New analysis of post-election PLP erodes Yvette’s leadership front-runner status

Signs that preparations are being made in earnest for a future leadership campaign. The talk at the fringes of the Progress conference last Saturday was of succession and as John Rentoul has noted, the likely Chuka versus Yvette contest, if Labour loses the next election. The universal consensus is that the one racing certainty is that the next leader will not be an A.W.M. – Another White Male.

Now, Uncut has seen a detailed analysis compiled by consultants involved in the last leadership election, but unaffiliated at this stage for 2015, which suggests that one of Yvette’s big advantages might not be quite so advantageous after all. While Chuka leads on almost all poll measures with voters and non-activist members, Yvette has been assumed to hold a commanding lead in the PLP.

Partially, this is a consequence of the residual strength of the Brownite machine and partially the time Yvette has had to lobby and persuade her parliamentary peers. As a member of the 1997 intake she has had far longer to build a personal base of support in the PLP than Chuka.

However, according to this new analysis, the likely influx of new MPs will erode some of this advantage. If Labour does not become the largest party, but still does make some progress – as is flagged the most likely scenario in the analysis – the party will likely win between 270 and 290 seats (it currently holds 257 seats). This is based on various permutations of Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative performance.

It would entail Labour gaining 13 to 33 new seats. Added to the 82 Labour MPs elected in 2010 or after this would mean 95 to 115 MPs were from Chuka’s intake or later. On this basis there would still be a significant pre-2010 PLP majority of 175 MPs.

But these figures do not incorporate the large numbers of Labour MPs who have either confirmed they will stand down, or are currently considering their position. At the next election 64 Labour MPs will have been in service for over twenty years with 30 or more current MPs expected to stand down.

This would radically change the parliamentary arithmetic. If Labour achieves in the middle of the range of expectation and secures 280 seats then at the next election there will potentially be 135 MPs who will have been first elected either at 2010 or after (82 from the 2010+ intake, 23 new gains in 2015 and 30 new MPs replacing those standing down in 2015), and 145 MPs from before.

Yvette’s established support among older MPs would would not be quite so significant, although the influence of the Brownite machine with the new recruits would still be in her favour.

The expectation within the PLP is that the next leadership election is likely to be conducted under the old rules, where MPs, members and affiliates each have their own electoral college, rather than the new Collins OMOV rules. This is because of the practical political impossibility of effectively disenfranchising most trade unionists by only allowing those who have already opted-in to party membership, to take part. In most cases, the opt-in forms will not even have been circulated by the unions if there was to be a 2015 leadership election.

This means that even small shifts in the composition of the PLP electoral college could have a potentially decisive impact on a future leadership contest, particularly if it is close with Chuka winning among members and Yvette taking the union vote.

Anticipation of such a tight race could explain why Ed Balls has been so assiduous on the Labour rubber chicken circuit since he became shadow chancellor. Despite not being a candidate in the next leadership election, he was heard at one recent CLP event to say that he’d been to over 200 CLP dinners since 2011.

Expect this to be just the beginning. As 2014 unfolds, Uncut anticipates much more evidence of pre-election manoeuvring in the developing 2015 Labour leadership race.

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24 Responses to “New analysis of post-election PLP erodes Yvette’s leadership front-runner status”

  1. John Reid says:

    Unless something happens resulting in a Scandal,or Scotland votes for independence, or there’s A Toey Ukip pact and the Tory press go all out for war, I can’t see the Tories not only winning, but forming a minority Govt or a coalition, Labour may not get more votes or MPs than the Tories, but at the best ,there could be a 3% Tory lead, and they still might not be the biggest party.

    That said Ed being far less popular than labour,us different to the Tories and Mrs Thatcher in 79′ she was a new mix of non concensus that the public were that clear about, the Tories in 79 were a more popular party,even in the low turnout of Oct 74′ they got 36.5% and labour last time after a mixture of 13 years in power looking burnout, Iraq, the recession, and sleaze after the expenses, saw labour having an up hill struggle to be where we’re now, so labour being more popular than both the Tories and Ed Miliband now, shows that Ed can’t be popular at all,

    As for the last point Yvette cooper,are the a Brownites, who ever they are, the ones in power of the party,the waiter thin line between Blairites and Brownites, over the criticism,in supporting elf are reforms,austerity, civil liberties, defending our previous record on tax or the nanny state, there’s more credibility for those who e defended our previous record when Mcklusky and co wanted to oust progress magazine, but Stella Creasy,Gloria De period Jon Cruddas, Andy Burnham or David lammy have more credibility, Chuka,is an intelligent articulate man, but he has no power base and not enough knowledge of either the party,it’s structure in supporting members to campaign for us, or more importantly the structure of govt, that can legislate to enforce laws on the Country,
    Why Would Yvette be any different or better than Ed, or a new white male, of Course Harriet should have stood for the leadership 4 years ago, despite the Tory press having a field day,dragging up the PIE liberty story, it would have shown we could have had a good leader with her,

    So now AWS have been ,a sucsess, and one in three councillors in a ward have to be female,but had their day, here’s a radical idea, why don’t we try to have leaders who are the best people to do the job.

