“Despite the success of the #GrassrootsVoice slate in topping the nominations, there is a lot of work to do if the left is to be successful.”
By the Labour Assembly Against Austerity Team
The left came out strongest as local constituency party nominations for candidates seeking to represent ordinary members on Labour’s National Executive Committee closed recently.
Former MP Laura Pidcock proved popular amongst activists as she topped the list, being the only candidate to win the backing of a majority of local parties. The left’s slate of six candidates agreed by the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance, who are also campaigning with the slogan ‘Grassroots Voice’, were comfortably ahead of the organised right’s ‘Labour To Win’ slate.
The left’s candidates are Laura Pidcock, Yasmine Dar, Gemma Bolton, Mish Rahman, Nadia Jama and Ann Henderson, representing members from Scotland, down through the North East, North West, Yorkshire, Midlands and to the South East of England.
The candidates are standing to advance the political priorities of members including rejecting austerity, for mass job creation and full employment, for a green new deal and an anti-racist approach to immigration, including opposing the far right and working with Black Lives Matter. As anti-war activists, they also back an ethical foreign policy. They also set out their priorities of greater transparency in party decision making, including in disciplinary processes, and greater sovereignty of members decisions through annual conference, in constituency parties, and in accountability of elected representatives.
Nine constituency party places on the NEC are up for grabs in November and 42 candidates have made the cut to be on a long ballot paper.
The two main competing slates accounted for 66% of all nominations submitted – the left securing 42% and the right securing 24%.
On average, the left candidates secured 278 CLPs, whilst the right averaged out at 158 CLPs each.
In terms of individual candidates nominations, the left CLGA took six of the top seven places, and all the Left candidates were more popular than the best efforts of the right’s Labour to Win slate who’s top candidate won 224 CLP nominations. The right’s lowest placed candidate, secured 108 nominations, coming in 16th place in terms of nominations secured.
Between the two main slates, former longstanding NEC member Ann Black secured just over 300 nominations.
However, despite the success of the #GrassrootsVoice slate in topping the nominations, there is a lot of work to do if the left is to be successful.
In September 2018, the left ‘JC9’ candidates secured all nine CLP places, but in 2020, the right won the by-election places as the left was divided following the General Election result.
Since then the NEC has changed the voting system and introduced a Single Transferable Vote system rather than First Past the Post, which will prevent a single slate taking all places, and it is important all our #GrassrootsVoice candidates receive a good number of votes, which is why the CLGA is suggesting people vote in different orders in different geographical areas (see below.)
Ballots will be sent out from 19 October and votes close on 12 November.
It is therefore vital that left activists now share the priorities of the CLGA Grassroots Voice slate with members in their local parties and make the case for their top six votes to go to the slate.
- Join the Grassroots Voice NEC ELection Rally this Thursday (October 15) at 7pm with the candidates and special guests including Jeremy Corbyn MP. Register here – retweet here to spread the word – Facebook event for invites and shares here.
- Follow and retweet the CLGA on Twitter with the hashtags #GrassrootsVoice & #GV6 at https://twitter.com/CLGALabour . Follow, and share the CLGA on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CLGALabour/ Share the CLGA manifesto with your local members here
- The CLGA are recommending members use their votes to secure the election of the maximum number of candidates who support a progressive policy agenda and defend party democracy. The election for the seats on Labour’s NEC is being conducted using Single Transferable Voting for the first time, meaning members will be asked to rank candidates by preference using numbers. To maximise the effectiveness of members’ votes it is best they rank their preferences in the specific order recommended for their geographical area. Members can find this by using the postcode finder here.