Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has agreed the following timetable for the party’s leadership elections:
Tuesday 7 January: nominations open from MPs and MEPs
Monday 13 January: nominations from MPs and MEPs close at 2.30pm
Tuesday 14 January: registered supporters applications open at 5pm.
Thursday 16 January: registered supporters applications close at 5pm.
Wednesday 15 January: second stage of nominations from Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) and affiliates opens
Monday 20 January: freeze date for eligibility for new members and affiliated supporters, closes at 5pm
Friday 14 February: close of CLP and affiliate nominations.
Friday 21 February: ballot opens.
Thursday 2 April: ballot closes at 12pm.
Saturday 4 April: special conference to announce results.
Nomination of candidates is a two-stage process. Candidates who receive nominations from at least 10% (22) of Labour MPs and MEPs will go through to the second stage of nominations from Constituency Labour Parties and affiliated organisations. They then must receive nominations from at least 5% of all CLPs or at least three affiliates – at least two of which must be trade unions – comprising 5% of fully paid up affiliated membership.
The freeze date of 20 January for new members to join and be eligible to vote is a change from 2016, when a retrospective cut-off date was set. This is to ensure the elections are as open and democratic as possible.
As in 2016, the fee to join as a registered supporter is £25. Registered supporters must be on the electoral register and meet the qualification criteria for membership of the Labour Party.
The NEC voted to restrict candidates’ access to member data until the later stages of the election, leading to complaints from right-wing candidates and their supporters that access to Momentum data may give left-wing hopefuls an edge. However, right-wingers have been shown in the past to make illegitimate use of data from the Owen Smith leadership campaign, so security measures are not unreasonable.
A party spokesperson said:
We are by far the largest political party in the UK with well over half a million members. We want as many of our members and supporters to take part, so it has been designed to be open, fair and democratic.
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