Clearing up the NCC election confusion: who can vote and how it’ll work

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Nominations for the important elections to Labour’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC), the party’s senior disciplinary body, are underway and will close 28 October. The contest itself became clearer for members with yesterday’s announcement of a unified ‘slate’ of left-wing candidates by CLPD, Momentum and other organisations.

However, there has been considerable confusion over the issues of who is entitled to vote and how the process is going to work. Initially the party said votes would be by delegates to last month’s conference, as NCC members are usually elected at conference by delegates, but emails and other announcements suggested it would be local party secretaries who were entitled to vote.

The confusion extended up the party, with confusion even among party admin staff and the NEC (National Executive Committee) exacerbated by an email yesterday seeming to reinforce the idea that secretaries will vote.

The SKWAWKBOX has clarified with the NEC and party that delegates will have voting rights – but secretaries will be responsible for submitting details of the delegate vote.

Local parties should arrange meetings on their usual basis to nominate their preferred six candidates and secretaries should ensure nominations are submitted at the latest 28 October.

However, delegates who were elected to represent their CLP (constituency Labour party) at last month’s conference will then need to agree which candidates to vote for in the actual ballot.

The votes cast will carry proportional weight according to the size of the constituency’s Labour membership. For example, a CLP of 1000 people will have twice the voting weight of one of 500, which is how it works at each annual conference.

While nominations will close 28 October, the ballot to elect the new NCC representatives will open 12 November. The closing date for the ballot is 25 November.

So, to recap:

  • Now: nominations to be made by CLPs using their normal meeting process (general committee or all-member meeting). CLP secretaries must send in nominations
  • 28 Oct: closing date for receipt of nominations 
  • 12 Nov: ballot opens for delegate votes. Conference delegates must agree the candidates they want to support – they don’t necessarily need to meet – and notify their CLP secretary, who will submit the vote on behalf of the CLP and its delegates via sign-on details that will be provided to the secretaries. The decision among delegates can be made any time after the CLP’s nominations have been made but cannot be submitted by secretaries until 12 Nov or after
  • 25 Nov: close of delegate ballot

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  1. The whole process is more than a little condescending towards the membership and It’s still a very long way from OMOV. When will our party learn to trust its members.

    1. NCC isn’t OMOV, never has been, never been suggested before. Always been done by delegates at conference – who are usually elected by their CLPs to be delegates via OMOV

      1. SKWAWKBOX, did the online NEC vote we all took part in work as seamlessly as I remember and was the participation as wide as I imagine?
        If so what are the arguments against using it for NCC?
        ‘Always been done by delegates at conference’ seems a bit of a thin one to me if member participation can be expanded.

        Wouldn’t the process itself lead to an increased grassroots membership, feeling that they’re valued and making a real contribution – and wouldn’t that in turn generate more, and better informed, activists?
        I honestly don’t see why it wouldn’t.

    1. NCC elections have never been OMOV nor has anyone suggested they should be, that I’m aware of

      1. I thought we were progressing towards being a member led party. I really can’t think of one good reason why the NCC shouldn’t be elected by OMOV, can you?

      2. I can think of quite a few. It’s not a straightforward role or selection. That said, it could still be done

      1. It’s surprising that that they haven’t been published on-line.

      2. I think mine are clearer 🙂

        Up to 28th Oct. CLP secretaries need to send in six agreed nominations by members.

        From 12th Nov. up to 25th Nov. CLP secretaries need to send in six agreed nominations by their Liverpool conference delegates.

        Only delegates have voting rights.

  2. Can the delegates vote for someone other than those nominated by the CLP?

  3. Thanks for this Skwawkbox, just one slight correction, delegates can’t choose which delegates to vote for until the Ballot list is finalised and published; this will be sometime after the 28th Oct and before 12th Nov.

    It is possible that some CLP nominations may not reach the criteria necessary to get on the ballot paper. That is, 4 CLP nominations plus nomination by their own CLP

  4. It looks like ,to me ,that there is a debate to be had over OMOV for the NCC , understanding the desire for greater membership involvement but to grasp the problems there maybe in doing so.
    I’d like to know more from the experts in the party with the experience to help inform us and thus make the case for or against OMOV.( future proposition to Conf ? ) .
    This is , as can be evidenced , a vital part of the Party operations with members being unjustly expelled by abuse of the system.
    Work in progress I think.

  5. Thanks SkwawkB, JackT, PeteR for the clarification. It would be good, also, to have a clearer understanding of the underlying rationale.

    1. Paulo, the rationale is to give the illusion that all members have a say, when in fact it is only delegates who have the vote. Which is how it works at conference and which this is supposed to replicate.

      It is disingenuous to think that members may now influence the delegates choice, many of whom will already have made up their minds. Incidentally, I was a delegate at the conference and will be voting for the CLPD6.

  6. The answer is to give the “ILLUSION”, yes go with that. The reality is not all delegates who “ATTENDED” conference knew about this !.
    It is “Disingenuoous” to “THINK” that members may influence delegates !. It was members thru their CLP’s that gave delegates those directions/instructions if they knew about them.
    Anyone who votes for any of the nominees should have FULL knowledge and understing of their background/history for those 5 yrs and more. The info so far given is not sufficient, therefore NO real regard to these nominees as to their qualifications for such serious positions can be given. I believe the NEC should think again.

  7. Seems a bit arcane. Getting more democracy in the Labour Party for party members is proving to be a much longer task than anyone realised.

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