Shadow Cabinet elections: the astonishing technical complexity of writing x

PLP secretary, Martin O’Donovan, is worried that Labour MPs are going to be thrown into disarray by the stressful business of receiving, completing and returning their shadow cabinet ballot papers. All crazy-crammed, break-neck and irresponsible, into a mere, madcap seven days of voting.

In his email below, you can hear the fear in O’Donovan’s voice. He just knows – for sure – that he’s in for massive grief.

Because the best and the brightest are going to forget to vote. And they’re going to vote for people they didn’t want to vote for by mistake. And they’re going to change their minds three days after they’ve cast their votes and want another go. And several will want to cast their votes after the ballot has closed.

And it’s all going to be his fault. All of it. So he’d better be able to explain himself. That’s why he’s writing to them every 25 minutes explaining the rules. Poor Martin. Most sophisticated electorate in the world? Yeah, right.

From: O’DONOVAN, Martin

 Sent: 17 September 2010 15:29

Importance: High
As you know, once our new Leader has been unveiled next Saturday, we will move quickly to elect a new Shadow Cabinet. As agreed by the PLP this week, the election of 19 members of the Shadow Cabinet and the election of the Chief Whip will be held simultaneously.
The timetable has been agreed by the PLP and has been circulated many times, but as we get nearer to the date I am asking every MP to think through the practicalities and logistics of how they cast their vote so that everyone who wants to cast their vote is able to do so and that the process is as smooth as possible in this tight timeframe.
You will see from the below that there are two ways in which Labour MPs will receive their ballot papers.
Firstly, if you are at Labour Party conference on the Thursday (30th Sept) you can collect your ballot papers from the PLP Office at Conference. Please note, the ballot box for the elections will open in the PLP Office in Westminster on Monday 4 October at 10am so anyone wishing to vote immediately on Thursday 30th will need to put their ballot paper in the post.
The PLP Conference office will be located on the lower floor of the Manchester Exchange Hall (next to the Press Office) – the building to the right of the main Manchester Central Conference Hall.
However, if you are not able to collect your papers in person at Conference, your ballot papers will be sent in the post to the same address as your ballot paper for the Party Leadership election. If you want to amend that address, you must contact the PLP Office before Party Conference.
Please bear in mind that all ballot papers need to be returned to the PLP Office by Thursday 7 October at 5pm. If you are planning to be in London during the week commencing 4 October you might decide to come in to the PLP Office and vote in person. If you are voting by post, can I please ask that you vote soon after receiving your ballot papers, allowing time for them to reach the PLP Office.
If anyone requires a proxy vote they should contact me to arrange this by the close of nominations, at 5pm on Thursday 30 September.
A reminder that, in order to cast your vote in the Shadow Cabinet election, PLP members must cast a minimum number of 6 votes for women and 6 votes for men otherwise it will not be a valid vote.
If you are voting by post, you will find it is what most of us consider to be a ‘normal’ postal ballot. Your ballot papers (one ballot paper for 19 Shadow Cabinet places, one ballot paper for Chief Whip election) are filled in and placed into an envelope (Envelope A). You then sign a ‘Declaration of Identity’, which is placed alongside ‘Envelope A’ into ‘Envelope B’, which is a stamped and addressed envelope to be returned to me as Returning Officer.
Candidates may self-nominate for the Shadow Cabinet elections. Anyone wishing to nominate themselves will need to come to the PLP Office at Labour Party Conference from 11am on Sunday 26 September; or email, call or text me on XXXX XXX XXX. The PLP Conference office will be located on the lower floor of the Manchester Exchange Hall (next to the Press Office) – the building to the right of the main Manchester Central Conference Hall.
I am happy to talk through any of this if you have any questions – call me on XXXX in Parliament or on XXXX XXX XXX.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this
Martin O’Donovan
Returning Officer and PLP Secretary
(Saturday 25 September   pm      New Leader elected)
Sunday 26 September      11am     Nominations open for Shadow Cabinet
Weds 29 September          5pm      Nominations close
Thurs 30 September          9-12    Ballot papers available in PLP Office at Conference. After this time they will be sent in the post to the same address as your ballot paper for the Party        Leadership election.
Mon 4 Oct–Thurs 7 Oct    10-5     PLP Office open for MPs to vote in person.
Thursday 7 October           5pm      Start counting votes in PLP Office
Thursday 7 October           9pm      Announce results of election
Monday 11 October                       Parliament returns
Weds 20 October                 Comprehensive Spending Review

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply