Corbyn strengthens position as final leadership nominations come in

Category : News Stories   |   Date : Monday, 15 August , 2016

Jeremy Corbyn has secured the backing of almost 300 Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs), in the latest sign that the favourite remains in pole position to be re-elected leader next month.

Supporting nominations closed in the leadership contest today, with 285 CLPs giving their support to Corbyn, and 53 going to Owen Smith. Corbyn also won the support of eight trade unions, compared to four for Smith. These nominations will not affect the final result by themselves, but in the past have been a useful guide to determining the rough levels of support for candidates.

Corbyn’s camp point out that his support among CLPs has in fact grown since last year’s contest, when 152 local parties chose to nominate him. Despite 55 fewer CLPs making a nomination this time around, he won over 100 more party endorsements.

His campaign welcomed the news, with a spokesperson saying: “Jeremy Corbyn is the only candidate who can draw on support from Labour members right across our country. These results further suggest that Labour members strongly support Jeremy Corbyn in his bid to remain Labour leader.”

“Our campaign will continue to make the positive case for democracy in our party and for Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to rebuild and transform Britain so that no-one and nowhere is left behind.”

However, some Smith supporters argue that CLP meetings have comparatively low turnout for the number of members in each seat, with a belief that those actively attending meetings will be more likely to support Corbyn than other members. It is believed that Corbyn received around 15,000 votes from CLP nomination meetings, while over 7,500 voted for Smith.

However, if you include ballots carried out by Unison and GMB to determine their endorsements, the tally becomes a much closer 43,000 for Corbyn and 41,000 for Smith – with the pro-Smith GMB ballot including more voters than any other.

The outcome of the Jewish Labour Movement’s consultation with members could also cause concern for the leader’s office. With 59 per cent of its members taking part in the nominations vote, 92 per cent supported Smith, and just four per cent back Corbyn. A further four per cent did not wish the organisation to make an endorsement.