The new one member one vote rules will transform Labour’s leadership election

The new one member one vote rules will transform Labour’s leadership election

Dan Jarvis rules himself out while Liz Kendall tells Andrew Neil that she is in

Well we are off in the race to find the next LAB leader. Last night one of the most heavily tipped possible runners, ex-army Major Dan Jarvis, announced that he would not be putting his name forward. A few hours earlier the relatively unknown Liz Kendall told Andrew Neil in a live TV interview that she would (link above).

A key element is that the party’s electoral system has been radically changed since Ed Miliband had his narrow victory over his brother five years ago when the contest was decided by three electoral colleges. These covered MPs, party members and affiliated organisations which largely meant the trade unions.

This time there’ll be a “one member, one vote” (OMOV) system. Candidates will be elected by members and registered and affiliated supporters, who will all receive a maximum of one vote. This means that, for example, members of Labour-affiliated trade union will need to register as Labour supporters in order to vote.

The biggest challenge initially is that in order to stand, candidates will need to be nominated by at least 15% of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) – now 35 MPs. The vote, as in previous elections, will be held by the alternative vote system. The deputy leadership election will be held under the same rules.

    In my judgement the new system will put a premium on strong communication skills and being able to perform effectively on TV.

On this score I was hugely impressed with Liz Kendall’s performance yesterday with Andrew Neil who is not the easiest of interviewers to face. Kendall is a fresh face without baggage from the past. Her prospects have been enhanced by Dan Jarvis, another good communicator and fresh face, saying that he won’t stand.

Paul Waugh has a good piece here on likely runners and riders.

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