The hostly contested Liverpool West Derby selection race has been won by Ian Byrne, who will replace Stephen Twigg as the Labour candidate. The result was incredibly close, with just two votes in it.
Doors opened to the selection meeting on Sunday at 1pm. Proceedings were described as “chaotic”. The final vote breakdown was agreed past 7.30pm following two recounts.
On the last rounding of voting, with all preferences taken into account, it was found that Byrne won the contest with 222 votes while runner-up Angela Coleman secured 219.
Successful candidate Byrne had his selection bid endorsed by key leadership figures John McDonnell and Laura Pidcock, amongst other shadow cabinet members, as well as the local Momentum group.
The new parliamentary candidate co-founded Fans Supporting Foodbanks. He currently works for Labour frontbencher Dan Carden MP in the neighbouring constituency of Liverpool Walton.
Carden tweeted his congratulations to Byrne on Sunday evening, and described him as a “principled, brilliant, compassionate socialist who will make a big impact in parliament and in our city”.
The other frontrunner in the race was Coleman, a former nurse. A local councillor in Liverpool Wavertree, she was backed by GMB and leading left activists such as Owen Jones.
Emily Brothers, Labour’s 2015 candidate in Sutton and Cheam, and Islington councillor Troy Gallagher were also shortlisted but excluded in the first two rounds of the eliminating ballot.
Olwen Hamer, previously a UNISON staffer now working for a homelessness organisation and an international policy journal, was shortlisted but pulled out of the contest and was not on the ballot paper.