Monday 3 August 2015

Labour MPs and Political Leadership

What is the relationship between a Labour Member of Parliament and their Constituency Labour Party? It's a good question as different people have very different ideas. MPs aren't delegates of their local parties, there are no means by which they can be mandated to vote this way or that. Would a good MP nonetheless seek to reflect their members' concerns? Or should it be the other way round? Should MPs be considered the nominal leader of their CLP? John Forrester, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North between 1966 and 1987 was the sort of MP who was very hands-on. He busied himself with the minutiae of CLP doings and basically ran the show. Not that that prevented him from getting deselected in a member-led coup.

The alternative to this hands-on approach isn't hands-off. It's political hegemony, the idea that the MP provides a political lead for the members. After all, everyone who stands for Labour in parliamentary elections have to win people over in selection meetings. That includes stitch-ups too. Presumably most prospective MPs aren't selected because they're urbane, charming, and work jolly hard. There is a political dimension here too: they have to demonstrate (and once they're in, continue demonstrating) how their politics best fit the constituency.

How then does one measure the strength of a MP's political hegemony over their local party? In the absence of hundreds of observations of CLP meetings, the Labour leadership contest has provided us with a crude means of uncovering it. Simply put, I'm supposing here that matches between CLP nominations and their MPs is indicative of some sort of political leadership that the members respect and follow. Are constituency parties a slavish lot? Or do they pay their MPs a blind bit of notice?

All the data used here is from the New Statesman, so if anything is wrong blame them.

A couple of caveats first of all. We know that some MPs nominated Jeremy to enable a debate and aren't intending on voting for him when the ballots open. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this crude exercise a nomination for Jez is treated as a nomination for Jez, regardless of the motive. Secondly, some (but by no means all) had very good reasons not to nominate a preference. It's right and proper, for example, that the deputy leader candidates have kept out of the leaders' debate (though it's common knowledge that Caroline Flint is Andy Burnham's unofficial running mate). Others, like the acting leader, the deputy speaker, and the odd grandee were wise to keep out. Again, an abstention match is treated here as a match.

How does it look for each of the candidates? Andy Burnham's campaign managed a match of 29 out of 68 (42.6%), Yvette Cooper 16/59 (27.1%), Jeremy Corbyn 16/36 (44.4%), Liz Kendall 8/41 (19.5%), and Did Not Nominate 10/25 (40%). Overall, only 30% of constituencies followed their MP's lead. A crisis of leadership? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Someone like my own MP Tristram Hunt can live with his CLP having nominated Yvette Cooper more easily than poor old Chris Leslie, Rachel Reeves, Keir Stamer, Steve Reed, and Gloria De Piero - high-profile figures with rebellious Jez-supporting local parties. How many of the so-called moderate MPs had CLPS that behaved "immoderately"? Of the 168 MPs who nominated Andy, Yvette, or Liz; Jeremy took 35 of "their" CLPs (20.6% of Andy's, 31% of Yvette's, and 29.3% of Liz's - a higher proportion than she herself took). The moderate "rebellion" among Jez's own was 10 out of 36 (27.7%). With a left rebellion rate of 20.8%, suddenly the picture of seven-out-of-ten CLPs not following their MP's lead doesn't look as terrifying for those opposed to Jeremy.

There are a couple of other things that are worthwhile noting. Firstly, a number of MPs would have calculated there was little chance of getting their choice through, and have worked behind the scenes to ensure their CLP did not nominate. Surprisingly, this appears to have been more likely where Yvette supporters were concerned . I do accept that some CLPs don't take a view on such things because it can act as a catalyst for political divisions, but for 45.8% of "her" CLPs to have taken that view? I'm not naive.

Another factor might be the newness of the MP. It takes time to build hegemony up over one's organisation, and that's something a bit of nifty manoeuvring can't short circuit. I haven't got the time to go through and check the nominations of new MPs and their CLP's decision, but I suspect there is more likely to be evidence of drift. What about gender? Is there more chance of a CLP accepting their MP's choice if they are a man? 51 men and 28 women had their nominations matched by their CLPs. Rebellion by gender split 78 men and 81 women, so yes, a constituency is more likely not to follow a female MP than a man, a disparity wider than the raw figures suggest given the PLP's overall gender imbalance. Or could it be that a greater number of the new intake are women, and the newness effect comes in? I'd like to think the latter ...

