Labour’s NEC – the results

20th June, 2012 12:02 pm

Ken Livingstone has topped the ballot in the Labour Party NEC elections, as 5 of the 6 incumbents are re-elected. Commiserations to LabourList columnist Luke Akehurst who narrowly missed out on re-election. Peter Wheeler re-joins the NEC.

The CLP reps on the NEC are: Ken Livingstone, Ann Black, Ellie Reeves, Christine Shawcroft, Johanna Baxter and Peter Wheeler.

The results of Labour’s NEC election are as follows:

AKEHURST, Luke 17,475
ALI, Shaukat 6,855
ATKINSON, Lewis 8,968
BAXTER, Johanna 20,146 Elected
BLACK, Ann 30,240 Elected
CARR, Rob 4,386
GOODLIFFE, Darrell 6,147
LIVINGSTONE, Ken 31,682 Elected
MILLIGAN, Joanne 10,034
NOSEGBE, Florence 12,745
OSAMOR, Kate 17,598
REEVES, Ellie 23,417 Elected
RICE, Lynda 4,864
SHAWCROFT, Christine 22,236  Elected
SIDHU, Rajwant 4,726
SMEETH, Ruth 10,860
WHEELER, Peter 17,721  Elected
WILLIAMS, Darren 14,641
WILLSMAN, Peter 16,786

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  • Pete

    Given all of the Progress/GMB/etc tension right now and the left v right debate within the party, for those of you who are interested, in terms of the party’s left and right wings, the results are as follows:

    Leftist slate (CLGA/LRC/CLPD et al): 133,183 (47.3%) – 3 Elected
    Rightist slate (Progress/Labour First et al):  92,252 (32.8%) – 2 Elected
    Independent (neither slate): 56,092 (19.9%) – 1 Elected

    If you exclude independents and only count those who stood as part of a slate, the left won 59.1% against the right’s 40.9% in a two-way contest.

    Not especially important in the grand scheme of things – we’re all Labour afterall – but interesting nonetheless.

    • john P Reid

      Maybe it’s not only Luke Bozier ,Dan Hodges and Ben Bradshaw’s former secretary on the right of the party who ‘ve left

      • Pete

        It wasn’t actually all that bad for the right – we did very well on the NPF in the north-west, though I can’t speak for the other regions. All four candidates here advocating stronger left policies like re-nationalisation were defeated; fairly resoundingly, too. They only won 35% of the north-west vote compared to 65% for more moderate candidates.

        • Indeed, but the bulk of the right slates in the regions, on the board etc, also have union connections and the like. For the most part they are an organic element of the labour movement rather than outright hostile to it.

        • Also, I think 40% for the “right” against the “left” isn’t a bad showing overall. If we face facts, all parties (the Lib Dems & Tories, as well as us) have an internal grassroots that leans somewhat more left/right than their leadership will generally reflect. In all three cases, the aim of party moderates in internal elections can’t really to be to dominate, its not how party politics works, but merely to show that the leadership position has a substantial minority of internal support. From that perspective, I’m not surprised the left & centre on the NEC is marginally stronger than the right, but 2 seats to 3 isn’t a bad showing for the party right.

        • The other four in the North West might have been on ‘the right’ but I certainly am not!

          • Pete

            You were also very narrowly elected, Chris. 😉

  • john P Reid

    Unbelievably low turnout ,considering Ken got 88,000 last time and even Joanna baxter and luke Akehurst got 30,000

    • Duncan

      And it was a low turnout last time… That’s disappointing.  The numbers are interesting though.

      • john P Reid

        I think that there were lots of people who weren’t voting for all the LRC or Labour first recommendations, and weren’t going for so called independents who weren’t on the right or left either, Not just because both Ann Black and Ken and Ellie have good records so if they stood on A platform that others might vote for them, as Willsman and Williamson both put up good campaigns and interesting literature.

        • Pete

          Indeed – and let’s keep in mind that many people will vote according to their CLP nominations and most CLPs nominate a mix of candidates. People like Ann Black, too, commend a great deal of personal loyalty and respect and will have won votes from people on both wings of the party – and even with his controversial politics, Ken will have attracted some moderate voters, too. I doubt many people voted for a straight left or right ticket; especially with such a good batch of independents.

