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Labour executive elections: best Left result since 1980s with 55% of members’ votes

NEC electionsThe results of the elections for constituency party (CLP) representatives on Labour’s national executive were a triumph for the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) slate which won 55% of the popular vote and four out of six places on a 14% swing to the left from right-wing and independent candidates, on a 15% higher poll. It is the best result for the Left since the mid-1980s.

Peter Wheeler was replaced by left-wing Unite activist, Kate Osamor, and the Left also secured both runner-up positions and, for the first time, Islington councillor and centre-left national policy forum member Alice Perry won one of the two places reserved for councillors for the Left, deposing Coventry council leader Ann Lucas.

Independent candidate Johanna Baxter slipped one place to sixth position in the CLP section and was elected by fewer than 1,000 votes over Campaign for Labour Party Democracy secretary, Peter Willsman. She did receive the backing of the right-wing party-within-a-party Progress and the even more shadowy Labour First (neither of which she had sought – see her comment below) but it is possible that she suffered as a consequence of their backing. Her voting share rose slightly but this is explained by the reduction in the number of candidates rather than any swing in her favour.

Trade union lawyer, Ellie Reeves, was the only Labour First-backed candidate to be elected — both Progress-backed candidates trailed badly reflecting the low level of grassroots support for the Blairite faction. Ellie Reeves will have benefitted from some trade union and centre-left support (she is married to left-wing MP, John Cryer) and probably for the lack of support of Progress who only reluctantly agreed to back her (even though they did eventually support independent Baxter as well as her two fellow Labour First candidates).

The Left last won four out of six places in 2006 although this was with only 46% of the vote (fewer than in 2012 when it won 47% but only three places).  Even in 1998 when the Left also won four places with the support of a Guardian editorial (on 10 August 1998) calling for “a vote for Labour diversity” and describing the CLGA slater as “proudly off-message”, it still received only 47% of the vote.

Every single member of the CLGA slate, all of whom stood in 2012, can be pleased with their result. Kate Osamor, having won 6.6% of the vote in 2012 when she stood for the first time, increased her share by 2.5%. Christine Shawcroft, one of the longest serving members of the NEC although the only one denied her turn as chair of the party, against whom there was an organised attempt this year to prevent her getting the backing of her own CLP to prevent her standing, saw her voting share increase by 1.2%. Darren Williams, secretary of Welsh Labour Grassroots, Cardiff city councillor and an official of civil service union, PCS, saw his share rise to 6.6% leaving him well positioned to win a place in a future election.

The full CLP votes were as follows:

Candidate Slate 2014 vote 2012 vote 2014 share 2012 share
1 Ken Livingstone (1) Left  39,548 31,682 12.2% 11.3%
2 Ann Black (2) Left 36,496 30,240 11.3% 10.7%
3 Ellie Reeves (3) Right (Lab First)  31,278 23,417 9.7% 8.3%
Christine Shawcroft (4) Left  29,558 22,236 9.1% 7.9%
Kate Osamor (7) Left  28,484  17,598 8.8% 6.3%
Johanna Baxter (5) Ind  24,325 20,146 7.5% 7.2%
7 Peter Willsman (9) Left 23,362 16,786 7.2% 6.0%
8 Darren Williams (10) Left  21,307  14,641  6.6%  5.2%
9 Luke Akehurst (8) Right (Lab First)  21,115 17,475 6.5% 6.2%
10 Florence Nosegbe (11) Right (Progress)  19,174  12,745 5.9% 4.5%
11 Peter Wheeler (6) Right (Lab First)  18,724 17,721 5.8% 6.3%
12 Kevin Peel (-) Right (Progress)  17,830 5.5%
13 Crispin Flintoff (-) Ind  12,539   3.9%

In the election for the two councillor places amongst Labour councillors the results were:

McMAHON, Jim (Leader, Oldham) 1,894 Elected

PERRY, Alice (Chief Whip, Islington) 1,510 Elected

LUCAS, Ann (Leader, Coventry) 1,402

HENIG, Simon (Leader, Durham County) 1,229

Jim McMahon (who writes frequently for Progress) therefore succeeds Dave Sparks on Labour’s NEC as well as Leader of the Local Government Association Labour Group. Alice Perry succeeds Ann Lucas, defeated after 5 years on the executive.

The left’s net gain of two places is some consolation for the loss of Dennis Skinner, who was knocked off as a representative of the parliamentary party last month following evidence of some interference by party staff working in the Leader’s office. All party staff, including those in the Leader’s office, have now been warned by general secretary Iain McNicol not to interfere in any party elections.

Congratulations to all those elected, and thanks to all those who campaigning in their localities for centre-left candidates. Commiserations especially to Peter Willsman and Darren Williams for not being elected in spite of their excellent results and increased voting share.

 

21 Comments

  1. Jon says:

    Progress party within a party, lol

    Johanna Baxter Ellie reeves,backed by progress, where’s the link

  2. Many congratulations to the Centre Left Grass Roots Alliance for its overall great success in this years’ Labour NEC elections. Very well done Kate Osamor, Ann Black, Christine Shawcroft and Ken Livingstone also congratulations to Alice Perry and Jim McMahon. Commiserations to Pete Willsman and Darren Williams who both richly deserved to win.
    Gaye Johnston, Chair Campaign for Labour Party Democracy.

