Analysis comment

How Long-Bailey lost nomination in Corbyn’s CLP confirms massive error in offering only 1 left candidate

Lead in first two rounds turned into defeat in round three

In early January, as the battle for places on the Labour leadership ballot wore on, the SKWAWKBOX warned that influential left figures were making a catastrophic error in their determination to offer Labour members only one left candidate in the contest.

Whatever their reasons for doing so, the SKWAWKBOX predicted that the move risked demotivating large parts of the left membership, which felt manipulated and railroaded into supporting an ‘establishment’ preference – and that many of those might simply abstain either in protest or out of a lack of excitement about the leadership prospects.

By contrast, because Labour’s leadership election is run as a transferable ‘preference’ vote, offering more than one option would promote engagement and members would naturally give their second preference to the other left candidate after giving first preference to their favourite.

The SKWAWKBOX’s warning in January

With – at that time – four right-wingers likely to make the ballot, the decision to put forward only Rebecca Long-Bailey meant that if she did not pass the fifty percent mark on the first round of voting, she was never going to pick up enough second-preference votes from supporters of the lowest right-wing candidates to win the contest.

In spite of its obvious and potentially fatal flaw – and the fact that enough nominations for a second left candidate could have been gathered – the plan to present only ‘RLB’ to the members went ahead.

Islington North

Long-Bailey’s campaign suffered a blow last weekend when the nomination meeting of Islington North constituency Labour party – Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency – resulted in the nomination of Keir Starmer.

But the mechanics of that vote are telling. They reveal that Long-Bailey led for the first two rounds of voting, including leading by a distance in the first round – but ultimately lost because of exactly the lack of second-preference votes predicted in January.

The SKWAWKBOX understands that the numbers in the voting rounds were as follows:

  • Round 1 Long-Bailey 125, Starmer 80, Nandy 44, Thornberry 30
  • Round 2 Long-Bailey 135, Starmer 91, Nandy 54
  • Round 3 Starmer 138, Long-Bailey 135

It’s impossible to say exactly how many people stayed away from the nomination meeting because of a lack of engagement in the process caused or worsened by the lack of a meaningful choice of left candidate.

But it’s clear from discussions on social media and among left groups that many members feel demotivated by the lack of choice, by concerns about some of the people around the one candidate being presented and by some of the decisions and announcements in the campaign so far.

And significant numbers have been saying that they will not participate in the ballot as a result.

In an election where turnout is certain to be a key driver in the outcome, the consequences of a poor decision in January are on course to be decisive.

See also: Want to serve the movement and ensure that Labour members have their full say in the vital NEC elections later this year? Read here.

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46 comments

  1. The Ariadne of the established left is breathtaking. They think they rule on social media, only because they don’t bother to see how the Tories are spending their millions, and they treat their supporters as sheep.
    And then they whine when the Tories outflank them.
    I doubt they’ve even considered the possibility of RLB not winning, and the consequences for the Left. And the party as a whole.

      1. ARIADNE !!! My goodness heenan73, the ¿telepathic? classic slip may not bode well. You nay have been correct the first time.
        Re: the 2nd & 3rd prefs, now that there is only one choice, it is best to only use the 1st pref. And, even then, we have our work cut out!!! What a struggle, what a trial it is keeping true Labour alive…
        The vote share / stages / prefs mirror that in my CLP. And, the final margin, though reversed is about the same in a sub Labour group. RLB gaining about 4 votes > KS. So will RLB distinguish herself or try to placate the MSM, the usual suspects, the gluttons for the same old same old Jo SwinsonianSoubrianUmmunianLibDemagogicBlairBergianArstairCampbellend ended tosh??? OR DISTINGUISH HERSELF and placate appease attend to, listen to, consider … us???

    1. Sorry, Skwawkbox, but it simply isn’t the supposed ‘tactical error’ of only offering one supposedly ‘Left’ candidate that is the fundamental problem here. The problem is that Rebecca Long Bailey simply has no credibility as a genuine ‘Left’ candidate with so many of us socialists in the Party. She is in reality a quite blatant slippery career politician ‘trimmer’ and sloganised policy bullshitter , no different to the other Right Wing candidates. And not tough enough, politically or personally, to stand up to the Labour PLP Right’s abuse for a month, never mind the years of abuse and sabotage Jeremy endured (before he too, let’s be honest, did crumble to the Right on the anti-Semitism smear campaign, our Brexit position, and failing totally to organise the Left , via the once huge Momentum organisation, against the Right and Centre saboteurs).

