Labour’s resurgence in Scotland continued last week with a couple of seat gains in council by-elections, after six Parliamentary seats were won in the General Election. The resignation of Kezia Dugdale has opened the door for the Scottish party to elect a leader in tune with the members and voters who are returning to an energised party that at last is offering a genuine political alternative to an electorate heartily sick of ‘more of the same’.
Left-wing candidate Richard Leonard is promising to take the party and the country forward – and the news that the party is opening the contest to new members is set to strengthen his chances.
In a surprise move, the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) has announced that anyone joining as a new full member – as well as registered supporters and affiliated union supporters – by the deadline of 9 October will be eligible to vote in the leadership election, whose full timetable is available online here.
Registered and affiliated supporters will have a vote in the leadership election, but full members have a chance to influence the party on the ground, day in and day out, as well as to vote for other key positions in the running of the party. It appears likely that previous registered supporters will need to re-register, but the SKWAWKBOX will report on this and the supporter fee for this election shortly.
Labour’s strong performance in Scotland last week, with no leader in place, put beyond doubt the fact that Labour’s Scottish comeback has been powered by the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and his team and driven forward by the efforts of people behind his vision.
Scottish and Welsh Labour have been hampered by an ‘old guard’ that was resisting rather than enhancing this energy, but the Scottish party now has a chance to elect a leader who will push forward rather than back – and Scottish residents have the opportunity to secure a better Labour party for the good of the country by joining and voting for Leonard.
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