Politics, Government & Current Affairs

This election looks like “going to the wire” between the brothers Miliband

Between May 15th and May 27th Survation conducted a survey of 507
responders, targeted toward Labour party members and members of trade
unions – 2 of the 3 electoral colleges involved in selecting the next leader of the
Labour Party. We will present our findings among the colleges over the
following pages, but first a brief reminder of the election timetable and electoral

Leadership Election Timetable
Monday 24th May: Opening of PLP (Labour MP) nominations
Wednesday 9 June: Close of PLP nominations.

Thursday 10 June: Deadline of acceptance of nomination by nominated
candidates. “Supporting nominations” open. Member of the European
Parliament and affiliated organisation may cast a supporting nomination for each
of the positions of Leader and Deputy Leader. These supporting nominations
indicate the strength of support for the candidates across all stakeholder groups
of the party

June – July: Hustings will take place.

Monday 16th August – Wednesday 22nd September: Balloting takes place.
Wednesday 8th September: Freeze date for new members to join.
Saturday 25th September: Announcement of ballot result.

Electoral System*
In accordance with the Labour Party Rulebook, a third of the votes will go to each
of the following sections:

One Third – MPs and MEPs;
One Third – Individual party members;
One Third – Affiliated organisations (Unions and affiliated organisatios)

The vote, provided there are more than two candidates, will be a transferable
eliminating ballot. Voters will mark the candidates 1,2, 3 etc. Each round will be
published as 100%, with votes not cast or transferred being eliminated from the

*Survation will explore the transferable vote system and what it will mean
in detail by college for each candidate in our next report.
Electoral College 1 – MPs and MEPs

Thus far in the campaign (at 4pm May 27th 2010), 157 of 258 (we assume David
Miliband is intending to support himself) Labour MPs to our knowledge have
declared their support for a candidate.

MP support is more important than MEP support in a way, as candidates also
require 33 MPs to nominate them for their name to go forward to the ballot itself.
Which Candidates Will Make The 33 MP Cut?

There are around 100 MPs who have not yet declared their support for a candidate. If the remaining MPs support candidates in the proportion the declared MPs have, final nominations figures would be as follows;

David Milliband
Ed Miliband
Ed Balls
———————————–33 nominations required to go forward to the ballot
Andy Burnham
John McDonnell
Diane Abbott

Given the top 2 nominated candidates seem keen to collect as many supporters
above the 33 minimum as possible (we estimate the Miliband brothers have
already locked up 107 MPs and continue to add) it looks unlikely to us that
McDonnell and Abbott will be able to get to the magic 33 number.

This would seem particularly difficult for them as Balls and Burnham will need to
fight for every nomination they can win for their own inclusion.
Andy Burnham?

If there is any “lending” of supporters to enable as big a ballot as possible, we
would imagine that Andy Burnham would be the logical subject, as he would be
only 7 nominations short of inclusion based on the above estimate.

While do not have any decent data yet on MEP supporters of candidates, we will
assume for the time being that MEP support breaks in a similar way to that of MP
support. During the Labour Deputy Leadership election of 2007, voting in the
first round for MPs+MEPS was similar to the nomination split for MPs alone.
Projected final MP nomination totals assuming current support
trends are unchanged among the remaining MPs;

Support for those likely on the ballot?
We’ve removed McDonnell and Abbott in the chart below.
We do not know MP’s second/third preferences and so have not reallocated the excluded MP’s supporters.

The second electoral college – individual party members.

Diane Abbott is more popular than Ed Balls or Andy Burnham among both
Labour voters and Labour members. David Miliband is more popular than Ed
Miliband among Labour voters, but Ed is more popular where it counts – among
Labour members.

To Labour VOTERS only;
To Labour MEMBERS only
The Third Electoral College – The Trade Unions;
Ed Miliband beats out his older brother among this group, but Diane Abbott
comes a close 3rd among trade union members.
Rather than go overboard with complicated estimates about vote tranference at this early stage, what we can say at the time of writing is that;
1) Diane Abbott, despite being quite popular looks unlikely to make the ballot without some “intervention”
2)Ed and David Miliband will have a very close battle for the leadership. Factors such as hustings performance, support from Ed Balls /Andy Burnham and second/third preferences of voters will all come into play. This election looks like “going to the wire” between the brothers Miliband.


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