Thursday, 29 July 2010

Labours unfair voting system

Early today while I was listening to the Labour Leadership debate on BBC Five Live I tweeted this '#labourhustings what an unfair voting system for labour leader no wonder they don't now support AV'.
The Labour leader is voted under a more unfair system than the Deputy Leadership see Harriet Harman won under Alternative Vote System
(not as many members of course as this was done at the Labour Party conference)
The Labour leadership system is made up of weighted votes. Voters do have a list candidates in order of preference system but use an electoral college system.
This is how it works, Ballots of the three sections of the electoral college are completed. Weightings depend on the number of people in each of the 3 categories. There are the activists, members of affiliated organisations, such as trades unions and socialist societies and those whose votes are worth the most are the MP's and MEPs. In addition Unions recommend their preference but it is still up to the voter to decide.
Results from the separate categories each make up a third of the final result.
All this and the fact that candidates need a nomination of 12.5 per cent of MP's (or 33 MP's) to stand.
So its no wonder that Labour are going back on their manifesto pledge on AV and will now vote against the bill. Althought I cant see how anyone in Labour could claim that other voting systems are too complicated when theirs is both complicated and unfair.
I call on the Daily Mail to defend the case for voting reform 'UK voting system would baffle aliens... Labour in third place but would still win most seats (276 to the Lib Dems' 99)'


  1. Um, Harman was elected under exactly the same system as they're using for the leadership. There's an electoral college, and each college uses AV, which is weighted accordingly.

    From your link describing how she was elected:
    "The electorate is divided into three parts: members of affiliated trade unions and other organisations, individual members, and MPs and MEPs."

  2. The Labour Party have always voted internally by very unfair 'block voting' systems. This has caused trouble in the past at Party conference and with the general public. What enflames me is their decision to go back on AV for the Westminster parliamentary elections citing 'gerrymandering'. Both the LibDems and the Tories had commitments in their manifestos at the last election to cut down the number of seats. This went down well on the doorstep. Many people felt that if local councils got back more responsibility (another election promise by both parties that is being kept), what with devolution and MEPs, cutting the number of Westminster MPs was a good money-saving idea.

  3. MatGB the same system but only people at the conference an therefore different weightings

  4. No, postal ballot for both, where do you get the idea anything else is happening? They're counting and announcing the results at Conference, but it's a postal ballot to all members.