about Ed Miliband?

        • Michael Murray

          One amongst many.

          • Hugh

            What are the others – that he wasn’t very electorally successful and had quite a nasally voice?

          • mactheanti

            Probably because things that shouldn’t matter about another human being apparently do, to people like you anyway.

          • Hugh

            Your comment, while passionate, makes no sense. It didn’t matter to me that he had a nassally voice. However, it is a fact, rather than a calumny – just as it is a fact that he has precious little experience outside politics and is a career politician.

          • mactheanti

            Then why mention his voice at all? And really this absolute nonsense talked about jobs outside politics, if that really mattered to the public why did they vote in Cameron and Osborne? Keep it real!

          • Hugh

            Er, I am “keeping it real”. Again, I didn’t invent the claim he has no real world experience; I merely note that to say it is a calumny is nonsense (hint: to be a calumny it has to be untrue). The claim that he has a nasally voice – again, not originated by me – is a similar example.

    • Jimmy Sands

      I would disagree with a bar. I agree that they shouldn’t all be ex-spads. It would be nice to have more with backgrounds outside of politics. And not just lawyers either.

  • CPFC

    2010 a Tory clone Labour Party lost. 2015 ‘Austerity-Lite’ Labour lost. A rightward shift now would lead to political oblivion. We must go Left.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      History shows that you can’t win an election in Britain from the Left- Blair showed that you can win it from the Centre Left but not from the Left.

      • Steve Stubbs

        As much as I normally disagree with Mr OConnor he is right on this. Also the Tories will now move right as well so ceeding more of the middle ground anyway.

        We are getting closer to the time where the clear division between the right and left of the party will result in a permanent split with the left going their way, and not before time as well. We need this sooner than later so that we can get the Labour party into shape sooner to prepare for the next election.

        • CPFC

          Blair won the elections from the centre-right. New Labour was just a pro-Europe version of the Conservatives.

      • Curlew

        Blair only showed you can win it after ~ 20 years of Tory-dom, a govt in disarray and the Sun on your side. Anyone would’ve done it.

      • Baz1875

        Perhaps somebody could explain why we would need another conservative party? Wouldn’t it be better for people who feel like that to join the conservative party? What are they doing in a labour (“workers”) party in any case?

  • swatnan

    Looks like Game Set and Match to Cameleon Dave; he even managed to shatyBoris Johnson. It was ’92 all over again, the late surge, the voters too ashamed to admit to voting Tory. And an implausible Labour Leader.
    Two good things came out of the Miilliband era, ‘Refounding Labour’ and The Collins Review. So its a step forward. We also has ‘The Southern Task Force’ from John Denham, which identified the differences between N and S. These we have to work on.

    • G Paul Turner

      The themes of the Labour manifesto will be the points of crisis during the next five years. Mr Miliband’s leadership on those issues will continue to be relevant.

      There is a great deal of difference between winning the policy arguments on the issues which affect the country and desperately injecting poisonous English nationalism to win a UK-wide general election. The result was a surprise. The voters who produced the result were too ashamed to say how they were going to vote. That does not point to a confident, driven government, underpinned by popular support. Support will drain away as the shame of those voters increases.

      The country will be radically different in 2020. The second worst case scenario is that it will be a different country, with the loss of Scotland from the United Kingdom. England is a more conservative country than the UK as a whole. The Opposition will have to reflect this and lay a solid foundation now in order to do so.

      The worst case scenario is that the Tories will drive the economy into the ground immediately, hoping to stimulate it before the election, but nevertheless be forced to hold an EU referendum at the bottom of their economic incompetence. Cameron could quite probably lose both the UK and the EU in this Parliament. The only issue the Opposition will need to raise then is national betrayal.

