NEC Elections – response to the united left slate

Joint statement from the LRC, JVL and Red Labour

Thursday 9 Jul 2020

Over the last few months, Jewish Voice for Labour, Red Labour and the Labour Representation Committee have engaged collaboratively in intensive efforts to forge a united left slate for the forthcoming NEC elections. After the series of disastrous defeats the left has suffered, finding common ground regarding a left slate has been a key priority. So, we have committed to take part in these debates honestly and constructively, with unity in mind.

In practice, that has meant discussions both outside and inside the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) and across the wider movement. We have argued for a bold response to the left’s defeats.  We have always been positive about (re)building the Labour left and have seen the efforts to construct a united left slate as a key part of that broader project. We have called for unity behind candidates that every party member can be assured will stand firm in defence of the policy gains of the Corbyn period; for a democratic party equally accessible to all members regardless of their background; for open selection for all post holders; and for natural justice, transparency and fairness in internal processes.

The Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) is ultimately a forum for negotiation, and in negotiations not everyone gets everything they want. All three of our organisations argued strongly for the inclusion of Jo Bird following her impressive performance in the recent by-elections to the NEC. We share the disappointment of all Jo’s supporters that she is not on the slate and we will be holding our left candidates to account in terms of opposition to the witch hunt against the left and other important issues Jo highlighted.

We believe the slate is a good one, with a range of grassroots candidates and people with genuine respect and trust amongst the membership. Nadia Jama was nominated and supported by both LRC and Red Labour. We look forward to a strong, vibrant policy-based campaign based on socialist principles.

People will be aware that we have argued for an overhaul of the slate making process and we stand by that. We need a more inclusive transparent and democratic way of doing these things. That effort will go on and be intensified, but in the meantime, we ask that the socialist left in the party unite behind the following candidates in the upcoming NEC elections, get involved in their campaigns and build the fightback.

The slate (in first name alphabetical order) is:

Ann Henderson
Gemma Bolton
Laura Pidcock
Mish Rahman
Nadia Jama
Yasmine Dar

Yours, in solidarity

Jewish Voice for Labour
Red Labour
Labour Representation Committee


Comments (14)

  • Dorothy says:

    People are asking why only six names.
    I understand there are reasons this works better in an STV environment but do you have a simple explanation we can use please?

  • Jim Ring says:

    So very glad that you finally came up with a really good agreed slate!
    I hope now we can all work together with the reformed Momentum to organise a counter to the re-emergence of the corrupt, self-serving careerists who have tried to retake control of our party.

  • Doug says:

    In business you always keep your eye on where you want to be at the end of the year and you plot your path accordingly
    Can you please explain how 6 candidates gets us control of the NEC

  • Mandy Clare says:

    Thanks for this excellent statement and for your positive and hard work behind the scenes. No one organisation is perfect and realistically unity does require pragmatism and taking the long view. Solidarity with Jo Bird and with such strong grassroots support I’m sure her time will come x

  • Mary Davies says:

    Thank you to JVL for all your hard work supporting socialism and the oppressed.

  • Clare Palmer says:

    It would be good to know more about these candidates and their experience. All the various groupings and names is quite confusing.

  • Pete Rossetti says:

    This not necessarily simple explanation but thorough – the summary is worth a read if you don’t have time
    This is worth a read if your wondering why the left slate is only 6 candidates: The Single Transferable Vote has arrived. What does this mean for the Labour Left?
    ‘Solidarity before ego’

  • Vince Martin says:

    I have been a member/supporter of both Momentum and JVL for the past four years. Personally I would have preferred to have had Jo Bird on the slate but election results over yhe pasy year have shown that it is essential for all left organisations to cooperate so I accept and will support this slate.

  • Billie Dale Wakefield says:

    I will be voting for the slate and Jo Bird

  • Naomi says:

    In answer to questions about why only six candidates, it’s because the STV system imposed by our party leadership is designed to ensure that no one bloc can win all the CLP seats on the NEC. STV means the left cannot put forward a slate of nine and hope to win them all. It means the more candidates you put up, the greater the chance that you won’t win any! Some people within CLGA argued in good faith that we should pick just four names, on the basis that we’d have a good chance of getting them all elected. With six, we’ll need a clever campaign to educate members how to cast their votes to best advantage. Pete Rossetti’s suggested link in his comment above may provide a fuller explanation.

  • Greg Douglas says:

    I understand the reasoning about the Socialist slate being only six candidates,but it is important to organise our voting strategy and therefore it is essential to understand the STV system. In this system to win election a candidate must win a ‘quota’ of votes. This quota is obtained by dividing the total number of votes cast by the number of vacancies plus one. In this case, as there are nine vacancies the divisor is 10. So if the total votes cast is say,320,000 the quota would be 32,000. If a candidate wins this number of first preferences then they are elected. After the initial count, the lowest placed candidate is eliminated and their 2nd and other preference votes are cast for the remaining candiates.Again a candidate now achieving the quota is also elected and the process continues until all nine places are filled.Also winning candidates have their 2nd and other preferences weighted and added to other remaining candidates. Therefore it can be seen that if Socialist voters have ONE hugely popular candidate they must NOT cast ALL their first preferences for that candidate as other candidates on the slate require 1st preferences to have a chance of being elected. So we need to develop a strategy whereby groups of us concentrate on supporting particular candidates on the slate so that the votes are more evenly distributed; perhaps we should allot certain candiates to our voters according to the voter’s surname alphabetically?
    Also, with only six on our slate,we also shouldn’t cast 7th,8th and 9th preferences, just number our choices from one to six.

  • Doug says:

    Thanks for explanation
    Candidates and their statements just released
    Right slate has nine nominations and feeling a bit thick
    My gut is telling me this is our Sinn Fean election, not enough candidates

  • Doug says:

    As a wild card pick 3 candidates and ask members to vote for them as 7, 8 and 9

  • Rob says:

    As a strategy to make sure our candidates get enough first preference votes, how about the groups involved advise supporters to allocate their votes according to their birth month?

    Jan/Feb: Ann Henderson
    Mar/Apr: Gemma Bolton
    May/Jun: Laura Pidcock
    Jul/Aug: Mish Rahman
    Sep/Oct: Nadia Jama
    Nov/Dec: Yasmine Dar

    Other preferences to be allocated in the same order (so someone born May/Jun would vote in order Laura, Mish, Nadia, Yasmine, Ann, Gemma).

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