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Leadership: Six candidates no longer possible

pictures of all 6 potential Labour Leadership candidatesIt is no longer possible for all six potential Leadership candidates to be on the ballot paper.  Only 47 Labour MPs remain who have not already nominated. Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham and John McDonnell are short of 49 nominees. Included amongst the 47 who have not nominated are MPs who are normally unlikely to nominate, notably Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman, although it has just been reported here that Harman intends to nominate (but not vote for) Abbott. Lindsay Hoyle and Dawn Primarolo may choose not to participate now that they have been elected as Deputy Speakers.

Andy Burnham is now only 7 short and is unlikely to withdraw at this stage. The two left candidates, Diane Abbott and John McDonnell, between them, are nine votes short of even one nomination. It is inconceivable that they can both qualify and one of them should withdraw as soon as possible in order to give the other time to qualify.  The question is which? Neither candidate is perfect; both are capable of bringing much to the campaign ahead if they can stay in it.

John McDonnell’s campaign team, much more visible than Diane’s, has undoubtedly fought an effective campaign if one judges it by the widespread support across the party for having all six candidates on the ballot paper – although some of that was much easier to obtain because of the argument against a white-men-only contest. He is ahead but, of his 15, only 3 were clearly not from the “usual Left suspects”.  Diane’s support has been slow to materialise and gain momentum, but, proportionately at least, has reached more into the centre and right of the PLP, and will benefit from Harman’s support if it happens. There are now hardly any more of the “usual Left suspects” available.

At this stage, the race is only worth staying in in order to stay in for the next three months.  The decision should therefore be about who is most likely to reach 33, and about nothing else.  John and Diane must resolve this themselves. The greater credit may well go to the one who withdraws.

Those MPs who still have not nominated are:

Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green & Bow); Graham Allen (Nottingham North); Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West); Margaret Beckett (Derby South); Clive Betts (Sheffield South East); Gordon Brown (Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath); Nick Brown (Newcastle Upon Tyne East); Chris Bryant (Rhondda); Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield); Liam Byrne (Birmingham, Hodge Hill); Stella Creasy (Walthamstow); Tony Cunningham (Workington); Nick Dakin (Scunthorpe); Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West); Brian Donohoe (Central Ayrshire); Frank Doran (Aberdeen North); Jack Dromey (Birmingham Erdington); Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood); Angela Eagle (Wallasey); Sheila Gilmore (Edinburgh East); Roger Godsiff (Birmingham, Hall Green); Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South); Harriet Harman (Camberwell and Peckham); Mark Hendrick (Preston); David Heyes (Ashton-Under-Lyne); Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch); Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley); Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore); Glenda Jackson (Hampstead and Kilburn); Sian James (Swansea East); Cathy Jamieson (Kilmarnock and Loudoun); Graham Jones (Hyndburn); Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central); Denis MacShane (Rotherham); Shabana Mahmood (Birmingham Ladywood); Gregg McClymont (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East); David Miliband (South Shields); Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby); Dawn Primarolo (Bristol South); Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield); Gavin Shuker (Luton South); Jack Straw (Blackburn); Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton); Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston); Stephen Twigg (Liverpool West Derby); David Winnick (Walsall North); Phil Woolas (Oldham East and Saddleworth).


  1. Duncan says:

    Indeed one candidate might have to withdraw, although I would like them to discuss it privately but brazen it out until the NEC meet and have a final discussion about nomination thresholds…

    Presumably MPs who have already nominated could switch? Any chance Michael Meacherm might reassign his nomination (as it would make no difference to Ed Miliband’s position on the ballot paper)?

    News since this post – I’ve heard Harman has nominated Abbott… I’ve heard of a couple more for John for 5.30… Will be intriguing at any rate!

  2. Jon Lansman says:

    MPs who have already nominated cannot switch unless the candidate they have nominated withdraws.

  3. Duncan says:

    Okay – was wondering about that.

  4. Sunny H says:

    Good point Jon. Have tweeted this blog post. Going to wait until 5:30 today to make up my mind…

  5. Matthew Stiles says:

    “It is inconceivable that they can both qualify and one of them should withdraw as soon as possible in order to give the other time to qualify. ”

    I entirely agree with this point Jon. The decision has to be made on who is more likely to reach the 33.

  6. Andrew says:

    John has 16 nominations, Diane 11. Diane needs 22 of the remaining 30-odd, which considering she’s only managed a paltry 11 so far is unlikely before 12:30pm tomorrow.

    Both have attracted unlikely support: Dowd, Hoey, Field for McDonnell; Mactaggart, Vaz and Harman for Abbott.

    There’s no chance MPs will en masse transfer from one to the other.

    The Left should not blame each other. The fault is the system that allows MPs the veto at this stage. The fault is the sycophants who have racked up 70-odd nominations for David Miliband and nearly 60 for his brother when 33 is all that’s needed.

    The NEC should listen to the party – which it is there to represent – and lower the threshold.

  7. Duncan Hall says:

    Actually Jon, could you pinpoint where that rule is? Not doubting you, just can’t find anything to back it up.

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