          • john P Reid

            As I only took over as Secretary last month our PLP didn’t nominate anyone or 2 years ago either, And in 2008 we only backed Ann Black.

        • Duncan

          I’m wrong about turnout, by the way – somehow forgot about last year!  It was low two years ago, last year was an anomoly because of the leadership election.

          We do need to get people excited about NEC elections.  It’s all a bit safe and predictable at the moment.

          Incidentally, the left slate is not an “LRC slate” (sadly 😉 ) – LRC just one of the groups involved; just as the… whatever you want to call it… slate is Labour First and Progress.

      • Jeremy_Preece

        Ah! So what I was saying elsewhere on this page about the NEC needing to focus on winning the election was rather ironic. That is bcause the NEC not only is of no interest to those outside of the party (i.e. the electorate), but it is not even much interest to those within Labour Party membership either.

        • Homf

          It really has very limited powers

    • john,

      While you can perhaps live without capitalisation it is disrepectful to deny it (or rather apply it randomly) to other people’s names.  

      Anyway for our (Sussex) PCC selection the turnout of eligible members appears to have been between 25 and 30%

      Totting up total votes cast above and dividing by 6 you get 45,000 which is only a quarter of eligible CLP members – and even assuming that not everyone used all 6 votes turnout is still likely to be well under a third.

      This is indeed worrying and I hope that it itself becomes an agenda item for the next NEC meeting.   

    •  And are you not thinking about the Sept 2010 results which had a much higher turnout because it was also the leadership election?

      Also surprisingly hard to find the 2011 results online….

      • john p Reid

        its a 2 yearly election, yes the leadership election amde it a higher rurnout, but it was Months aprt

        •  Yes of course you are right about it being two yearly – I was misled by the late date of the 2010 contest….

  • james

    How depressing.

    • john P Reid

      And apart form Peter wheeler coming back after losing in 2010, and only beating Luke Akehurst and Kate Osamor by 311 and 201 votes respectively, the 5 other people are re-elected. I wonder If ken’s vote fells so much because he lost the Mayoralty?

      • john P Reid

        And Peter Wheeler backed Andy Burnham f0r leader ,while luke backed Ed miliband

      • Duncan

        Ken’s share of the vote barely fell at all.

        • john p Reid

          ‘share of the vote’ didn’t fall but ken’s actual vote fell by 58,000, maybe it was so high in 2010 becasue of the mayor thing, by this standard everyone else who stood for re-eelction and were in the top 10,s share of the vote went up massively

        • Brumanuensis

          Well, by 3.7 percentage points (15% in 2010; 11.7% in 2012). So it did fall a fair bit. Every other sitting member saw their vote increase, even Luke Akehurst (5.2% in 2010; 6.2% in 2012).

          • Brumanuensis

            11.3% sorry.

    • Duncan


  • Susan Press

    Surprised Luke Akehurst did not win. I guess his relentless sectariansm against left will have alienated many. Despite the Progress machine, only two of their slate were elected. Interesting . But clearly it is incumbents – on all wings – who hold sway. Little chance for newcomers 
    It is depressing there is so little representation outside London and the South-East- which undoubtedly is one of the reasons Peter Wheeler won.He is also a nice guy who commands respect across the Party.
    However,  we need more CLP reps from a broader swathe across the country. Wales and scotland should automatically have reps. Glad to see Darren Williams, Nick Davies won in Wales and congrats also to Yorkshire’s  George McManus, Ann Cryer and Denise Thurlsfield. The left done well in both areas…..

    •  The two that got on from the party right were Labour First rather than Progress. Much more traditional social democrats, and people with a connection with trade unions too.

      This is good news for the party centre as well as the left.


        Labour First is  much more where the party should be- rather than the Progress or socialist organiser sectarians.

        Come the election manifesto I fully expect Labout First values and ideals to be writ large.

        PS a sympathy vote for ken- who has been (and will be in the coming two years) one of the party’s biggest sectarians and a thoroughly disruptive influence. Pure swing voter turn-off/ mannah from heaven for the Tories as in ‘same old 1970’s Labour’!

        • Chilbaldi

          lots of sense here Rob. Pretty much echos my feelings on the current situation.

        • Given that Labour First hasn’t actually existed outside of a group of mates since the early 2000s, it’s fair to say that any victory for a Labour First represents the “Progress wing”. It’s therefore totally unsurprising that Progress and ‘Labour First’ ran on a joint slate this time.

