Could the exhaustive ballot favour a woman?

Could the exhaustive ballot favour a woman?

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    Should you cover yourself on Harman/Blears?

Even though the latest YouGov Labour members poll on the deputy leadership battle closed on Monday there’s no sign yet of the findings being published. In any case the survey took place before Tuesday’s key televised hustings which might have had an impact.

Meanwhile I have been going back over the polling data that we do have to see if there are any further clues that might point to the winner. For, as many have been saying, each voter in each part of the electoral college will have the opportunity to express second and third choices and given the number of candidates this could be crucial.

    Not many voters, surely, are going to ignore the gender issue completely when they make their first, second and third selections and, if so, who will be the beneficiary?

Tucked away in the detail of the March YouGov poll of Labour members and trade unionists was the above finding on the gender question. My reading of this is that a high proportion of voters will include either Harman or Blears in their choices and the transfers could have an impact on the overall result.

So which is it to be Harman – Gordon’s choice – or Hazel Blears who has been coming over very well at the hustings meetings? This is a hard call but my money will probably be on Harman.

    All the signs are that Gordon desperately wants Harman to get it and his team is working very hard on her behalf. I should report that I am being lobbied ferociously.

So the 8.8/1 that is currently available on Harman looks like a good insurance bet.

Mike Smithson

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