    2. The consequences are hopefully Labour will split as I keep posting , imo it is not a sustainable vehicle for the real Socialists amongst us who want a socialist Govt . The rot and corruption by the RW is so deep in the Party that longer term it is inevitable to become a permanent opposition Tory lite gravy train for the likes of Strummer and Phillips et al.

      1. “hopefully Labour will split ”

        So you like the idea of a right-wing Tory government in perpetuity?

        Because that is the only outcome of such a split and the creation of a Party with less support than the Greens, whilst the neoliberals walk away with the larger part.

        Don’t kid yourself about a mass movement based on hot air and sectarian purity.

  2. The delay in comments appearing is causing some weird effects.
    My comment was to heenan73’s first not his second.

  3. Long-Bailey has made a massive mistake by having Lansman as campaign manager and accepting the BOD outrageous demands. I am a left wing supporter, however I couldn’t bring myself to support any leader with a close tie to RW Tory groups within such as BOD, LFI, JLM, LAAS etc. I will only be voting for one preference in the deputy leader race which is Richard Burgon. ALL four of the leadership candidates are not worthy of being leader of the LP. After the vote I will be leaving the LP for good, it’s corrupt from top to bottom

    1. “Long-Bailey has made a massive mistake by having Lansman as campaign manager and accepting the BOD outrageous demands.”

      Exactly. But the righteous brethren don’t get that incongruent detail about their canonization of the princess which fouls up the machine (and the propaganda).

      1. I find it quite amusing how all the middle-class attacks suddenly stopped when RLB’s supporters rather belatedly realised that her lifestyle was just as middle class as the rest of them.

      2. SteveH and of course her and all the other Leaders complete capitulation to the BOD ensured the sudden ending of “hostilities” to them , Christ oh for some backbone , like Chris Williamson …

      3. Rob – Unfortunately their cowardice has made a rod for all our backs.

      4. And what happened to Chris Williamson as a consequence? And what then happened when he was reinstated? So, anyway, RH passed the ‘cowards’ B/S on to SteveH to disseminate! For the time being anyway!

        Yep, Repetition, that good old propaganda technique!

        Wouldn’t it be Sooo much more productive to put a leaflet together exposing a sample of the lies and falsehoods re the A/S smear campaign and print off a few hundred and stick them through peoples doors, instead of spending so much time on here. Whatever the outcome of the leadership election, we should still be doing all we can to expose the A/S smear campaign against Jeremy and hundreds of thousands of his supporters/members on the left.

        Needless to say, the leadership contenders were either more than happy to sign up to the BoD demands (read Blairights), or felt blackmailed into doing so because of the ‘repercussions’ they knew would follow if they DIDN’T, which would of course completely destroy any chance of them winning.

        Get the truth out there if you really care!

      5. Allan – “Wouldn’t it be Sooo much more productive to put a leaflet together exposing a sample of the lies and falsehoods re the A/S smear campaign and print off a few hundred and stick them through peoples doors, instead of spending so much time on here”

        You’ve spoken about this several times so I’m quite surprised that you haven’t produced one yourself. Repeatedly talking about it is unlikely to have much of an impact so why don’t you design one of these leaflets that you put so much faith in. You can then email it direct to SB and ask him to put it on-line so that we can all have a look and see whether we think it will be a useful tool. Failing that you could post it in a drop box and put the link to it in a comment so that we can all have the opportunity to review it and perhaps contribute our own recommendations.

        ps: It looks like you owe Joseph a big apology for accusing him of lying.

      6. Still picking a fight with the mirror on the wall, Allan?

        Your TINA model of the responses to the antisemitism scam just goes round in ever-decreasing circles : If there’s no alternative to agreeing with the enemy and saying ‘Thanks !’ to every bit of shit thrown at you – then you may as well give up and vote Tory – because you are in effect resigned to their continuing dominance.

