Regionalism in the PLP?
I thought I'd take a look at the nominations for Leader made by the PLP to see if it threw up any regional patterns. Obviously the Abbott figures carry the health warning that some of them were "tactical" nominations to get her on the ballot who won't vote for her.
London: Ed M 11, Abbott 10, David M 10, Burnham 3, Balls 2
South outside London: Abbott 3, Ed M 3, Balls 2, David M 1, Burnham 0
East Midlands: Ed M 6, David M 4, Abbott 2, Balls 2, Burnham 0
West Midlands: Balls 8, David M 6, Ed M 4, Burnham 3, Abbott 0
Yorkshire & Humberside: David M 8, Burnham 7, Balls 6, Abbott 5, Ed M 5
North West: David M 15, Burnham 13, Ed M 8, Balls 4, Abbott 4
North East: David M 10, Balls 5, Ed M 5, Abbott 3, Burnham 1
Scotland: David M 18, Ed M 11, Burnham 5, Abbott 3, Balls 1
Wales: Ed M 10, David M 9, Abbott 3, Burnham 1, Balls 1
The results were more interesting than I expected:
- despite his overall lead in nominations David Miliband only came top amongst MPs in Scotland and the 3 northern regions.
- perhaps unsurprisingly David M was in the lead in the North East where he is an MP, Andy Burnham did very well amongst fellow NW MPs and Diane Abbott did well in London
- less explicable is that the two Eds, both Yorkshire MPs, don't seem to have a particular support base there
- Ed M's support in London, like Abbott's, may reflect a different politics amongst the London Labour MPs or a different perception of what will appeal to the capital's voters
- Ed M's Welsh support is presumably partly thanks to Peter Hain being on his team. I don't have a theory to explain his East Midlands support.
- smilarly Ed Balls' West Midlands support may be connected to Tom Watson backing him
Aside from telling us about regional clusters of similar-minded MPs in the PLP, and regional loyalties, they may be a pointer to the members' section of the leadership electoral college as some MPs are able to secure votes for candidates from their CLPs through endorsing them. If this is the case then the figures above for London and the North West are the ones to watch as these regions have by far the biggest numbers of individual Labour members.
Of the 20 largest membership CLPs in the country, the MPs for 6 have nominated Abbott, 4 each David and Ed Miliband, 1 Burnham and none Balls. 4 of the 20 no longer have Labour MPs and the final one is held by Glenda Jackson, one of 15 Labour MPs not to make a nomination.