Shadow Cabinet Rankings – Burnham, Reeves and Harman on top, but is it wither the Blairites?


The LabourList Shadow Cabinet rankings for 2012 – as voted for by our readers – are out today. And it’s Andy Burnham who takes the 2012 title as the most popular member of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet. The Shadow Health Secretary has been at the top of the rankings in our monthly surveys thoughout the year, so it’s little surprise to see him hold claim the crown – but after a 2nd place finish last year his popularity has only grown over the past 12 months.

Beneath Burnham though there are some significant movements compared to a year ago. Rachel Reeves has surged up into second place in the rankings (up six places on 2011) despite only being in post for just over a year. Her rise is mirrored by the fall of Ed Balls, who is down 9 places this year to 13th (although it should be noted that last year’s poll was conducted just before the Shadow Chancellor’s speech at Fabian Society conference last year, which was criticised by many Labour members).

In 3rd place this year – rising from 10th in 2011 – is Harriet Harman, which shows a renewed ardour from Labour activists for their Deputy Leader. Harman has worked hard in a difficult role (Culture, Media and Sport), but has been rewarded by LabourList readers for her efforts. Praise should also go to Sadiq Khan, Emily Thornberry and Mary Creagh who have all risen up the rankings this year despite holding portfolios in which it is difficult to demand attention. Below Harman, the trio of Cooper, Benn and Umunna have consilidated their positions over 2012 – with Jon Cruddas (a relative newcomer) in a number 6.

Of those who have fallen down the rankings over the past year, Tom Watson’s move from 1st down to 8th is likely to grab the attention of some, but to dwell on this would be unfair. After an impossibly good 2011 fighting News International, Watson fell back to earth in 2012 – but still gained a more than solid showing for someone with an essentially back room job. If Labour looks likely to win the next election – expect it’s strategist in the Shadow Cabinet to move back up the rankings in due course.

Elsewhere, is it wither the Blairites? Those who are most regularly handed that label (Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy and Liz Kendall – along with the bottom three of Twigg, Lewis and Byrne) have either seen a decline in their ranking over 2012, or a consolidation of an already weak position at the bottom of our rankings. The one person who is comfortably bucking that trend though is Caroline Flint, who moved up from 23rd to 16th this year – perhaps off the back of her campaigning work in the South.

1 Andy Burnham Up 1
2 Rachel Reeves Up 6
3 Harriet Harman Up 7
4 Yvette Cooper Down 1
5 Hilary Benn  –
6 Jon Cruddas n/a
7 Chuka Umunna Down 1
8 Tom Watson Down 7
9 Angela Eagle Up 2
10 Sadiq Khan Up 4
11 Maria Eagle Up 1
12 Emily Thornberry Up 4
13 Ed Balls Down 9
14 Douglas Alexander Down 7
15 Owen Smith n/a
16 Jim Murphy Down 7
17 Caroline Flint Up 6
18 Mary Creagh Up 3
19 Jon Trickett  –
20 Liz Kendall Down 7
21 Vernon Coaker Down 4
22 Michael Dugher Down 4
23 Margaret Curran Down 3
24 Rosie Winterton Up 1
25 Stephen Twigg Down 3
26 Ivan Lewis Up 1
27 Liam Byrne Down 1

Keep checking back this week, as we’ll have all of the rest of the results from the LabourList survey of 2012 – your MP of the Year – and how confident Labour activists are about the party’s chances of winning in 2015…

878 of you voted in our end of year survey. Thanks to everyone who took part

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