At first glance then it does appear that CLPs were reluctant to follow their MP's lead on the Labour leadership. However, this isn't a rebellion against 'moderation' if you define the Andy, Yvette, and Liz camps as such. Only a fifth of "their" CLPs decided to endorse the left insurgency. Most of the "rebellious" moves of local parties saw switches to other like-minded candidates or a decision to sit the contest out.

The full list of MP nominations with CLP endorsements in brackets are below.

Andy Burnham (68)
Debbie Abrahams MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth (Jeremy Corbyn)
Heidi Alexander MP for Lewisham East (Liz Kendall)
Dave Anderson MP for Blaydon (Andy Burnham)
Hilary Benn MP for Leeds Central (Did not nominate)
Luciana Berger MP for Liverpool, Wavertree (Did not nominate)
Clive Betts MP for Sheffield South East (Andy Burnham)
Paul Blomfield MP for Sheffield Central (Did not nominate)
Kevin Brennan MP for Cardiff West (Did not nominate)
Andrew Burnham MP for Leigh (Andy Burnham)
Julie Cooper MP for Burnley (Did not nominate)
David Crausby MP for Bolton North East (Yvette Cooper)
Alex Cunningham MP for Stockton North (Andy Burnham)
Wayne David MP for Caerphilly (Yvette Cooper)
Peter Dowd MP for Bootle (Andy Burnham)
Michael Dugher MP for Barnsley East (Andy Burnham)
Bill Esterson MP for Sefton Central (Andy Burnham)
Paul Farrelly MP for Newcastle-Under-Lyme (Andy Burnham)
Rob Flello MP for Stoke-On-Trent South (Andy Burnham)
Yvonne Fovargue MP for Makerfield (Andy Burnham)
Pat Glass MP for North West Durham (Did not nominate)
Mary Glindon MP for North Tyneside (Andy Burnham)
Lilian Greenwood MP for Nottingham South (Jeremy Corbyn)
Margaret Greenwood MP for Wirral West (Yvette Cooper)
Nia Griffith MP for Llanelli (Did not nominate)
Andrew Gwynne MP for Denton and Reddish (Did not nominate)
Harry Harpham MP for Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough (Andy Burnham)
Carolyn Harris MP for Swansea East (Jeremy Corbyn)
Stephen Hepburn MP for Jarrow (Andy Burnham)
Kate Hoey MP for Vauxhall (Liz Kendall)
Kate Hollern MP for Blackburn (Did not nominate)
Dan Jarvis MP for Barnsley Central (Did not nominate)
Graham Jones MP for Hyndburn (Did not nominate)
Gerald Jones MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Jeremy Corbyn)
Barbara Keeley MP for Worsley and Eccles South (Did not nominate)
Ian Lavery MP for Wansbeck (Andy Burnham)
Emma Lewell-Buck MP for South Shields (Andy Burnham)
Ian Lucas MP for Wrexham (Andy Burnham)
Holly Lynch MP for Halifax (Jeremy Corbyn)
Justin Madders MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Jeremy Corbyn)
Rachael Maskell MP for York Central (Did not nominate)
Chris Matheson MP for City of Chester (Did not nominate)
Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East (Andy Burnham)
Andy McDonald MP for Middlesbrough (Andy Burnham)
Conor McGinn MP for St Helens North (Andy Burnham)
Liz McInnes MP for Heywood and Middleton (Andy Burnham)
Alan Meale MP for Mansfield (Andy Burnham)
Ian Mearns MP for Gateshead (Jeremy Corbyn)
Lisa Nandy MP for Wigan (Did not nominate)
Albert Owen MP for Ynys Mon (Jeremy Corbyn)
Teresa Pearce MP for Erith and Thamesmead (Jeremy Corbyn)
Lucy Powell MP for Manchester Central (Andy Burnham)
Yasmin Qureshi MP for Bolton South East (Andy Burnham)
Angela Rayner MP for Ashton-Under-Lyne (Jeremy Corbyn)
Jamie Reed MP for Copeland (Andy Burnham)
Christina Rees MP for Neath (Did not nominate)
Rachel Reeves MP for Leeds West (Jeremy Corbyn)
Steve Rotheram MP for Liverpool, Walton (Andy Burnham)
Owen Smith MP for Pontypridd (Andy Burnham)
Jeff Smith MP for Manchester Withington (Yvette Cooper)
Keir Starmer MP for Holborn and St Pancras (Jeremy Corbyn)
Jo Stevens MP for Cardiff Central (Did not nominate)
Nick Thomas-Symonds MP for Torfaen (Andy Burnham)
Anna Turley MP for Redcar (Did not nominate)
Karl Turner MP for Kingston Upon Hull East (Andy Burnham)
Derek Twigg MP for Halton (Andy Burnham)
Valerie Vaz MP for Walsall South (Did not nominate)
Alan Whitehead MP for Southampton Test (Jeremy Corbyn)
Iain Wright MP for Hartlepool (Jeremy Corbyn)

Yvette Cooper (59)
Jon Ashworth MP for Leicester South (Jeremy Corbyn)
Ian Austin MP for Dudley North (Andy Burnham)
Adrian Bailey MP for West Bromwich West (Did not nominate)
Roberta Blackman-Woods MP for City of Durham (Did not nominate)
Lyn Brown MP for West Ham (Jeremy Corbyn)
Nick Brown MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne East (Yvette Cooper)
Chris Bryant MP for Rhondda (Did not nominate)
Karen Buck MP for Westminster North (Yvette Cooper)
Richard Burden MP for Birmingham, Northfield (Did not nominate)
Liam Byrne MP for Birmingham, Hodge Hill (Yvette Cooper)
Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford and Isleworth (Did not nominate)
Ann Clwyd MP for Cynon Valley (Did not nominate)
Vernon Coaker MP for Gedling (Did not nominate)
Yvette Cooper MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper)
Judith Cummins MP for Bradford South (Did not nominate)
Jim Cunningham MP for Coventry South (Yvette Cooper)
Nic Dakin MP for Scunthorpe (Jeremy Corbyn)
Geraint Davies MP for Swansea West (Jeremy Corbyn)
Thangam Debbonaire MP for Bristol West (Did not nominate)
Jack Dromey MP for Birmingham, Erdington (Did not nominate)
Maria Eagle MP for Garston and Halewood (Yvette Cooper)
Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse (Andy Burnham)
Coleen Fletcher MP for Coventry North East (Did not nominate)
Vicky Foxcroft MP for Lewisham, Deptford (Jeremy Corbyn)
Helen Goodman MP for Bishop Auckland (Andy Burnham)
Kate Green MP for Stretford and Urmston (Did not nominate)
Fabian Hamilton MP for Leeds North East (Jeremy Corbyn)
David Hanson MP for Delyn (Yvettte Cooper)
Sue Hayman MP for Workington (Andy Burnham)
John Healey MP for Wentworth and Dearne (Did not nominate)
Sharon Hodgson MP for Washington and Sunderland West (Jeremy Corbyn)
George Howarth MP for Knowsley (Andy Burnham)
Diana Johnson MP for Hull North (Did not nominate)
Kevan Jones MP for North Durham (Did not nominate)
Helen Jones MP for Warrington North (Andy Burnham)
Stephen Kinnock MP for Aberavon (Yvette Cooper)
Chris Leslie MP for Nottingham East (Jeremy Corbyn)
Khalid Mahmood MP for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Yvette Cooper)
Shabana Mahmood MP for Birmingham, Ladywood (Did not nominate)
Seema Malhotra MP for Feltham and Heston (Did not nominate)
John Mann MP for Bassetlaw (Yvette Cooper)
Stephen McCabe MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Did not nominate)
Catherine McKinnell MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne North (Did not nominate)
Madeleine Moon MP for Bridgend (Yvette Cooper)
Melanie Onn MP for Great Grimsby (Yvette Cooper)
Matthew Pennycook MP for Greenwich and Woolwich (Yvette Cooper)
Jess Phillips MP for Birmingham Yardley (Jeremy Corbyn)
Bridget Phillipson MP for Houghton and Sunderland South (Did not nominate)
Stephen Pound MP for Ealing North (Did not nominate)
Marie Rimmer MP for St Helens South and Whiston (Yvette Cooper)
Geoffrey Robinson MP for Coventry North West (Did not nominate)
Naz Shah MP for Bradford West (Did not nominate)
Virendra Sharma MP for Ealing, Southall (Andy Burnham)
Paula Sherriff MP for Dewsbury (Did not nominate)
Andrew Slaughter MP for Hammersmith (Yvette Cooper)
Ruth Smeeth MP for Stoke-on-Trent North (Did not nominate)
Karin Smyth MP for Bristol South (Did not nominate)
John Spellar MP for Warley (Yvette Cooper)
Daniel Zeichner MP for Cambridge (Did not nominate)

Jeremy Corbyn (36)
Diane Abbott MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington (Did not nominate)
Rushanara Ali MP for Bethnal Green and Bow (Jeremy Corbyn)
Margaret Beckett MP for Derby South (Andy Burnham)
Richard Burgon MP for Leeds East (Jeremy Corbyn)
Dawn Butler MP for Brent Central (Jeremy Corbyn)
Ronnie Campbell MP for Blyth Valley (Andy Burnham)
Sarah Champion MP for Rotherham (Did not nominate)
Jeremy Corbyn MP for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn)
Jo Cox MP for Batley and Spen (Jeremy Corbyn)
Neil Coyle MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark (Liz Kendall)
Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham (Jeremy Corbyn)
Clive Efford MP for Eltham (Did not nominate)
Frank Field MP for Birkenhead (Did not nominate)
Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield, Heeley (Did not nominate)
Kelvin Hopkins MP for Luton North (Jeremy Corbyn)
Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central and Acton (Yvette Cooper)
Imran Hussain MP for Bradford East (Did not nominate)
Huw Irranca-Davies MP for Ogmore (Yvette Cooper)
Sadiq Khan MP for Tooting (Yvette Cooper)
David Lammy MP for Tottenham (Jeremy Corbyn)
Clive Lewis MP for Norwich South (Did not nominate)
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP for Salford and Eccles (Jeremy Corbyn)
Gordon Marsden MP for Blackpool South (Did not nominate)
John McDonnell MP for Hayes and Harlington (Jeremy Corbyn)
Michael Meacher MP for Oldham West and Royton (Andy Burnham)
Grahame Morris MP for Easington (Jeremy Corbyn)
Chi Onwurah MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne Central (Jeremy Corbyn)
Kate Osamor MP for Edmonton (Jeremy Corbyn)
Tulip Siddiq MP for Hampstead and Kilburn (Yvette Cooper)
Dennis Skinner MP for Bolsover (Did not nominate)
Cat Smith MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Andy Burnham)
Andrew Smith MP for Oxford East (Did not nominate)
Gareth Thomas MP for Harrow West (Yvette Cooper)
Emily Thornberry MP for Islington South and Finsbury (Jeremy Corbyn)
Jon Trickett MP for Hemsworth (Jeremy Corbyn)
Catherine West MP for Hornsey and Wood Green (Jeremy Corbyn)

