Complicated STV results format does not show 1st-round votes received for most candidates, but total votes cast in contest can be worked out from quotas
As expected, the Labour Party’s decision to switch to the complicated Single Transferable Vote (STV), without approval by the party’s annual conference, for its National Executive Committee (NEC) elections has ensured that the Labour right gained more places that it would have been able to achieve under the usual system – in spite of a stronger than anticipated performance by the left slate.
However, the total votes cast in the election were fewer than 130,000 With Labour’s latest claimed membership of 570,000, according to Labour insiders this means that these elections saw the lowest percentage turnout in an NEC election in the party’s history.
Even if the 6,000 votes cast by members who resigned after voting because of the party’s probably-unlawful suspension of former leader Jeremy Corbyn (which were therefore by the party even though the rules do not say members must be in the party on results day) were added back in, it would still be the lowest.
As a comparison, the NEC by-election earlier this year – by-elections generally see lower turnout – saw a total of 293,093 votes cast, more than double the total now.
Even the Tory leadership election, with the tiny Conservative membership, had more votes – around 138,000.
The low turnout suggests any (and potentially all) of the following three factors contributed:
- low member engagement
- lots of members have left – enough to reduce the membership far below the 570,000 the party’s hierarchy has claimed
- lots of members have been purged
The current Labour Party is seriously sick.
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