      7. Came across this page whilst doing some research and saw the 10.00pm post from Steve H, so just for the record……. Now his SOLE purpose/reason for posting a Reply to my post was to say what he said last of all, the irony of it being that HE is lying about me havig accused Joseph Okeefe of lying. But THAT’s what shills – propagandists – DO! I did NOT at any point accuse Joseph O’Keefe of lying, and Steve H knows it, and the ONLY thing I did – and in response to someone and citing a poster who said they couldn’t understand why Joseph doesn’t just say where he was a councillor – was surmise about the reason why he has refused to tell me. So given that at no point did I say Joseph Okeefe was lying, then it’s an impossibility that Steve H saw me saying such a thing. THIS is what I said (copied and pasted):

        ‘As David Walsh said, why would anyone have any reason to not be open about it. It doesn’t make sense if Joseph really was, but by repeatedly avoiding doing so he just reinforces the suspicion that he never was a councillor, and that it’s fabrication, concocted so as to impress and add weight to his comments.’

        NB As as I was very soon to realise, THAT is precisely why Joseph kept refusing to tell me – ie so that HE and his fellow shills could accuse me of accusing Joseph of lying about being a councillor. It’s ALL about contriving to discredit and smear someone, and YES Stark, you WERE all playing a ‘long game!

        The problem for them was that they had to wait around five months before I said anything that questioned the reason why he wouldn’t tell me, but they knew that I eventually would, and when I DID, they jumped at the chance to transform it into me having said he is lying. And THAT is why Steve H posted a Reply to my comment – ie so that he could repeat the Big Lie

        Pity it ended up being a damp squib after all that!

      8. Allan – So much of a damp squib that you felt irresistibly compelled after 159 days to treat us to yet another pathetic long ramble in your ‘defence’.
        Well I suppose it’s an improvement on the last old comment of mine that you felt compelled to reply to in the last few days, that one was over 2 years old.
        Are you working through in chronological order and if so can I presume that all my other comments up until Feb this year have passed muster with you.
        How sad do you have to be to feel the need to go trawling through old comments looking for where someone might have had the temerity to criticise you. Are you really that insecure?

      9. PS Just to be absolutely clear, it was ALL a set-up, and there is no reason on this earth why Joseph wouldn’t have just told me the first time I asked him, or ANYONE, for that matter, unless of course you had an ‘objective’ in mind. But the shills – the propagandists – being what they are, transformed a simple question on my part in to a ‘DEMAND’, but needless to say, they know full well that the first time I asked him I said the following: ‘Where were you a councillor Joseph, as a friend of mine thinks he recognises the name?’. Mind you, it is rather odd that in the half-a-dozen or so articles in the Brighton Argus related to Joseph – under the name Joe O’Keefe (with the apostrophe) – one would have thought they would have mentioned that he was a former councillor, but they don’t.

      10. Allan – If only for the sake of your own sanity it’s high time you got a sense of perspective, Please try not to be so paranoid, it really isn’t all about you.

      11. Just seen your response Steve, which of course just reinforces the fact that you are indeed a paid shill. Anyway, you’ll be pleased to hear that you and Joe and Co will be getting a chapter in the book I’m writing about shills!

        Oh, right, and I’ve been meaning to check out when you started posting through the night. Anyway, give my regards to the guys at the Integrity Initiative, won’t you (I assume THAT’s what you mean when you refer to ‘us’, as in ‘… treat us….’!

        PS HALF the reason I wrote it was to see if YOU turned up shortly afterwards! Oh, and whilst you’re here, would you be kind enough to copy and paste – as you alleged – me saying that Joseph lied about being a councillor. Given what I said in my post above about you having fabricated that, it would have been the most obvious thing in the world for you to do, but the reason you DIDN’T of course, is because I didn’t say any such thing, and you are a lying fascist piece of unowhat! But that’s what shills do, and what they get paid to do – ie lie through their rotten fascist teeth.

        Oh, right, and in going through all the comments you’ve posted during the past two years and prior to this thread, I only managed to find one comment to respond to (from two years ago)! Not doing very well am I?! But yes, I get great pleasure from hunting down people – THAT one will definitely be going in the book! – and attacking them. The joke of it is Steve, that apart from you and your fellow shills, no-one but no-one is ever likely to see any of the comments…… although I suppose it would be fun to put a link to my initial comment above AND our little tete a tete that followed in a current thread! Anyway, be sure to dig out the bit where I allegedly accuse Joseph of lying won’t you. NOT that he doesn’t lie and fabricate all the time anyway!

