Those in the 2nd half of the alphabet hit by the “can’t be arsed” effect
One of the extraordinary features of Labour’s last shadow cabinet election in October 2010 is that all the nineteen winners from 49 candidates had surnames starting with letters in the first half of the alphabet.
So many highly competent MPs with names in the second half of the alphabet did not manage to garner enough votes to make it across the line.
It’s a well recorded electoral phenomenon, particularly when you have a long list of candidates. Those who are in the top part of the ballot paper do better than those towards the bottom.
This is seen time and time again in multi-member council wards where there might be a dozen or more candidates. Generally within each party slate those towards the top of the ballot paper do better.
It’s all down to human nature and laziness. Basically when faced with a long list and a lot of choices some voters can’t be arsed going down the full list.
You would expect, however, Labour MPs to act differently and give the shadow cabinet ballot the attention it deserves even though as last time they were faced with a list of 49 possibles of which they had to choose nineteen. Alas those towards the end of the ballot paper suffered.
I have little doubt that there would have been a different outcome if the candidates had been listed in reverse alphabetical order.
If as before there is shadow cabinet betting then go for the top half of the alphabet.