Saturday, September 25, 2010

Unions decide leader of the Labour Party

And so it came to pass, the person who got the most votes from the members didn't win the Labour Leadership selection. Welcome Ed Miliband, the brother whose smile leans to the left, as the new opposition leader.

As predicted it was a toss up between Ed and David Miliband, but the nature of the electoral college system where three colleges (MPs/MEPs, members and unions and affiliates) each count for a third of the vote each.

David won more MPs/MEPs *and* more party members in the vote but because the unions gave their support so heavily to Ed it was the younger brother that won. Well done him.

Final round results;

David Miliband 49.35%
17.812 from MPs/MEPs, 18.135 from members, 13.40 from unions and affiliates

Ed Miliband 50.65%
15.522 from MPs/MEPs, 15.198 from members, 19.934 from unions and affiliates

For those who are interested in the breakdown you can find it here. You wont be surprised to hear that Diane Abbott was first to fall, then Andy Burnham and in third place was Ed Balls.

What was more interesting was that Diane came last in the members' vote, which was always the one she was going to have to crack if she was to do well. You will not be shocked to know that Andy Burnham did not do well with the unions.

What the implications of this election will be is any one's guess. Labour members will hope that a more soft left posing Miliband will help rejuvenate their vote - but let's see how they take on Post Office privatisation, the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan and trident replacement.


Bob Piper said...

When you can write a headline which says "unions decide the leader of the Greens" you can be proud, and you might even have a chance of exercising some power. Until then, it sounds like you're pissing sour grapes, comrade.

Jim Jepps said...

Does it? I thought it was a statement of fact.

I was opposed to the electoral college system when it was used against Ken, I'm not going to suddenly be for it just because it keeps David M out.

Peter Cranie said...

I think Bob, that while many of us understand the reasons for the electoral college, there are strong reasons why one member, one vote should for the basis for any election. It is simply wrong for MPs and MEPs to have individual votes that are worth many times more than the thousands of committed Labour councillors up and down the country. The fact that the right wing press will now continually hit Ed Miliband with the union/legitimacy angle doesn't do any of us opposing the coalition any good.

Bob Piper said...

Interstingly though, Peter, Jim didn't highlight that 'fact' but chose to concentrate his headline on the votes of the tens of thousands of individual trade union affiliates.

Derek Wall said...

is worth a read.

Strategist said...

Peter, there is no legitimate "legitimacy angle", and Jim's headline "Unions decide leader of Labour Party" is misleading. Jim's headline should read "Union *members* decide leader of Labour".

It is important to realise that the support for E. Miliband in the union section of the electoral college did not consist of a few members of a union executive meeting in a smoke-filled room to decide how to cast a block votes of one million members for one candidate or another (as may have been the case back in the 1981 for the famous Healey-Benn vote).

The vote in the union section of the electoral college in 2010 was true one member one vote with a vast number of ballot papers going out to every union member paying the political levy and each of those votes returned being counted and counting equally.

Andy Newman at Socialist Unity has calculated that the first preference vote cast for D & E Miliband among trade unionists and CLP members combined was as follows:

DM 114,094
EM 125,625

So, basically E Miliband walked it on the basis of votes of human beings, but only just shaded it because members votes are weighted 3 or 4 times more heavily than union political levy subscribers. (Oh yeah, and also that the current crop of Labour MPs and MEPs are an absolute shower of oleaginous sub-Blairite hacks and twats.)

weggis said...

".. the current crop of Labour MPs and MEPs are an absolute shower of oleaginous sub-Blairite hacks and twats."

Does that include DM and EM?

Strategist said...

Yes of course it does. They are of course a better class of hack, being from the Hampstead Marxist intellectual aristocracy.

Justin McKeating calls E Miliband a "grown-in-a-laboratory berk", ( which I like, and think particularly well describes a certain breed of New Labour youngster who climbed the party ladder in the Blair years.

The left has voted for E Miliband as a least worst option, and is projecting its hopes onto him.

The Greens have plenty of material to help them take a view on Ed Miliband, as Derek has pointed out, his track record as Climate Change Minister and his performance at Copenhagen.

There's probably a post for Jim in this, it's not just as simple as Liam MacUaid's "the bastard sold out Tuvalu" (although that's part of it). I recall The Age of Stupid's Franny Armstrong being very keen on Ed Miliband at Copenhagen, and it would be interesting to get more info on whether she thinks he's the real (green) deal, doing the best he can in circumstances not of his own making.

modernity said...

I thought Jim's headline was reasonable, he could have written:

Useless Right-winger takes over the Labour Leadership?


Oxbridge educated political wonk runs the LP


How far right can the LP shift?

Bearing in mind that Diane Abbott got about 8% of the first preference's, meaning that some 92% of LP voters voted for candidates on the Right.

Overall, I thought Jim was rather fair to the LP.

Even Jim Callaghan was to the Left of Ed Miliband and Co...and that's saying something...

weggis said...

What John Prescott meant to say in 1997 was - "We are all Tories now, snort snort"