Labour Leadership Election 2016

Election Labour Party

An election for the Leadership of the Labour Party has been formally triggered. The National Executive Committee has met and agreed the procedures and timetable for the selection and these are set out below.

Procedural Guidelines

1. The election of the Leader will be held under the constitutional rules as detailed in Chapter 4 of the Labour Party Rule Book, ‘Election of a leader and deputy leader’.

2. The National Executive Committee (NEC) has constitutional responsibility to ensure that procedures, including the length of any contest, are laid down in advance of any such contest and that these procedures are adhered to throughout the campaign. These general procedures are set out below. In addition, there shall be a Code of Conduct, including any spending cap, for Candidates. The General Secretary will issue a Code of Conduct, or ‘Purdah rules’, for all Labour Party Staff.


3. There shall be a Procedures Committee to oversee the election process. The Procedures Committee will comprise of:

General Secretary (Returning Officer)

NEC Officers (Ann Black, Keith Birch, Diana Holland, Jim Kennedy, Paddy Lillis, Ellie Reeves, Mary Turner, Tom Watson)

Margaret Beckett MP

Glenis Willmott MEP

4. The election will commence the day that the National Executive Committee agrees with the publication of notice of election.

5. The Labour Party will supply to all eligible electors a candidates’ statement booklet along with a postal ballot paper at no additional cost to candidates. Candidates will need to provide a photo and a statement up to the 

maximum of 250 words. The distribution of the booklet and postal vote packs may be by electronic or print versions.

6. The national party will arrange a series of hustings which all candidates are expected to attend.


7. Nomination papers will be provided for all Members of Parliament (Westminster and European). The closing date of PLP and EPLP nominations is set out in the timetable. Nomination papers may be received by hand or signed and scanned back to the Returning Officer before the deadline. In exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of and with verification by the General Secretary, nominations from members of the Commons PLP and the EPLP will be accepted in a format other than the official nomination paper.

8. Individual members of the Commons PLP may nominate themselves or one other member of the Commons PLP for the position of Leader.

9. Nominees who achieve 20 per cent (51 nominations) support of the combined Commons members (currently 231) of the PLP and members of the EPLP (currently 20) will be declared validly nominated and go through to the One Person One Vote (OPOV) ballot of the contested position.

10. All nominations must be received by the General Secretary of the Labour Party by the time and date detailed in the timetable.

11. Valid nominees must formally accept their nominations, once declared by the Procedures Committee, in writing to the General Secretary by noon on the day following the close of the nomination process.

12. All aspiring candidates or their agents must attend the compulsory PPERA briefing organised by the Labour Party. The General Secretary will invalidate any candidate(s) who fails to attend the PPERA briefing.

13. All nominations will remain valid once submitted unless the nominated candidate fails to meet their obligations set out above or has withdrawn in writing to the General Secretary. MPs and MEPs who nominated a candidate who withdraws or is disqualified will be entitled to submit a further nomination prior to the deadline. Nomination forms will be re-issued to affected MPs and MEPs. If at the close of nominations there is only one validly nominated candidate s/he will be declared elected.

14. Nominations (including the names of individual MPs and MEPs) will be recorded and published daily on the Labour Party website.


15. Supporting nomination papers will be sent out to all eligible stakeholders. Only supporting nominations received on the official form, signed by the appropriate authority (CLP Secretary/TU General Secretary/Responsible Officer in Socialist Societies) will be accepted.

16. Each fully paid up affiliate (trade union, socialist society, etc.) may submit one supporting nomination for the position of Leader.

17. Each CLP may submit one supporting nomination for the position of Leader. CLP Supporting Nomination meetings shall be open only to those eligible members who are entitled to vote in the leadership election. All members shall face a membership verification check at the door. No registered or affiliated supporters may attend CLP nomination meetings unless they are also an eligible member.

18. All supporting nominations must be received by the General Secretary of the Labour Party by the time and date detailed in the timetable.

19. Supporting nominations will be recorded and published on the Labour Party website daily.


20. Labour Party members on the national membership system and not lapsed from membership at the date set on the timetable will be eligible to vote. Affiliated supporters and Registered Supporters, as defined by the NEC, who have been registered with the Labour Party at the date set on the timetable will be eligible to vote.

21. CLPs have the opportunity to check on-line through Members Centre the membership in their constituency for those that are in arrears.

22. No abuse of any kind by members or supporters shall be tolerated. All eligible members and supporters must conduct themselves in a calm and polite manner and be respectful to each other at all times. Behaviour including, but not limited to, racist, abusive or foul language, abuse against women, homophobia or anti-Semitism at meetings, on social media or in any other context will be dealt with according to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party.

