As agreed by Labour’s national executive committee last week, elections for positions on Young Labour’s national committee have kicked off. They will run alongside the NEC’s own elections and end, eventually, in November.
Young Labour gives young members a voice at the top of the party, supports local Young Labour groups and mobilises young people at election time. It is made up of reps from various sections of the labour movement.
Each position is not elected in the same way, and this is the first time these elections have taken place since the democracy review, which changed the processes slightly. LabourList takes a look at how it all works below.
Which positions are up?
Chair of Young Labour. The chair determines the general direction of the youth section and chairs meetings of the national committee.
The current chair is Miriam Mirwitch, who was elected in 2018. She is ageing out of the role and therefore not able to restand. Jess Barnard is the Labour left candidate for chair this year.
Regional Young Labour representatives. One regional rep is to be elected from each region of England and from the Scottish and Welsh parties, amounting to 12 in total with at least six women.
Young Labour trade union representatives. Ten places are reserved for reps from the trade union movement, and at least five of those elected must be women.
Young Labour student representatives. Three student representatives are set to be elected, with women taking at least two of the positions.
Young Labour socialist society representative. One member is to be elected by socialist societies affiliated to the Labour Party.
Young Labour under 18s representative. One position is being contested for the under 18s rep on the youth section’s governing body.
Young Labour international representative. One seat on the committee is up for grabs for the international rep position.
The democracy review in 2018 changed the committee structure to remove the positions of ‘ordinary representatives’, which had been a general role for a rep to voice the views of young members.
Three other positions on the governing body – that of BAME officer, disability representative and the women’s officer – are up for election at the next Young Labour equalities conference.
What is the timetable?
- Monday 27th July – nominations opened
- Sunday 27th September – nominations close
- Monday 19th October – ballot dispatch begins
- Thursday 12th November – ballot closes
- Friday 13th November – results announced
How is each seat elected?
The trade union and socialist society representatives are elected by the affiliated organisations, weighted according to the number of members that the groups affiliated to the Labour Party last year.
For the others, each needs to gain the required nominations to secure a place on the ballot paper. Then it goes to a vote. The nomination requirements, voting systems and electorates vary between the different positions.
All candidates must be under the age of 27 on November 13th – except for the under 18s rep, who must be… under 18. They all need to have been a member for at least 12 months. A first-past-the-post voting system is used.
Candidates for chair need to be nominated by at least 50 young members and two affiliates. The chair is then elected by all eligible members under the age of 27 via a one-member-one-vote (OMOV) ballot.
The regional Young Labour reps must be nominated by 20 young members in their relevant region. They are then elected through an OMOV ballot of all eligible young members in their region.
Labour’s rule book says the regional rep in each location across the country should be a woman at least every other term. It has therefore determined which seats are open and which are reserved by looking at the current post holder.
Yorkshire, the West Midlands, the South East, London, the East Midlands and the East are reserved for women, while the North, the North West, Scotland, the South West and Wales are open to all.
The student reps must be nominated by at least 20 verified student members. They will then be elected by OMOV of all verified student members of the Labour Party who are under the age of 27.
The under 18s rep must secure nominations from at least 20 members under the age of 18. They will then be elected through an OMOV ballot of all members aged under 18.
The international rep needs to receive nominations from at least 20 young members, and is then elected by a OMOV ballot of all eligible Labour members under the age of 27.