The Leadership Contest for the Labour Party
As those poor souls who make a hobby or profession of following British politics know, the opposition Labour Party (and the party that I am a member of) is in the midst of one of our traditional periods of soul searching. There are four MPs standing, and roughly from right to left, they are Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, and Jeremy Corbyn. The latter has been receiving a lot of press as the insurgency candidate from the left, “movement” wing of our party.
I’m still in the decision process on this, so I’m not making a public endorsement yet, but will later in the week. Suffice it to say over the course of the past few days I’ve found myself leaning in one clear direction, thanks in part to the compelling arguments of my partner (and her explicit threat to withhold intimate relations if I vote for Kendall).
Every party member gets a vote this time, and it’s one person, one vote, and preferential voting (a form of the alternative vote / SNTV). One way to gauge preferences in this mini-electorate is to see which Constituency Labour Parties have endorsed which candidates. There’s 650 CLPs, and their decision method varies with the CLP. Today’s standing is here. Corbyn has 70, Burnham 69, Cooper 58, and Kendall 12.
However, these are not reliable measures. At the AGM for my CLP a couple of weeks ago, we decided to hold off on an endorsement. Hence, my surprise that not only my CLP but also one of the two other Plymouth constituencies has apparently come out in favour of Cooper. I got in touch with one of the two campaign coordinators for my constituency, and he assured me that this is most definitely not true.
So, given the difficulty in polling this particular electorate, we’re basically not going to have a sense of this until the results are announced in September.