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National policy forum elections – a close race and hard to call

Ballot papers for the election of constituency party representatives on Labour’s national executive committee and national policy forum are due to be posted to members on Friday. Although we published analysis of the nominations for the national executive six weeks ago, those for the national policy forum have only just emerged. They reveal that this years elections will be closely fought in most regions.

In the tables below, sitting members are shown in bold, and affiliations to Right-wing and centre-left slates are shown where known. The result and the number of nominations received in 2010 are shown in brackets where applicable, and links are provided to information on centre-left candidates where available. Where such information is not currently available, we will make it available on Left Futures as soon as it becomes available.

EAST MIDLANDS (2010: 4 Right)
Julie Brookfield (Right) 8 (13)
Dawn Elliott (Ind) 4
Marietta Farnsworth (Right) 7 (14)
Andrew Furlong (Right) 11 (13)
Mark Glover (Right) 10 (13)
Julie Lowe (Left) 6
Adam Mohammed (Left) 6
Charmaine Morgan (Left) 7 (3)

The right’s nominations are well down and the Centre-Left’s are well up. Charmaine Morgan was fewer than 900 votes behind Marietta Farnsworth last time in a high poll because of the leadership election so Left gains are possible.

EAST OF ENGLAND (2010: 2 Right, 1 Left, 1 Ind)
Russell Cartwright (Left) 14 (9)
Katie Curtis (Right) 4 (16)
Jenny Holland (Left) 11 (9)
Alex Mayer (Ind) 26
Lorna Trollope (Left) 11 (9)
James Valentine (Right) 17 (23)
Daniel Zeichner (Ind) 25 (29)

Again, the right’s nominations are down and the Centre-Left’s are slightly up. Many Centre-Left voters are likely to support Daniel Zeichner in recognition of his strong support for council housing.

LONDON (2010: 2 Ind, 2 Right)
Nicky Gavron (Ind) 46 (32)
Gary Heather (Left) 15 (10)
Catriona Ogilvy (Right) 13
Alon Or-bach (Ind) 43 (48)
Alice Perry (Left) 27
Joan Ryan (Right) 19
Fiona Twycross (Right) 30 (9)

London Labour Left is recommending support for the two independents in addition to the two Left candidates though some on the Left will choose to cast only two votes. In the last election, nominations were not necessarily a good indication of votes.  Of the two independents, Gavron looks certain to be elected with support of both Progress and many on the Left, and Or-back very likely but beyond that nothing is certain. Twycross has done much better in nominations this year but that partly reflects incumbency and being a candidate for the GLA — her abuse of the membership database may count against her this time. The fact that there are only two Left candidates this time compared with four last time will benefit Perry and Heather. It would be surprising if either Ogilvy or Ryan were elected.

NORTH (2010: 3  Right, 1 Left)
Nick Forbes (Right) 6 (4)
Veronica Killen (Left) 5 (3)
Michael Mordey (Left) 9
Brynnen Ririe (Right) 9 (6)
Liz Twist (Right) 6 (12)
Nick Wallis (Right) 11 (14)

We  can expect a close and hard fought contest here where there has been a narrowing of the Right’s advantage in nominations this time.

NORTH WEST (2010: 3 Right, 1 Left)
Azhar Ali (Right) 17 (6)
Mike Amesbury (Right) 23 (5)
Theresa Griffin (Right) 30 (8)
James Groves (Left) 12
Joanne Harding (Right) 19
Elaine Jones (Left) 13
Rhiannon Lowton (Left) 3
John Wiseman (Left) 6 (3)

The right have considerably increased their nominations in the North West. The Centre-Left suffered from several more candidates than places at nominations stage and may improve their position in terms of votes.

SCOTLAND (2010: 4 Left)
James Adams (Right) 15
Pam Duncan (Right) 14
Maria Fyfe (Left) 9 (8)
Ann Henderson (Left) 4 (4)
Jim Mackechnie (Left) 5 (7)
Gordon McKay (Left) 6 (8)
Ian Miller (Right) 17 (3)
Katrina Murray (Ind) 7

Progress have made a great effort to boost the number of nominations this year. It remains to be seen how much they will increase their votes.

SOUTH EAST (2010: 4 Right)
Marjory Broughton (Left) 13 (13)
Simon Burgess (Right) 27 (19)
Deborah Gardiner (Right) 22 (23)
Karen Landles (Right) 22 (21)
Martin Phillips (Right) 29  (24)
Joyce Still (Left) 18 (17)
John Tanner (Left) 16

Neither side seems to have significantly advanced at nominations.

SOUTH WEST (2010: 4 Right)
Razvan Constantinescu (Ind) 3
Ray Davison (Left) 9
Keir Dhillon (Right) 27 (18)
Glyn Ford (Right) 18 (23)
Clare Moody (Right) 7 (15)
Douglas Naysmith (Left) 6 (6)
Ann Phillips (Left) 5 (4)
Helen Rosser (Left) 13
Brenda Weston  (Right) 9 (16)

A mixed result for both sides, but a Left gain is certainly possible.

WALES (2010: 4 Left)
Nick Davies (Left) 9 (4)
Margaret Hanson (Right) 4
Annabelle Harle (Left) 10 (11)
Anthony Hunt (Right) 4
Donna Hutton (Left) 10
Jeremy Miles (Right) 6
Christina Rees (Right) 8
Hamish Sandison (unknown) 3 (10)
Darren Williams (Left) 11 (7)

These results point to further consolidation by Welsh Labour Grassroots which swept the board at the last election.