          • Luke Akehurst


            for the record Labour First does exist and has annual meetings in the West Midlands (we are resolutely not London-centric) with over 100 attendees – recent speakers have been Ed Balls, Ed Miliband and John Healey.


      • ThePurpleBooker

        Or bad news. Labour First and Progress are basically the same.

  • aracataca

    Nice to see Ellie Reeves back. She always feeds back to ordinary members. Perhaps the results also show that there is no massive desire for internal conflict or a radical change in the direction of the party. Suits me.

  • GNLabour

    So so pleased for Peter Wheeler. Finally, some Northern representation!

  • Brumanuensis

    Disappointed that Luke Akehurst wasn’t re-elected; I’m not from the same wing of the Party, but he always struck me as hard-working and committed.

    Also very surprised that Ken topped the poll, given he got fewer nominations than last time and I thought the London Mayoral election might have damaged his standing within the membership (I voted for him).

    In summary, 4 of my choices (Baxter, Black, Livingstone and Reeves) got on, so statistically-speaking I should be pleased. A shame Lewis Atkinson didn’t win another spot for the independents.

    I think on a left-right calculus, Ellie Reeves is actually a fairly left-leaning member of the Progress/Labour First slate, but overall no change as others have pointed out.

  • Vicky Seddon

    Good to see sizeable number of women elected – and none of your respondents so far seem to have noticed that.

    As someone who is not a party member, I don’t know about voting system. Surely not FPTP??!  But no sign of re-distribution of votes. Can someone enlighten me?

    • Brumanuensis

      Top 6 elected and at least half have to be women, I think. NPF is chosen on the same basis. For some reason, PCCs were selected using AV.

      • Vicky Seddon


        • Brumanuensis

          My pleasure.

  • Wheelerpeter

    Just got the results and many many thanks to all the members who took part-and thanks to the ones who voted for me. Thanks also to Sue Press for her kind words.
    Obviously I got a lot of support from members in the North of England, who do feel that we get neglected by the powers that be, but I know I got a lot of support from members up and down the country who feel the same and I will do my best to speak up for them.

    The turnout was disappointing and not helped by the late arrival of many ballot papers. The NEC needs to investigate this seriously to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

    One of the problems is the way the NEC  members section is elected. Electing members nationally guarantees that large swathes of the country have no-one they feel belongs to, or represents them.
    No-one from Scotland ,Wales, Yorkshire or the South West to name but a few areas.

     NEC members do their best but I do feel we need to elect more CLP members on a basis of regional accountability with appropriate gender balance requirements. That way members have more chance of knowing their NEC members and might well help increase turn out. We will be debating this issue at conference and I will be circulating an appropriate motion to CLP’s shortly.

    I’m sad that Luke Akehurst didn’t get elected. Luke is a really hard working, committed Labour party member and strong believer in the Trade Union movement. He’s a good friend and a genuine guy.

    The next two years will be vital for the Party as we enter more election fight in the Police elections and next years County elections as well as building up for a General Election victory in 2015, the NEC will have a key role in ensuring the members are fully involved in all those campaigns. If you would like me to come to one of your local meetings or have any issues to raise just e-mail me at [email protected]

    • John Ruddy

      There was a motion at last years conference to have 2 additional CLP NEC reps one each for Scotland and Wales to reflect the devolved nature of our politics.

      It was defeated, on the recommendation of the NEC.

      Thats where you need to start…

  • ThePurpleBooker

    Glad to see that Johanna Baxter, Ellie Reeves and Peter Wheeler were elected. Sad that Flo Nosegbe, Joanne Milligan and Luke Akehurst didn’t make it. Why the hell was Christine Shawcroft re-elected.

    •  Well we had a vote and democratically decided that we preferred her to your favourites.

      Suck it up.

      • Reidjp

        rather asked for that one,didn’t you purple booker

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  • JamesB

    Yet again a very Southern / London-heavy result and no BAME members elected…

  • Chilbaldi

    On the subject of Labour First, why do they have no online presence?

  • David Brede

    At list with Peter Wheeler on there is someone from t’north!

  • Brumanuensis

    Have to say I’m amazed Kate Osamoor came within 124 votes of winning a spot, on her first ever try. I didn’t see that coming.

