4 Feb 2014

Labour one member, one vote sealed at NEC today

Labour’s new electoral college and trade union associate membership deal will go through the NEC starting at midday today without too much difficulty.

The unions are ready to nod it through, having argued the details over several months behind closed doors. There will be some votes against from those on the left representing the constituencies, but not enough to hold this up.

There was one final change made last night at the parliamentary Labour party meeting. The threshold for MPs’ nominations required before a candidate can go forward to the one member, one vote ballot will not be 12.5 per cent, as now, but it will be lower than the 20 per cent floated last week (and the 25 per cent that was in one earlier draft of the plans).

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What does that mean? A 12.5 per cent threshold gave the relatively large field that went to the electoral college in the 2010 leadership contest – five candidates: the Milibands, Ed Balls, Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham. A 20 or 25 per cent threshold, it was said, might stop a centre-left candidate getting on the OMOV ballot paper.

But one MP at the PLP meeting last night sensed that Blairites were speaking up for a lower threshold and might be worried whether they could be relied on to get their candidate onto the ballot paper in future contests if the threshold was too high.

I’ve just seen LabourList has already written this all up. But as I’d written the above, thought I’d share it anyway.

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