23. Any disputes as to the eligibility of individual members must be raised by the date set on the timetable. The NEC have designated the Executive Director of Governance to rule on eligibility of individual members and his/her decision will be final.


24. The National Executive Committee has appointed an independent organisation, ERS, to conduct the One Person One Vote (OPOV) ballot.

25. The party will conduct a ballot of all eligible electors for the contested position using the OPOV process, single round preferential voting system. This ballot will take place by post and secure electronic voting. Details will be contained in the voting package or voting email. Details will be sent to the address or electronic address registered on the National Membership System. During the actual ballot ERS will provide a helpline should an individual member have a problem.

26. Ballot papers for Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament will be sent to the address registered on the National Membership System unless otherwise indicated to the General Secretary.

The voting package sent to all members will consist of (or the electronic equivalent):

Covering letter

Ballot paper

Return envelope

Candidates’ statements and lists of nominations and supporting nominations

27. The procedure for preference voting in the ballot is shown below.

28. All validly nominated candidates must supply a photo and a statement of a maximum of 250 words to the party. This will be included in the booklet of candidates’ statements and details of nominations received which will be sent out to members. The statement must not exceed the stated word allowance.

29. Contact details for up to five channels may be supplied in addition to the 250 words.

30. The last date for reissuing ballots that have been lost or not received will be set out in the timetable.


31. Will be by counting of preferential votes.

32. If no candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round, the result will be recalculated eliminating the candidate with the lowest number of votes and redistributing those votes according to expressed preferences until one candidate exceeds the 50 per cent threshold.

33. The result will not be published prior to its formal declaration.


34. All normal party meetings at CLP and branch level shall be suspended until the completion of the leadership election. The only meetings which shall be organised while this timetable is in place are:

  • Meetings solely for the purpose of making a supporting nomination
  • Campaign planning meetings for by-elections or devolved mayors
  • Any meeting agreed with the explicit permission of the Regional Director (General Secretary)


35. Qualifications

  • Must be over 18
  • Must be on the Electoral Register with a valid polling number
  • Must supply a valid email address, home address and date of birth, and able to pay fee online.
  • In all other respects must meet the qualification criteria of membership of the Labour Party.
  • Pay a fee of £25.
  • Must be validly registered by the date shown on the timetable.
  • Must agree the following Data Protection Statement.
    1. By supplying personal data to register as a supporter you agree that the Labour Party, elected representatives of the Labour Party, and any candidates in internal Labour Party elections in which you are entitled to participate may contact you using any of the data supplied.
    2. By entering your email address and/or phone number you agree to receive communications from us, from which you can opt-out using the unsubscribe link in each email we send. Text messages can be opted out at any time using the appropriate stop message.
    3. We will not share your details with anyone outside the Party.


36. Affiliated supporters already on the party’s membership system will be eligible to vote, subject to affiliates reconfirming their eligibility and that:

  • They remain a member of the trade union or socialist society (and pay the political levy where appropriate).
  • They remain on the electoral register at the address provided.
  • In all other respects must meet the qualification criteria of membership of the Labour Party.

37. Affiliates will have until the date on the timetable to reconfirm these details for existing affiliate supporters.

38. New affiliate supporters may be recruited within the deadline set out in the timetable.

Timetable and Freeze Date

The Special Conference at end of the Collins Review concluded that all selection timetables should be, once started, as short as possible. The Collins Report also states: “The NEC should agree the detailed procedures for leadership elections including issues regarding registration, fees and freeze dates.” The Party requires members to hold six months’ continuous party membership on the freeze date to be eligible to take part in a selection.



Tues 12 Jan

Join the Labour Party on or before this date to vote in the leadership election.

Tues 12 July

Timetable agreed. Freeze date for membership eligibility

Thurs 14 July

Timetable published

Mon 18 July

EPLP and PLP briefing, followed by EPLP and PLP hustings

Mon 18 July

Registered supporters applications open

Mon 18 July: 7pm

EPLP and PLP nominations open

Wed 20 July: 5pm

EPLP and PLP Nominations close and supporting nominations open

Wed 20 July: 5pm

Last date to join as registered supporter

Thurs 21 July: Noon

Deadline for validly nominated candidates to consent to nomination

Fri 22 July

Hustings period opens

Mon 8 Aug: Noon

Final date for membership arrears to be paid in full.

Mon 8 Aug: Noon

Final date for new and updated affiliated supporter lists to be received

Mon 15 Aug: Noon

Supporting nominations close

w/c Mon 22 Aug

Ballot mailing despatched

Wed 14 Sept: Noon

Last date for electronic ballot reissues

Fri 16 Sept

Hustings period closes

Wed 21 Sept: Noon

Ballot closes

Sat 24 Sept

Special conference to announce result