      12. Allan, presumably your book will be a “vanity” publication. We’re all trembling!

  4. The only surprise here is that 10 of Thornberry’s supporters gave their second preference vote to RLB.

    1. None of Nandy’s votes went to RLB … a pattern repeated elsewhere. Starmer pipping RLB in the 3rd round because of Nandy 2nd preferences. Looks like Vote Nandy, elect Starmer.

  5. Many of us feel exactly the same and will probably do the same. The action of the Jewish Network for Palestine activists to refer themselves to Labour complaints regarding AS should shame the LP, but I fear it is governance is completely beyond shame.

  6. How many members in each constituency have had anonymous & unsubstantiated allegations made against them & are therefore removed from the ballot?

  7. Well, if you had 2 left candidates then they could help stop each other from moving to the right.

    RLB-wrong to accept BoD demands. As for campaign manager, that is more difficult to tell because it depends who else is available.

    The danger of anyone on the left voting for Keir Starmer is illustrated by this quote:

    “All this rubbish about being faithful to Corbynism, I’m voting for Keir on the assumption that he cannot possibly mean it.”

    says one Starmer-backing former cabinet minister quoted by Andrew Rawnsley in Sunday’s Observer.

    Yes, the danger is that he does not mean it. So why take the risk?

    1. Unfortunately it’s nothing new for politicians to tell us what they think we want to hear, they all do it. Part of what did for Corbyn was him pissing ‘constructive ambiguity’ all over his reputation.

  8. “How RLB lost the vote … ”

    It doesn’t need a great deal of analysis : she didn’t command enough confidence and therefore votes.

    In politics, you have to create a majority coalition, not a unified minority.

    1. We have what we have and RLB and Burgon are the last chance saloon for the left.
      Same pattern in 2 CLPs near me RLB ahead first 2 rounds was RLB 38, Starmer 28 and Nandy 26 in one but Neo-Liberal Trilateral Commission Starmer scraped in with Nandy votes.
      I think if Starmer gets in I’m out but is a new Left Wing Democratic Socialist Party in the wilderness unless a major union/s make the move too?
      Of course the Right want the Labour brand as it usually comes with millions of voters.
      If Starmer/Rayner win Labour Labour will run to the centre and get crushed.
      But perhaps as a new Pasok there will be sufficient gravy for them with perhaps 80 seats, a passive membership and cosy meetings with all mention of socialist ideas eliminated.
      But then a new Left Party would have to endure the tiresome Trot groups with their top down bourgeois programme and ONLY their programme – a socialism FOR when many of us want to politicise the multitude and have a left wing democratic socialism WITH!
      I know what I will do but for now it has to be RLB (even if pure Lefties have to hold their noses) and Burgon or “There will be purges!”

  9. 580,000 members and 280 turn up in JC constituency,
    At end of day 580,000 members will decide, not handful of activists
    All RLB has to do to win first time is make it clear JVL will play a leading part in implementing future process and training
    We know what happens then
    ‘It’s not for us to prevent a war, it is for us to win it’
    Good Omens

  10. “RLB and Burgon are the last chance saloon for the left…”
    There is literally no future for a Labour Party run by and for second generation Blairites. A party which cannot make up its mind whether it wants to disintegrate PASOK style, follow the French and Hollande’s implosion or go the whole hog and follow along while the Democrats in the States take their path into oblivion.

  11. The Labour party dumped socialism has a minority interest on Friday the 13th of December,The massive membership and the subscription will bleed away.I cannot understand the culture of Labour in this,and the planned attacks against the whole movment.that generated a time for real change and a real socialist leader Like Corbyn…The last chance came and the right wing took the chance and thats a fact that cannot be changed.We have been treated like fools and cheated by our own establishment inside the Labour party.My subscription will not be renewed and the Labour party that I served in is not a socialist party and probably never could be.We ran with the tide of change across the world 🌎 but committed suicide by acomadating the plotters.

  12. Ps the suns risen here in kampot ,but the skys are dark,even the warmth of the air cannot disolve the feeling of despair I feel today “of what we could have done for the people” .All now gone and not a marker for the death of the democratic socialist Labour party

  13. No other LW candidates could get the required MP nominations, so it was our lovely Labour MPs who prevented any others able to stand. Also the inability of Corbyn, McDonnell etc to change the nomination process sufficiently to allow more choice.

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