Sunday, September 26, 2010

"One man twelve votes" - Labour needs to sort this out.

This post has been cross-posted at Harry's Place

Ed Milliband has won the Labour leadership with a majority of the union/affiliate votes but no majority amongst party members and MP's. Personally I think he's likely to be a disaster and one of the reasons will be the perception he's the unions' man and won in a skewed and bizarre process

The oddest aspect of Labour's current leadership process is the way some people get multiple votes for being members of affiliates (not just via being in a union but also via membership of the Fabians and other groups).

As was pointed out this morning on the Andrew Marr show this system is absurd. From the Guardian blog :
On the Andrew Marr show, my colleague Polly Toynbee has just said that she knows one Labour MP who had 12 votes in the leadership contest because he belonged to so many organisations affiliated to Labour. She said it might be time to rethink the "dotty" system.
The issue is not of affiliate representation per se but why should some people get multiple votes. Give them one vote yes but not more.

I don't know if its possible to work out how this nonsense might have affected the election of Ed but if comes out that multiple voters skewed this result in Ed's favour that is a really big problem.

Even without that something needs to be done about this.


Gregg said...

I stalked you here you from HP, after the comments discussion there descended into a woeful morass as they so often do.

I do agree something needs to be done about multiple voting, but:

1) I think it's more likely to have skewed the result in David's favour than Ed's (for instance most, if not all, Labour MPs have second votes as trade union members, no non-MP union members have votes as MPs)

2) It is essential that something is done about the ridiculous weighting of the electoral college, which reduced Ed Miliband's 9% lead in total votes to a 1.5% lead after those votes were weighted.

I think Labour should have a ready response to the Tories on this issue - those members of trade unions who voted may support any political party, so provided a much wider electorate than the other parties have for their leadership elections, arguably giving Labour elements of an open primary. When the Tories say EdM is in "hock to the unions", Labour should ask "what's wrong with being elected by ordinary, working people rather than true-believing party activists?"

MoreMediaNonsense said...

This has now been cross posted at HP

Interesting points Gregg, perhaps we should discuss over there ?