Latest post on Left Futures

NEC elections: nominations show a shift to the left

NEC electionsThe close of nominations for candidates for election to Labour’s national executive revealed that the Left has improved its position compared with two years ago, although fewer nominations were received – 1377 altogether from 288 constituency parties (CLPs) compared with 2105 from 431 CLPs in 2012.  Overall, candidates backed by the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) again received an absolute majority — 54% of nominations, 1% up, whilst independent candidates received 14%, up 3%.

However, unlike in 2012 when there was a single right-wing slate of six candidates, this time there were two partial slates with only 5 candidates altogether (Progress backed only its own two candidates, whilst Labour First backed its own three, the Progress two and independent Johanna Baxter. The Labour First preferred combination (it remains unclear whether this will now be agreed by the Blairite purists at Progress) was backed by only 8 CLPs whilst 37 supported all six left candidates. However, this situation means it is fairer to look at individual candidates nominations as a proportion of those CLPs making nominations.

Left candidates either held their own (Black with 76%, down 1%, and Livingstone level pegging at 45%) or saw significant increases (Willsman rising to 4th place with 40%, perhaps helped by the improper interference by officials when he stood for the Conference Arrangements Committee, Osamor up 9% to 33% and two places to 7th, Williams up 7% to 26%). Only Christine Shawcroft saw a reduction from 47% to 39% but this is the consequence of a serious attempt by the right in her own constituency to prevent her standing. As a result she did not become a validly nominated candidate until the final days of the campaign – a fact which reports suggest was used to prevent her getting others.

Right-wing candidates, on the other hand fared worse. Peter Wheeler, only very narrowly elected last time, down one place and 2% to 32%, Luke Akehurst, who he replaced last time but wasn’t even runner-up, down two places and over 4% to 33%, Ellie Reeves down 4% to 40%. Neither of the two Progress candidates are in a position to win a place although Kevin Peel was visibly canvassing at numerous regional conferences outside his home region of the north-west which explains his relatively good ‘first time’ score.

The precise numbers are shown in the table below (previous positions and numbers at nominations stage in brackets):

1  Ann Black (1) Left 220 (333, 275)
2  Johanna Baxter (5) Independent 162 (172, 65)
3 Ken Livingstone (3) Left  131 (195, 235)
4 Peter Willsman (7) Left 116 (149, 137)
5 Ellie Reeves (4) Right (Lab First) 115 (189, 182)
6 Christine Shawcroft (2) Left 113 (203, 160)
7 Kate Osamor (9) Left 96 (103, – )
8 Luke Akehurst (6) Right (Lab First) 94 (160, 82)
9 Peter Wheeler (8) Right (Lab First) 92 (147, 132)
10 Kevin Peel (-) Right (Progress) 84 ( – , – )
11 Darren Williams (10) Left 76 (84, – )
12 Florence Nosegbe (13) Right (Progress) 49 (69, – )
13 Crispin Flintoff (-) Independent 37 ( – , – )

The last election result can be found here. The Left were arguably unlucky not to win a fourth place last time with 47% of the votes, but are better placed to do so this year. Here is a leaflet in support of the centre-left candidates for circulation in your CLP.

In addition to the election for constituency places, there are to be elections for the three parliamentary ((UK and European) representatives and two representing councillors. The election for two MPs in addition to Margaret Beckett (who is elected unopposed under gender requirements being the only woman nominated) takes place on 2 July. All Labour MPs and MEPs are entitled to vote to choose two from sitting candidates Dennis Skinner and Steve Rotherham and challenger John Healey. Given the closeness of some recent votes on the NEC and the fact that both Steve Rotherham and Dennis Skinner are known to speak their minds and vote accordingly, it isn’t difficult to work out what is going on in this contest.

In the contest for councillor representatives, Dave Sparks is not standing again although his successor as leader of the Labour group on the Local Government Association, Oldham leader Jim McMahon, is standing alongside (or more likely against) Simon Henig, leader of Durham. Although not of the left, McMahon is seen as progressive by many in Labour local government circles, but he chooses to announce his candidature at Progress today. Ann Lucas, leader of Coventry, is firmly on the right of the party, but could be unseated by Alice Perry, Chief Whip of Islington council, who is the only candidate so far to have a manifesto. She wants a clear commitment in Labour’s manifesto to no further cuts in local government:

We have all made difficult decisions due to the Tory-led governments cuts that have unfairly hit Labour communities hardest. I know from my own council’s loss of a third of our budget with more cuts in the pipeline, that continuing with Tory spending plans will destroy our ability to make a difference to the people who vote for us.


  1. Chris says:

    Do you honestly think the composition of the NEC makes the least bit of difference?

  2. Robert says:

    The NEC is important it is the policy and sets the direction of the party, when it was ruled by Progress and the right wing Blairites they made major changes to the direction of the labour party.

    Ok it’s not as powerful as it use to be but it’s a base which the left needed because they were a dying out group, now labour’s left have to try and break the power hold the Progress party it’s not a group anymore have over the leaders not forgetting Miliband is I believe an ex chair of the Progress group.

  3. Ann says:

    Ed Miliband has never been Chair of progress.

    Comrades, Can I pay tribute to the TUC’s Norman Willis who’s passed away, remember when he criticised the violence from both sides at a meeting at the Miners strike, telling Miners not to be violent to those working, only for a trap door to open above him and a hang man’s noose coming down.

    1. Rod says:

      “Ed Miliband has never been Chair of progress.”

      Has Ed Miliband occupied any other position in Progress?

      1. Ann says:

        According too these Two articles Ed Miliband hasn’t

        But these articles seem factually rather incorrect, such as Quoting in the NS, Dan Hodges view that Lord Glasman is disgraced as founder of blue Labour over his views on immigration,and glasman is A Blairite Progress Spokesman.

      2. Robert says:

        No he has not it’s his creepy brother.

        I mixed the pair up

        1. Rod says:

          @ Ann and Rob

          Thanks for info.

  4. peter willsman says:

    I would like to use LeftFutures to thank all those comrades who helped contribute to the success with nominations.If we all work hard we can achieve the same in the vote.The ballot papers are likely to go out from 10th July.Comrades can cascade the leaflet in Jon’s article to as many members as possible!!! The NEC has been downgraded,but it still makes crucial organisational decisions, which are laid down in the Rule Book.Having served on all four of our Party’s National Committees, I can say that the choice comes down to whether members want comrades who will, at the end of the day, stand up to be counted,or ‘go with the flow’.

  5. Ric Euteneuer says:

    Ballot paper just turned up. Voted as per. Heard a comical tale of a CLP recently where Centre Left/Grassroots had sent stuff to be distributed, but Progress hadn’t actually managed to send anything out, so the local Progress rep (who shall remain nameless) tried to argue that it was unfair for the Grassroots stuff to be distributed in the absence of Progress stuff (this hasn’t stopped her handing out Progress propaganda beforehand).

    Suffice to say the general consensus(thankfully) was that, if Progress can’t get their rear end in gear, that’s their look out

© 2024 Left Futures | Powered by WordPress | theme originated from PrimePress by Ravi Varma