A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Elections at Labour Conference

There were three internal elections held at Labour Party Annual Conference.
CLP delegates voted for the Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) and National Constitutional Committee (NCC). These elections are always highly factionalised with rival left and moderate slates of candidates. These committees sound boring but determine how conference is run and the policing of the rulebook.
The CAC result, where each CLP could vote for 2 candidates, was:
Heidi Alexander MP (Moderate)           74972 elected
Tom Blenkinsop MP (Moderate)           67140 elected
Katy Clark MP (Left)                           58769
Peter Willsman (Left)                            49835
So in this election there was a 56.7% to 43.3% split in favour of the moderates.
The NCC result involved a third candidate without factional backing so was more difficult to interpret:
Maggie Cosin (Moderate)                    66146 elected
Gary Heather (Left)                              36647
Gertrude Hewitt (Independent)            24559
The other election at conference was for the 12 seats in the Trade Union section of Labour’s National Executive Committee (out of 33 seats on the NEC in total). Usually these are not really contested as the unions construct a deal to ensure all the main affiliates are represented and a contest avoided. In this instance the voting figures show there was broad agreement around eleven candidates but the twelfth seat was hotly contested between Community and BFAWU. Community is, along with USDAW, the union closest politically to the Blairite Progress grouping. It primarily represents workers in the steel industry and in the wider communities associated with that industry. BFAWU is the Bakers’ Union and is less than 10% the size of Community with only 5,100 affiliated members on the most recent figures I have. It is politically on the Hard Left and its candidacy for the NEC (and consequent removal of the Community incumbent representing over 55,000 affiliated members and the sixth largest affiliate) was reportedly being heavily touted by Unite. In the event Community held on, unlike in 2009 when the quota was used to exclude their incumbent male NEC member. The figures suggest Unison, GMB, USDAW and Community voted one way, and Unite, perhaps CWU, and some smaller leftwing unions the other.
Each union could vote for 12 candidates:
Keith Birch (Unison)                       2610244
Paddy Lillis (USDAW)                   2610244
Wendy Nicholls (Unison)                2610244
Mary Turner (GMB)                       2610244
Jim Kennedy (UCATT)                  2605144
Cath Speight (GMB)                      2605144
Andi Fox (TSSA)                           2594644
Jennie Formby (Unite)                    2578358
Andy Kerr (CWU)                         2578358
Rachel Maskell (Unite)                   2578358
Martin Mayer (Unite)                     2565948
Susan Lewis (Community)             1358165
Ian Hodson (BFAWU)                  1269889 not elected

The other indicator of left-right balance among the CLP delegates was on a card vote on a rule change about election of council Labour Group leaders by an electoral college rather than by councillors, which was promoted by the (Hard Left) Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and opposed by the NEC. The CLPs split 19% in favour of this proposal and 81% against (though presumably some people on the left may have opposed it on grounds of practical feasibility).


Anonymous Alan Ji said...

The Unite candidates didn't do terribly well; their male nominee was the east populat of the men elected.

4:31 pm, September 30, 2013


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