NEC passes 33% affirmative ballot threshold

nec header

Labour’s NEC has this evening agreed to put the 33% ‘affirmative ballot‘ system favoured by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to Conference as a formal statement for future parliamentary candidate selections. As the SKWAWKBOX described last week, this is a low bar for members wishing to change their MP – not the ‘no bar’ hoped for by ‘open selection’ campaigners, but equally democratic, requiring members to win only one in every three branches in their constituency to force a selection contest. MPs, by contrast, will need to win five out of every six to prevent one.

The NEC statement to conference means that open selection motions are effectively ruled out.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. Terrible mistake. “not the ‘no bar’ hoped for by ‘open selection’ campaigners, but equally democratic” that is just bollocks mate.

  2. The Open Selection campaigners may well have something to say about this during the conference on the stage.

  3. PLEASE let us know who voted which way.

    This is not “equally democratic”, it is catastrophic from the point of view of the rank and file Labour Party members in need of accountability and a changed relationship with the arrogant, chicken-coup PLP.

    There seems to be a fundamental disagreement about what the purpose of reselection ought to be. It SHOULD NOT be about getting the young stars of Momentum into seats, we should have little confidence in most of them anyway given their left-liberal love affair with capitalism.

    Reselection SHOULD be about shifting the balance of power away from MPs entirely, in favour of the members – and from that perspective a revamped, renamed trigger mechanism is completely useless.

    1. been sayin this a lot – if a US primary here stateside required any trigger at all, no matter the threshold, it would be gamed by capital instantly. makes no sense except for Blairite neoliberalism to continue sinking its claws into Labour.

  4. It is not what the members wanted or what the Democracy Review recommended.
    Was Open Selection sabotaged by the NEC members who have just lost their seats in the recent ballot?
    What a disappointment!

  5. One in three versus five in six, what are you on about? It’s two in six to get a reselection or a sitting MP needs five out of six to prevent it. If we are talking about a total of three branches an MP has to scupper any branches. This is a straight majority vote? I doubt it, 2/3rds most likely, of all those entitled to vote or those who do vote? Clearly not open selection. A system designed to maximise fiddling the numbers/branches and raise the temperature.

  6. Honestly, its a hard thing to witness from the outside. What a strange way to deprive members their say in acting that way, I mean this NEC has way too much power over the members they’re suppose to represente, I woudn’t feel welcome and would loose my trust and motivation right away.

  7. Bang goes democracy at local level. More contempt for grass root members who keep these people in a job. Shocking.

  8. This has gone on for years in the Labour Party, the executive taking the members for fools. This cannot be allowed to stand, a few right wingers on the NEC trying to defeat the wishes of the members.

    At every meeting of Chris Williamson’s Democracy Road Show there has been either unanimous or overwhelming support for Open Selection.

    It’s obvious we now need Open Selection for the NEC as well!

  9. No doubt the first of what looks like several victories for the extreme centre now starting to provide a wedge for the Right-Wing return when accompanied by same about-turn to rerun the referendum. With Watson showing more of his hand the time is coming for the prospects of re-run of the leadershership election as well.

  10. This subject is so depressing and confusing at the same time.

    I would like to know, definitively and objectively, if these changes are an improvement or not.

    If they are an improvement I will be happy. If things are worse then that’s reason to feel depressed.

    I am not au fait with these procedures and policies so I find it difficult to understand.

    I wonder how these Labour policies compare with the Tories and the United States. It would be handy if Skwawkbox offered the ability to vote in a poll.

  11. hmm it seems the greedie ones are still pulling the strings has above I see trouble ahead

  12. I don’t know any organisation in the world where we give the power of policies for the years to come to people who just lost an election contest. That is pure madness and go against comon sens. Now, skwak, it is not clear how many branches they are around one MP. For instance in the Joan Ryan case, the vote of confidence she recieved account for what? One branche? Is there differences between clp’s and branches? Please help

  13. This makes it easier to get an MP who is not working or is attacking the leadership to be ousted. As things stand MP’s followed a career path to what looked to them like something they could rely on for a long period. Would it be fair or possible to say to 70% of MP’s effectively we the NEC are gong to lever you out, goodbye. In a couple of years or so maybe it would be fair to revisit and go to Open selection. We cannot risk throwing the party into such turmoil that we risk being so divided that we are unfit to fight an election that could be soon.Don’t we have to recognise that although we hate those betraying us as members and the leadership that these MP’s have given in good faith and worked hard for their constitiuents, the party and country. There are a dozen approximately that for everyones sake should go now.

    1. I disagree with practically everything you have said above.

      apart from –
      “There are a dozen approximately that for everyones sake should go now.”

      In reality these are the only individuals that need to worry about an automatic re-selection procedure. The SNP seem to be able to run an open selection process without falling apart at the seams. Why do you think it would be any different for the Labour Party?

      1. Kicking the can down a never ending road rarely achieves anything.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: