Current Affairs

Oxford constituencies back Kier Starmer for Labour leader

Sir Kier Starmer has been endorsed as the preferred leadership candidate of the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency Labour Party. The CLP also nominated Angela Rayner for deputy leader. Last week Oxford East CLP joined 189 other CLPs in jointly nominating Starmer and Rayner.

The result from Oxford West comes after three rounds of single transferable vote voting which commenced on Thursday last week. In the first round, Rebecca Long-Bailey won the largest vote share, however by the third round, most of the votes originally cast for Lisa Nandy had been redistributed to favour Starmer, highlighting how Long-Bailey is isolated on the hard-left of the party. In the final round of voting Starmer won 52.2% of the vote, while Long-Bailey followed with 47.8%. In total, 138 votes were cast in the final ballot.

The result from Oxford West and Abington is consistent with many results emerging from CLPs across the country. Starmer and Rayner have won about 60% of the CLP nominations in their respective contests. Starmer has secured 297 CLP nominations so far, plus endorsements from Labour Business and UNISON, the trade union. Rayner has also been endorsed by UNISON, as well as GMB, also a trade union, plus 289 CLP nominations.

So far, Rebecca Long-Bailey has won 136 CLP nominations, plus endorsements from Unite and Disability Labour, whilst Lisa Nandy has secured the nomination of 57 CLPs and endorsements from GMB and the National Union of Mineworkers.

Jeremy Corbyn secured 285 CLP nominations in 2016, which represented 84% of CLPs. However, about half of the CLPs, including Oxford West and Oxford East, did not nominate any candidate.

Labour leadership candidates need to gain the support of at least 33 CLPs (5%) or the endorsement of three affiliated groups including two trade unions in order to qualify for the final ballot which is voted on by the Labour membership. This is in addition to the endorsement of 22 Labour MPs and MEPs (10%).

Starmer was the first candidate to qualify for the ballot last month after receiving the backing of retail trade union Usdaw.

The new Labour leader will be revealed on April 4th.