#Lab18 passes changes to leadership nomination and MP selection criteria



Votes six and eight at this year’s Labour conference in Liverpool have seen delegates approve the NEC’s recommendations for changes to the processes for Labour’s leadership nominations and for constituency parties (CLPs) to initiate a selection process to potentially replace an incumbent Labour MP.

The two votes carried with 63.94% in favour for the nomination changes and 65.32% for the selection. This was considerably tighter than the less contentious NEC proposals, which all scored well into the nineties, but still a far higher level of support among CLP delegates who were almost unanimous in voting to reject the CAC (Conference Arrangements Committee) report containing these and other members. This supports the idea that members’ issues with the CAC report were less about the fact that acceptance meant that ‘open selection‘ and more about other issues such as the treatment of housing and other motions.

Leadership nominations

Would-be candidates in future leadership elections will now need nominations from ten percent of Labour MPs and either five percent of Labour-affiliated organisations or from CLPs representing five percent of Labour members. Although a slightly raised bar and not the reduction in the number of MP nominations hoped for by many members, in reality this presents little realistic obstruction to good left candidates in future, as unions and members will have increased power to pressure MPs to nominate a left candidate.

Parliamentary selections

The selection process change, termed ‘affirmative ballot‘, will require CLP members to win a straight OMOV (one member one vote) ballot in only one out of every three branches in a CLP in order to secure a fresh selection process.

Affiliate branches, which were previously counted in deciding whether a ‘trigger ballot’ threshold had been passed, will now be in a separate category and able to hold their own affirmative ballot, but will not be able to influence the members’ result.

While this is not the automatic ‘open selection’ that has been pushed as the ‘only democratic option’ recently, affirmative ballot is a huge improvement on the previous trigger-ballot process – and any CLP with enough members to achieve ‘50% +1’ to replace an MP will be able to achieve a win in just 33% of its branches. The power is now firmly in the hands of members, as long as they’re motivated enough to vote for change.

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  1. I have started scanning through these articles now, because the complex bureaucracy they report on makes me mentally fatigued.

    I usually go straight to the comments section instead so that I can find succinct summations. It’s easier.

    1. I think there may be some copy/paste errors in this piece.
      First para makes no sense and I stopped trying to read the second so I don’t think it’s you, Ella 🙂
      Unless we’re both going loopy…

  2. Who wants to change politics as we know it? Labour? I don’t think so. I mean look at these tiny changes they manage to make with more then 3/4 of delegates on their side. And they pretend they can make a change in UK, with way more contentious and difficult problems and that with half the support they had for rule change? Bull…t

  3. A good left candidate should get nominated next time. As a result of the failed coup, more of them are on the front bench and so have a higher profile.

    Also, the fear that a candidate from the left will make it harder for the party to get elected is not as strong as it was. People supported Tony Blair in 1994 because he was thought more ‘electable’. Also, in 2010, David Miliband got the support of some Labour MPs because he persuaded them, falsely in my view, that he would make Labour more electable.

    And the PLP is moving to the left anyway albeit not as quickly as we would like.

  4. We’ve always had traitors obstructing mandatory reselection. There was the “Mikardo Compromise” when a veteran ‘left-winger’ insisted to conference that divorce [between MP and CLP] should not be easy; there was the “Scanlon Mistake” when a right wing trade union leader “accidently” cast his block vote the wrong way against his union’s mandate, and now we have the treachery of the pro-capitalism careerists of Momentum plc plugging their pitiful, re-spun trigger mechanism.

    I hope those who support Open Selection will continue to campaign for it.

  5. So, we are back to square one with leadership selection, no matter how you dress it up.
    As for de-selection, 50%+1 of what exactly? Anybody who can be arsed to turn up on the night? I might be prepared to buy that, it would get rid of some of the more egregious examples. Or, as I suspect, will it have to be 50%+1 of all members of the branch, including those who within the last 12 months despite having died, emigrated, been suspended, been hospitalised, failed to pay their dues, or been housebound, still have the right to vote. Add in those Momentum members still saluting Lansman, and the fix is in!

    1. Hullo, I’m kinda house bound but when J.C came to Scarborough I got down to the Spa and I wasn’t the only one. Red till dead. Regards.

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