Liz Kendall (41)
Kevin Barron MP for Rother Valley (Did not nominate)
Tom Blenkinsop MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland (Did not nominate)
Jenny Chapman MP for Darlington (Did not nominate)
Ann Coffey MP for Stockport (Did not nominate)
Simon Danczuk MP for Rochdale (Did not nominate)
Gloria De Piero MP for Ashfield (Jeremy Corbyn)
Stephen Doughty MP for Cardiff South and Penarth (Did not nominate)
Jim Dowd MP for Lewisham West & Penge (Jeremy Corbyn)
Julie Elliott MP for Sunderland Central (Jeremy Corbyn)
Louise Ellman MP for Liverpool, Riverside (Yvette Cooper)
Chris Evans MP for Islwyn (Did not nominate)
Paul Flynn MP for Newport West (Did not nominate)
Mike Gapes MP for Ilford South (Jeremy Corbyn)
Mark Hendrick MP for Preston (Jeremy Corbyn)
Margaret Hodge MP for Barking (Liz Kendall)
Tristram Hunt MP for Stoke-On-Trent Central (Yvette Cooper)
Mike Kane MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East (Jeremy Corbyn)
Liz Kendall MP for Leicester West (Liz Kendall)
Peter Kyle MP for Hove (Did not nominate)
Ivan Lewis MP for Bury South (Yvette Cooper)
Fiona Mactaggart MP for Slough (Andy Burnham)
Siobhain McDonagh MP for Mitcham and Morden (Liz Kendall)
Pat McFadden MP for Wolverhampton South East (Liz Kendall)
Alison McGovern MP for Wirral South (Andy Burnham)
Jessica Morden MP for Newport East (Jeremy Corbyn)
Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield (Did not nominate)
Steve Reed MP for Croydon North (Jeremy Corbyn)
Johnny Reynolds MP for Stalybridge and Hyde (Jeremy Corbyn)
Emma Reynolds MP for Wolverhampton North East (Andy Burnham)
Joan Ryan MP for Enfield North (Jeremy Corbyn)
Barry Sheerman MP for Huddersfield (Did not nominate)
Gavin Shuker MP for Luton South (Jeremy Corbyn)
Nick Smith MP for Blaenau Gwent (Jeremy Corbyn)
Angela Smith MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge (Did not nominate)
Wes Streeting MP for Ilford North (Liz Kendall)
Gisela Stuart MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Did not nominate)
Stephen Timms MP for East Ham (Liz Kendall)
Stephen Twigg MP for Liverpool, West Derby (Andy Burnham)
Chuka Umunna MP for Streatham (Liz Kendall)
Phil Wilson MP for Sedgefield (Liz Kendall)
John Woodcock MP for Barrow and Furness (Andy Burnham)

Did not nominate (25)
Susan Elan Jones MP for Clwyd South (Did not nominate)
Helen Hayes MP for Dulwich and West Norwood (Liz Kendall)
Alan Campbell MP for Tynemouth (Did not nominate)
Alan Johnson MP for West Hull and Hessle (Did not nominate)
Rosie Cooper MP for West Lancashire (Andy Burnham)
Angela Eagle MP for Wallasey (Jeremy Corbyn)
Barry Gardiner MP for Brent North (Jeremy Corbyn)
Ben Bradshaw MP for Exeter (Yvette Cooper)
Caroline Flint MP for Don Valley (Andy Burnham)
David Winnick MP for Wallsall North (Did not nominate)
Ed Miliband MP for Doncaster North (Did not nominate)
Gerald Kaufman MP for Manchester Gorton (Jeremy Corbyn)
Graham Allen MP for Nottingham North (Did not nominate)
Graham Stringer MP for Blackley and Broughton (Andy Burnham)
Harriet Harman MP for Camberwell and Peckham (Liz Kendall)
Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow (Jeremy Corbyn)
Rob Marris MP for Wolverhampton South West (Jeremy Corbyn)
John Cryer MP for Leyton and Wanstead (Jeremy Corbyn)
Rosie Winterton MP for Doncaster Central (Jeremy Corbyn)
Keith Vaz MP for Leicester East (Yvette Cooper)
Lindsay Hoyle MP for Chorley (Did not nominate)
Roger Godsiff MP for Birmingham Hall Green (Did not nominate)
Mark Tami MP for Alyn and Deeside (Jeremy Corbyn)
Meg Hillier MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch (Yvette Cooper)
Natascha Engel MP for North East Derbyshire (Did not nominate)
Tom Watson MP for West Bromwich East (Did not nominate)


Anonymous said...

'I haven't got the time to go through and check the nominations of new MPs and their CLP's decision...'

If you are ever thinking about doing this, just for the record, my local CLP, Swansea East, new MP, woman, backing Burnham; CLP nominated Corbyn nonetheless.

Andreas Paterson said...

Should point out that Clive Lewis' CLP, Norwich South nominated Cooper

Anonymous said...

Can a list be provided of CLPS that did not nominate any candidate for leader, such as the Brighton and Hove CLPs, so we can see what proportion of the party they represent? We can speculate on their reasons for not wanting to nominate, for example, local party officers wanting to contain the politics of the debate.