    • Brumanuensis

      Apologies, Osamor. Daft mistake to make.

      • john p Reid

        It was on the back of the ticket she shared with Ken and Ann Black, also she kept quiet about what her motehr stood for 20 years ago, You can’t criticise someone for their parents views or I’d judge Bobby kennedy by his father Joe.

        • Brumanuensis

          Then why, John, do you even mention it?

          • john p Reid

            because if she came out with the sort of stuff her mother did about white people or the police 20 years ago, in the next few years that sort of tension betwen Labour and the police would put us out of power for 18 years again,

  • Jeremy_Preece

    Interesting. Joanne Milligan opened her statement with the fact that she did not join Labour to attend meetings, and set out how Labour must look outwards and is there to serve a purpose, and win an election. Result: Not elected.
    In contrast Joanna Baxter in her blurb said nothing except that Labour is all about members doing meetings in splendid isolation from the electorate and serving no purpose. Result: Elected.

    The electorate rejected Ken just a few weeks ago. Result: Elected to the NEC – possibly a misplaced vote of sympathy, either way a purchase of goods that are well past their sell-by date.

    My mistake obviously, since I thought that the point was for Labour to win back government and take control of councils. In fact it seems that the point is that Labour is just to be a little cloud for members to talk to each other. If we are not going to be re elected then there will be all the time in the world to do that.  I really feel that of all the results, the election of Joanna Baxter is a statement that Labour membership wants to be introspective. Here is someone who seems to think that it is all about changing Labour and that changing Britain is not even worth mentioning.

    So if that is what the majority of the members want, and it results in an unelectable party, then one wonders why the membership should be granted more say!

    • Brumanuensis

      What a sour little post. Johanna Baxter has worked very hard over the past 2 years and to characterise her position as ‘members doing meetings in splendid isolation from the electorate  and serving no purpose’ is a gross misrepresentation.

      It’s a Labour Party internal election for God’s sake, not a General Election. Of course most of the discussions are about Labour politics. In any case, Johanna Baxter has championed a more open and less factional approach to Party democracy that will actually help make Labour less closeted and more open to the public. I’ve absolutely no idea why you chose to pick on her.

      • Jeremy_Preece

        Hi “Brumanuensis”. I joined the Labour Party only in 2010, having spent the first 50 years of my life outside of political parties, and therefore I see the parties (including our own) in the same way that the electorate does.

        My gripe with Johanna Baxter and her election statement is that she is all about “refounding Labour” membership democracy within the party and so on. I understand that to many who have been in the party for years, these all seem very important. However the electorate, i.e. the people whose vote we need in order to win general elections and to take over councils, don’t actually give a monkeys over the internal processes, politics and wrangling of any party. In fact it is an electoral turn off.

        The people that I voted for (who included Progress and “left” candidates) were those who focused on looking at what Labour has to offer the electorate, which is a very much more productive approach. That must be our purpose, and if it is not Labour will wither on the side lines.

        We need to connect with ordinary people outside the party across the regions, and we need to show that we have credible polices and start to look like the next government in waiting. Those who showed this sort of approach got my vote. A few who were totally focused on “changing Labour” did not. I mention Johanna Baxter merely because she seems to me to have been one of the worst offenders in terms of the inward looking approach, an appraoch that would result in failure.  

        • Homf

          I understand what you are saying but the NEC is very much an internal body focused on the party now. Many of it’s other powers have been moved elsewhere or sidelined over the years. The CLP reps are meant to be there to reflect the views and opinions of party members so Johanna Baxter has been doung the job as per description – the NEC reps just don’t gave that general outreach role

          • Brumanuensis

            I think in response to your reply Jeremy, I’ll second Homf’s opinion. Ordinarily I’d think you were on to something, but as Homf says, this is an internal Party body where the CLP reps are supposed to represent the views of Labour Party members to the leadership, so it’s naturally inward-looking. That’s not always a bad thing.

        • Emmaburnell

          Actually a great deal of what Johanna (anf other NEC reps) do is work to strengthen the ability of Party unitc such as CLPs and branches to be more externally focused in their campaigning. For example, from Johanna’s own submission to Refounding Labour (and an idea that she championed through the NEC) has grown into a community campaigning fund, which will help small CLPs who don’t have a lot of money by supporting them finacially, specifically for outreach work in their communities.

