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LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS

To build a mass movement we must continue to have a wide electorate of Labour members
and supporters in Leadership contests. Recent leadership campaigns, registered supporters
and late freeze dates have brought huge numbers of Labour members in recent years.
The current system of electing the Leader and Deputy Leader allows Labour Party members,
registered supporters and affiliated supporters an equal vote to elect our Leadership. Most
submissions have supported a continuation of this system.
Some have argued against registered supporters arguing “the time for registered supporters
is over” or that it is wrong for non-Party members to get a vote but this has been a minority
position.
The registered supporters’ scheme has recruited many thousands of people into the Labour
Party and can be used again in the future to bring our most supporters nearer to Labour.
The Review has met hundreds of former registered supporters who are now running local
Labour Parties. Given so many have joined and got active in Labour so recently the scheme
must stay.
At the meetings we have attended, newer members presume that registered supporters
status will continue.
Members are however asking for certainty as to their rights in Leadership elections. The
events of 2016 have resulted in members wishing the rule book to set out their rights and
the rights of registered supporters in unambiguous terms. We have not had similar
submissions in relation to affiliated supporters as there seem to be no issues relating to
their entitlements in 2016 which lead to uncertainty. It would however be appropriate to
also set the rights of affiliated supporters clearly in rule.
In the 2010 Leadership election there was a “freeze date” two weeks before the close of the
election. In 2015 the freeze date was one month before the close of the election. In 2016
the freeze date was eight months before the close of election. There will of course be
variation in the timetables for elections and some will the longer than others. Legally the
freeze date to take part in a leadership election must be the date the timetable is fixed or a
subsequent date. Given there will be provision for registered supporters, it is recommended
that the qualifying date for members to take part in the election is a date subsequent to the
timetable being fixed and that there should normally be a period of at least two weeks
when people can join the Party, become a registered supporter or become an affiliated
supporter and be able to vote. The NEC should have the discretion to fix a longer period.
This should be incorporated into the rule book.
Registered supporters must be a meaningful process. This means that there must be a
significant window for people to register and it must be an affordable price. Whilst it is
perfectly reasonable for the fee for registered supporters to more than cover the
administrative costs it must be a rate that allows those who have traditionally supported
Labour to easily take part. The fee should be incorporated in the rule book. It could be set at
a level to encourage full Party membership. The cost for an individual to become a
registered supporter should not be more than it would be to join as a full member nor to
encourage individuals to join on a monthly rate and then cancel their membership after the
Leadership election.

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Current rule –
“Election of leader and deputy leader
2 B i. in the case of a vacancy for leader or deputy leader, each nomination must be
supported by 10% of the combined Commons members of the PLP and members of the
EPLP. Nominations not obtaining this threshold shall be null and void.”
There have been numerous changes to the threshold required to enable a Leadership or
Deputy Leadership candidate to be nominated since 1981, when as part of the electoral
college which was introduced at that time, the requirement where there was a vacancy was
set at 5% of the PLP. Since then, it has changed to 20%, 12.5%, 15% and now 10% (latterly of
both PLP and EPLP).
An overwhelming majority of submissions call for a nomination process which allows a
candidate who obtains a substantial number of CLP nominations or trade union nominations
or PLP (and EPLP) nominations to automatically appear on the ballot paper. The Democracy
Review have looked at the models proposed and recommend that an electoral college is
created where
All candidates are required a minimum number of nominations from one of the sections of
the nominating college and that where those nominations come from either the CLPs or
trade unions additional nominations are required from the PLP.
The minimum number of nominations required would be -
10% of the PLP and EPLP
Or
10% of CLPs plus 5% of the PLP and EPLP
Or
10% of trade unions which comprise at least 10% of the affiliated membership from at
least3 trade unions plus 5% of the PLP and EPLP
There are not submissions arguing that there should be a change of the rules relating to the
situation where there is no vacancy. The Review believes it is perfectly reasonable to have a
different method for a nomination in the event of a vacancy to maximise choice for the
membership.
The role and responsibility of an Acting Leader should be codified and set out in the rule
book.

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