  2. swatantra says:

    I’m backing Chuka. Chuka is pretty relaxed about most things although he is pretty passionate about fairness; but he is about progress, and looking foward, not back, unlike many of the Front Bench Team and Backbenchers. Perhaps he’s read Atul and Petes History of Labour and come to the conclusion that there never really was a Gloden Age; its all myth making nonsense. What matters is today, and tomorrow, not the past. The past is History. And Chuka doesn’t deliberatly go out of his way to annoy people; reminds me of that other gent of politics Lord Hume.

  3. Blairite says:

    Chuka should stand for the leadership and he should promise Tristram the job of Shadow Chancellor. Caroline Flint or Stella Creasy should be his running mate as deputy leader and Andy Burnham should get shadow foreign secretary or shadow home secretary to keep him onside. Yvette could get her Minister for Equalities portfolio and Senior Member of the Shadow Cabinet (making her shadow deputy prime minister).

  4. John says:

    Please put Yvette in the hot seat
    It will be interesting to explore why she did not stop digging over the hated HIPS debacle.
    She is no leader

  5. George S says:

    Yvette or Chukka … what a freaking nightmare.
    expensive thief verses a known liar
    O how they are going to enthuse the electorate!

  6. John Reid says:

    Hips, for better or worse,had been a policy on the cards for years, it didn’t help the Tories win the last election, when it was brought up during the election campaign,
    The real question, is if we lose(I doubt it) who’ll be the deputy,

    Could a Cruddas, John Mann team work, or does one of them have to be under 45′ or female?

  7. Lady Ding Dong says:

    Please, please, please choose Chuka to ensure a long-lasting Tory hegemony. Alternatively choice the pathetic Mrs Balls to get the same result. Or you can keep Millliband and the identical will happen. The problem is for Labour, all of the shadow lot are useless to a man, or woman.

  8. Ben says:

    What difference will it make? They all look the same, sound the same, think the same, act the same, behave the same……….

    And they all takes their orders from the real government. Which ain’t in London….

    So who cares? may as well elect a Big brother contestant for all the difference it will make.

  9. Talwin says:

    Forget all this speculation about a Labour leader: just ask Len McCluske.y

  10. Talwin says:

    Len McCluskey comment modded. What a surprise. Free speech alive and well under New Labour: not.

  11. Dave Roberts says:

    You are all leaving one thing out of the equation. This isn’t America and you may well find that the UK just isn’t ready for a black PM. With political correctness in decline this really isn’t the time for the Labour Party to revert to it.

  12. Alexsandr says:

    Well labourites, keep on deluding yourselves that you are electable. You did badly in the euro elections and the council elections were not good enough to suggest you could get a commons majority. And the Newark result, with the swing against you on a dreadful night for the lib dems suggesting you are not getting enough support
    and UKIP wont go away. Kippers hate the professional politicians of which labour is a part.
    Labour havent been forgiven the complete mess they made of the economy under Brown, and so cooper is damaged goods. And Chukka is obviously a champagne socialist – could his personal life stand the scrutiny it will surely get.
    the expenses scandal and the PIE connections with the Dromeys wont go away. Labour need to purge all these ghosts before they are electable.

  13. Alan Douglas says:

    Yvette “lines-to-take” Cooper has not had a original thought in her head, EVER ! And Chukka “the British Obama” – oh my god.

    The ONLY thing going for either is they are not A.W.M. Pathetic.

  14. Simon says:

    My vote goes to man of the people Chuka Umunna – standing up for the hard-pressed suits of Saville Row.

  15. Forlornehope says:

    Perhaps it might be worth asking which of the two, or any other possible contender, is most likely, or even at all likely, to win a general election; just a thought.

  16. Titch says:

    I assume John Reid was educated under labour.
    Unable to spell, type or proof read.

  17. NBeale says:

    If Yvette becomes leader Ed Balls would have to retire from front line politics.

    Although it’s a bit grizzly discussion of what will happen when Ed loses the election is at least realistic. As far as I can see no-one in the Commons really expects him to be PM.

  18. MacGuffin says:

    Chuka vs. Yvette? That’s the best Labour can do?

    All this tells me is that the party is bereft of talent.

  19. james callaghan says:

    What a lot of labour nonces being discussed as possible leaders of a discredited bunch of traitors.

  20. gildedtumbril says:

    I see my comment was obviously deemed unsuitable. It being true. Thankyou.

  21. dude #503 says:

    I’m backing Chukka – we could all go back to his Ibiza villa to celebrate his victory – that would be supa-chill

  22. Fred says:

    Chuka has as much substance as jellyfish. Vain egotistical self promoting careerist. He offers the electorate nothing but his own vanity.

    As has been mentioned. Yvette is a lightweight repeater of sound bites. She was awful on Marr Show. She would get slaughtered at the dispatch box.

  23. tafia says:

    talwin – comments don’t appear straight away however moderating does not happen unless what you are saying is blatantly illegal or contains urls to porn sites etc. other than that its very much a free for all.

    titch – john is dyslexic and so your comment is not only insulting but also discriminatory. if you put a smidgen of effort in you can follow his arguments – which actually give a lot of insight into party grassroots thoughts, opinions and allegiances in London.

  24. John reid says:

    Twitch,I was educated under Thatcher,but I don’t blame her for my I phone screen bing small,so it’s difficult to proof check what I put,
    Alexandsr, labour got 1% more than the Tories at the EU election enough for a majority,
    In London and my own borough the ultra Conservative havering there was a 3.9% swing to Labour, just above the change in London,with Labours vote going from 15% to 17% and the Tory vote going from 33.8% to 28%

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