      • swatnan

        True. Lord North lost us the Americas, and I don’t think he’s been forgiven yet. If Dave goes on to lose us Scotland, and we get kicked out of Europe, then Dave will go down as the worst PM in history, more vilified than Blair for saddling us with the Islamoterrorist Legacies.
        not a pretty scenario. But I doubt it will come to that. The recession will quietly slip away and peace and prosperity will return to Britain by 2020. The upturn is bound to come; I believe in economic cycles, regardless of what politicians do, and by 2020 Britain will be on the crest of a wave.

        • G Paul Turner

          2017?

  • Jim Horslett

    Will we get voting papers posted to our home address?

    • Jimmy Sands

      I just want to know whether I’ll get mine this time before the result.

  • simon1970

    Does the rule still apply that at least one of the Leader/Deputy has to be female?

    • FMcGonigal

      I never heard of such a rule.

    • MacGuffin

      Is that a cis-gender female only, or can it be a tranny? What about cross-dressers – do they count? It’s the Labour Party. Such things matter.

  • NewForestRadical

    How does going back to the future with Blairism help deal with Scotland and working class UKIPpers? It was entirely predictable that the big beasts of New Labour would re-emerge if Miliband lost but we really need much more imaginative thinking than they are proposing. Yes, reflect back on those policies which were successful 1997-2010 but being ‘entirely comfortable’ with the filthy rich (ie rising inequality) and financial globalisation is not the answer I am afraid!

  • MacGuffin

    Surely Russell Brand will be allowed to put his name into the hat? I mean, he’s such a surefire votewinner, and the Labour Party has become such a joke.

  • John Davies

    Far too early. Sort out a new approach first. Ask Ms Harman to continue as caretaker for as long as that takes – six months, a year – then pick the most electable candidate that fits the policies. Don’t put cart before horse. Don’t rush. Do it right this time. Please.

  • driver56

    We have some people in the the party with experience and hunger, I would urge the party members to support Yvette Cooper for her experience knowledge and awareness of the electorates real concerns. I would support Liz Kendall as deputy for the hunger to succeed for the party. but we must have the inquest and speak to our people who left us. we must take their fears on board. we must restructure and simplify, Modernise, and then pick our leaders.

  • mactheanti

    The way we allowed Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown before him to be treated is not a slur on the two men, it is a slur on us! To blame one for the demise of the global economy and the crash of Lehman Bros etc and to keep falsely equating the UK economy with the Greek economy is not only untrue, it is barking mad insane and to blame the other because he has a ‘nasally voice’ or eats a sandwich the wrong way, or looks like a geek, or accuse him of being ‘weird’, is not only barking mad insane, it is actually cruel bullying.

    If we carry on behaving like immature idiots and keep allowing the Murdoch press, Paul Dacre of the Daily Mail and the Telegraph etc to feed us such stories which we readily suck up, instead of bothering to listen to and educate ourselves about our politicians and what their aspirations are, then we really will get the government full of sanitized people who have never put a foot wrong in their lives we deserve, A government full of people who have never spliffed up, or got drunk and done something stupid, or said something ridiculous which they didn’t really mean in an heated or unguarded moment, I don’t want to be governed by automatons do you? People moan about our politicians not having proper job, well is all modes of life political? I don’t care if someone has emptied bins and becomes our P{M, just as I don’t care if someone went to Eton becomes our PM, because NO ONE can help the family they were born into and the choices they make, will be from them and should not stop them from becoming what they want to be. Do we criticise a doctor for choosing a career in medicine and working towards that goal? No, so why rubbish a politician for knowing what they want to do, choosing a career in politics and working towards that goal? I should imagine going through the years of being the bottom of the political hierarchy while working their way up can be pretty damned gruelling anyway! Carrying bags, coats and running errands for this and that will put you in contact with all walks of life anyway.

    We allowed Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband to be mauled by the bullying lying Tory press and nit only did we allow it, I have read many Labour people actually joining in, in some kind of hate group mentality. I’d say the fault isn’t theirs, it is ours!

  • Matthew Felgate

    Does anybody have a link to the rulebook on these elections please?

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