  3. Jon says:

    Congratulations and commiserations, regarding the comparison to2006 there was a lot higher turnout,and the private security guard working for free who ejected Walter Wolfgang from the 05′ party conference and the PC who gave him a stop and account from not letting him back in gave Wolfgang and Mark Seddon extra votes through sympathy that time,

    I note the 2010 results there were 575,923 votes and this time 323737 ,so any coma prisons with the last is inaccurate.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      You are quite wrong Jon. In 2006 there were only 200,926 votes cast compared with 323,740 this time, though you’re right that the appalling treatment of Walter Wolfgang did help him and others get elected. The election in 2010 did have a much higher turnout since it coincided with the leadership election. I don’t think the turnout appears too bad this time though we currently know only how many votes were cast, not how many people voted. However, this was not the last election which was in 2012 and it is that with which I make comparisons in the table.

      1. Paul Wheeler says:

        It’s a shame that Labour Left couldn’t celebrate the election of Jim McMahon to the NEC. Unlike the other professional politicians of both left and right Jim is a genuine working class politician who is a great advocate for his town and Labour values.

        Also because of the London centric nature of labour membership he is the only NEC member north of Oxford. Are you sure we should be celebrating that?

        1. Jon Lansman says:

          Paul: I must say it is surprising to see someone employed as a consultant to Oldham Council also playing such an overt role campaigning for its leader’s election to Labour’s NEC. But, leaving that aside, I did congratulate all those elected. I’m not given to New Labour-style gushing public praise whilst privately slagging off or briefing journalists against some of the same people. I’ll wait to see how effectively Jim challenges the Labour leadership’s current commitment to abide by the Tory budget for the first year after GE2015 in respect of local authority funding before lavishing him with praise.

          Fortunately Jim isn’t the only working class member of the NEC though it is regrettable that most of them are members of the trade union section. I look forward to seeing how firmly he backs the TU link as a means of ensuring that continues.

          As to northern/Scottish membership of the NEC, the CLGA & me would like to seek more. That there aren’t more is down to (i) the fact that most candidates come from the south east and (ii) the fact that roughly 40% of party members live in the south east (London, SE & Eastern regions, 2013 figures).

          1. Paul wheeler says:

            Blimey Jon you do do long replies

            As someone who has been very happy to take a salary from an MP fir several decades and campaign for left wing infantilism bit sure if I should be taking lectures from you on public monies

            As you do work fir an Oldham MP ( although not sure how often you visit) it would be nice if you could well done to Jim on behalf of Michael !

            As for 100% of the NEC now coming from the south of England how can You and Labour Left think that is good for democracy in the Labour Party?

            Paul

          2. Jon Lansman says:

            Paul: I haven’t received a salary from an MP for one never mind several decades and what I do get is for part-time work. I’m sure Michael will congratulate Jim himself. It isn’t true that all the NEC come from the south. Not even of the CLP section (Christine Shawcroft comes from Nottingham). But that doesn’t mean we don’t want more from the North, Scotland & Wales.

          3. Redshift says:

            Not sure this is quite adequate RE the northern question.

            The Grassroots Alliance slate had no northerners on it. That’s not really acceptable.

            I’m not the only lefty who didn’t vote for the whole slate because of this fact. Rather than letting people like Willsman have yet another go (no offence, but three losses in a row…) maybe you should find a younger, northern candidate for the slate next time?

      2. Jon says:

        My apologies I did mean 2010 not 2006 for the higher turnout

  4. peter willsman says:

    Thanks to all comrades for their support and to the CLGA, which is a very effective alliance.Special thanks to Russell Cartwright,the Sec’y of CLGA, and to LeftFutures, which is now the leading website in the Movement.
    Comrades need to consider Contemporary Motions for their respective CLP to submit to our Party’s Annual Conference.See the CLPD website for some draft Contemporary Motions.
    Yours in comradeship,Peter Willsman.

  5. Johanna Baxter says:

    I would be grateful if you clarify the information about me in your table. I am an independent candidate and have run as such in every NEC election I have stood in. Progress and Labour First may both have decided to endorse my candidature but this endorsement was not sought by me and I was not on any ‘slate’.

    regards,
    Johanna

    1. Rod says:

      Your desire for clarification on this matter is entirely understandable.

      Endorsement by Progress and Labour First would, with regard to political integrity, be the kiss of death.

      1. Jon says:

        Quite right Rod, Progress backed Livingstone for mayor, with Denis Mcshane, Lammy, Diane Abbott, Jon Cruddas and Stephen Pound all progress contributors endorsing him, and Ken lost in 2012

        1. Rod says:

          “Quite right Rod”

          Indeed.

          As an editorial (6-5-2012) in Progress magazine, commenting on Ken’s candidacy, reported:

          “this magazine, would have preferred that Labour had picked an alternative candidate”

          1. Jon says:

            Maybe they’d have like a Labour one,who’d won?

          2. Jon says:

            Tried to find this on progress online,couldn’t find it, but choosing someone other than Livingstone, is something Ken new all about when he didn’t back Labour in a tower Hamlets twice.

          3. Rod says:

            http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2012/05/06/a-defeat-for-livingstone-not-labour/

            Jon: “Maybe they’d have like a Labour one,who’d won?”

            The electorate chooses the winner, not Progress.

  6. Andrea says:

    Is Shawcroft still in Nottingham South CLP?

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Andrea: Christine is in Nottingham South, where she is CLP Secretary

      1. Andrea says:

        Thanks.

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