WEST MIDLANDS (2010: 4 Right)
Shaukat Ali 13 (11)
Stephanie Peacock 18 (19)
Sandra Samuels 11 (14)
Lucy Seymour-Smith 19 (18)
James Watkins 9 (11)

This is the weakest region for the Left, not least because of the suspension of labour parties in Birmingham.

YORKSHIRE & HUMBER (2010: 3 Right, 1 Left)
Richard Burgon (Left) 9
Rebecca Charlwood (Right) 10
Ann Cryer (Left) 20
Jamie Hanley (Right) 14
Emma Hoddinott (Right) 18 (17)
Mahroof Hussain (Right) 12 (11)
George McManus (Left) 17 (16)
Denise Thursfield (Left) 11

Thanks to the campaign of Winning Labour, the Left look well placed to make at least one gain this year

Finally, there will only contest for youth places on the NPF. The only regions where elections are contested are:

  • London: Sally Hussein (Left, 19 nominations) looks likely to beat Ronit Wolfson (Right, 6 nominations) to hold a seat previously held by the Left.
  • North West: A three way contest between Joe O’Neill (Left, 12 nominations), Anthony Lavelle (Right, 17 nominations) and Chris Hughes (Ind, 14 nominations), in a seat previously held by the Left.
  • North: The Left will supprt Alex Hay (Ind, 3 nominations) against Daniel Johnson (Right, 6 nominations) in a seat previously held by the right.


  1. Matthew says:

    Ian Miller in Scotland would take great exception to being labelled Right Wing! He’s a solid socialist, in my experience.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Well Matthew, I’d suggest you tell Ian Miller he ought to renounce the backing of Progress which is the basis of my classification. I would then be happy to change my description of him.

  2. Chris Hughes says:

    Just like to point out that this:

    North West: A three way contest between Joe O’Neill (Left, 12 nominations), Anthony Lavelle (Right, 17 nominations) and Chris Hughes (Ind, 14 nominations), in a seat previously held by the Left.

    Is a mistake.

    I’ve always been left of the Party, socialist at heart and have been an active member of Unite for 3 years. There is absolutely no way that I am ‘ind’ compared to any of the candidates.


    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Chris: I’ve no reason to doubt what you say but you are not backed either by the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance slate nor by the Progress slate, one of which supports each of the other two which makes you “independent” in my book. I’m sorry about it though, because the whole point of having a centre-left slate is to maximise the chances of centre-left candidates being elected. That doesn’t happen if others on the left of the party stand against the slate – though that is your right of course. It works the same way in the Union with United Left.

  3. John Simon says:

    None of Scotland NPF candidates on progress website as candidates…. Bad research and totally misunderstanding of why they are standing. They are from across party – left, centre and right who *gasp* want to work together and realise the party is a broad church and lots of different views have right to be expressed.

  4. Sean Morton says:

    I find it a little disrespectful to call people like Pam Duncan in Scotland right wing. As a disabled woman she has fought the right wing all her life. She is a champion of the disability rights movement, firmly on the centre left and as the website you link to shows, NOT endorsed by Progress. Calling the people who aren’t your favourite candidates right-wing is disgusting. You should be ashamed to try to besmirch her reputation in that way.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      I don’t know whether the comments of Sean Morton and John Simon are co-ordinated or not but they are equally misleading. The fact is that the Progress brand is simply too toxic to be viable in Scotland and a decision was therefore taken to run the Progress-backed right-wing slate in Scotland as Scotland First. Although their Facebook page gives nothing away about their politics, the Progress website does indeed promote them here. The description I gave them is therefore perfectly justified.

  5. Robert says:

    As far as the North West is concerned, this discrimination between so called left and right is meaningless drivel. It’s firstly wrong, based on no evidence whatsoever, divisive and likely to bring the Party into contempt. Grow up.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Robert: For as long as I can remember, there have been slates for internal party elections at national and regional level. Sometimes there have been more than two, and the numbers of independents have varied. The coalitions that promote slates have also changed. This year there are two slates being promoted nationally and in all but one region of the Labour party. We refer to ours as the Centre-Left slate – it’s promoted by a coalition of organisations called the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance. The other slate is promoted by Progress and Labour First (although in Scotland it is calling itself “Scotland First). Are you seriously suggesting that it is not reasonable to use the shorthand ‘right’ and ‘left’ to distinguish between these?

      You don’t have to vote for a slate – an awful lot of people don’t. But the people on the slates are there voluntarily. Everyone I have described as ‘right’ or ‘left’ has ben so described because they are on the relevant one of the two slates with one exception. Thee exception is Simon Burgess in the south east who I describe as ‘right’ because he has previously been on the right slate, and is supported by the candidates who are on it, who all urge people to vote for him. I accept that, for reasons of his own, he has chosen not to be formally part of the Progress slate but thijnk the description is still reasonable in those circumstances.

  6. John Simon says:

    Jon, I think you are backtracking. If you knew anything about the state of interrnal politics in Scotland you would change your views. Fact is nationalist pressure has meant people from different perspectives especially keen to work together. If that doesn’t suit your world view, that is fine. But you are labelling people with no knowledge whatsoever and that, my comrade, is prejudice.

  7. Mark Glover says:

    I am standing in the East Midlands and am definitely not right wing and object to being described as such.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Mark: Most people would, I think, accept Left and Right as reasonable shorthand for the CLGA & Progress slates. If you don’t like the label, I suggest that you stand in future without Progress backing. It may even increase your vote.

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