          Some people have to focus on the inside, to make sure that all parts of the offer to the outside are functioning properly. This is the role of the NEC. To do other would be like asking the management board of a majot company to take over the functioning of marketing. It’s not what they’re there for.

          Johanna, and the other CLP reps over the last year have done a great job of making that better and easier for CLPs, but there’s still a long way to go. Changing their function now to centralise an outward facing message away from CLPs would be chaotic and electorally suicidal.

          • Jeremy_Preece

            Hi Emma

            Could you just unpack for me what you mean by
            “Changing their function now to centralise an outward facing message away from CLPs would be chaotic and electorally suicidal. ”
            Are you saying that there are different policy pledges and angles going out from different CLPs? Surely not. Since I am sure that there would have to be a nationally consistant message going out from the Labour Party across the UK. Or have I got the wrong end of the stick.

          • Emmaburnell

            The primary role of the NEC is not policy creation or delivery. It acts as a management board abnd while it – like any management board – has a role in oversight of the policy process, it’s primary function is to ensure the proper running of the organisation, of which policy is only one of many functions.

            So while the Labour Party will have consistant policy created through it’s various policy making processes (there is the Policy Review (the work currently being undertaken by Jon Cruddas  and primariliy fed into by the Shadow Cabinet), the National Policy Forum (which (perhaps theoretically) oversees policy making on an ongoing basis, Conference and the work done by the policy team in head office, led by new Executive Director Torsten Henricson-Bell), it would be wrong to campaign in the same manner in every constituency. Off the shelf campaigns designed by head office show no respect to local circumstances and sensitivities.

            So while everyone will have the same basic policy platform, there will be a different focus on – for example – Labour’s work on creating the coastal path or a recovery plan for seaside towns in seats like Thanet North than there might be in landlocked Harlow.

            Even the basic jobs and growth messages need to be tailored to local circumstances, especially as Labour develop a more assertive industrial strategy, there will be different messages to areas where the local industies differ and where the stratagies and their impacts might differ.  

            It is understanding where such differing emphasis can help and finding the best way to empower local CLPs to deliver the messages that will have the most uptake with the voters they talk to that is why the work that Johanna and others has done is so essential.

          • Jeremy_Preece

            Hi Emma,
            I agree that you would not let infrustructure management, management and admin take over sales and marketing in a large company. However would the company – if successful – not do best when it takes into account customer feedback about the way that it operates? All policies would then be about how to deliver to the customers and expand the customer base.

            I guess that you can see where I am going with this, inrelation to how we organise Labour so that it appeals to more of the electorate.

          • Emmaburnell

            Customer feedback is essential. It is also most likely to be given at a more local than national level. It is how we manage the process of ensuring that feedback is properly communicated internally that would be the job of the NEC. Which is why a better functioning relationship between the national party and the CLPs (who in this analogy I suppose act as high street branches) is essential.  

    • Brumanuensis

      I mean, I understand the need to be outward-looking, Jeremy, but I think you’re picking on the wrong person here.

  • John Dore

    Very disappointed about Like. Kens share of the vote was also disappointing, I see him as a factionalist and not a uniting force. 

    I accept that Luke is critical of the left but so am I.

    I’m very concerned about these results.

    • Brumanuensis

      Why? They’re the same as the pre-election balance.

  • Wheelerpeter


    For me it goes without saying that there be seperate representation for Scotland and Wales.  We just need to work out how to get some gender balance in.

    Salford and Eccles CLP submitted a rule change last year which will be debated this year calling for greater regional representation but I think we need to go further to ensure members in each English region have some direct input- possibly 2 for the North, 2 for the midlands, 2 for London and the East and 2 for the South West/South East.

     Exact details reasonably easy to work out and the places could be gender balanced. In their evidence to Refounding Labour the Trade Unions supported increasing the number of CLP reps so shouldn’t be a problem there.

    It’s not perfect but it does mean that CLP’s could reasonably expect to see more of their NEC rep
    and know who to contact when there was a problem and it would allow NEC reps to develop stronger links with local councils, regional trade union bodies etc.

    I’ll always add the caveat that whist our internal structures can always be improved they are not an end in themselves but the means to allow us to be better at campaigning and winning the political arguments in our communities.

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