Remember how the trade unions got round the rules at LAB’s last leadership election
The mail-pack featured above, from the GMB union to those of its members entitled to vote in Labour’s last leadership election, played a pivotal role in 2010 in securing the prize for the younger Miliband brother.
It was developed for the GMB, UNISON and UNITE unions as part of a plan to get round a Labour party ban on candidates’ promotional materials being included in the voting packs for September’s election. Instead the ballot papers were nested in separate envelope inside the packs above which were then mailed out to those qualified to vote.
The impact was enormous. Members of unions other than the big three split their votes almost evenly between DavidM and EdM. The GMB, UNISON and UNITE members, those who got their ballots papers inside these packs, voted for EdM by such a margin that it was enough for Ed to win overall even though he was well behind in the party member and MP sections of Labour’s electoral college.
This time, of course, there are not the three electoral colleges but a new one person one vote selectorate based on party members, those paying the Â£3 supporter fee and political levy paying members of unions who have had to register. With the latter segment it is being alleged in the Times this morning that union manoeuvres are in place in order to boost Corbyn. The report states:-
“that unions deliberately withheld the names and details of thousands of new voters until the final fortnight of the sign-up period. If true, such moves would have restricted the opportunity for the candidates to contact new voters signed up through unions, but allowed unions to canvass those voters themselves on behalf of their desired contender”
The late handover would also have made the vetting process that much hard.
Even if this report is correct then it’s unlikely to have the same impact as the 2010 approach. Then EdM won by a whisker. If YouGov is right Corbyn is storming to victory across the board.