After Labour’s worst electoral performance since 1935, they have now reached the first stage of selecting a leader to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

There have been 6 Labour figures who have put themselves forward so far – not including the brief 24 hour long campaign from Shadow International Development Secretary Barry Gardiner. 

After a rule change passed at the Labour Party Conference candidates now only have to get 10% of the Labour MPs or MEPs to nominate them, making the magic number 22. Those who have managed to break through this first barrier are Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Jess Phillips, Emily Thornbury, and Lisa Nandy. One candidate, Clive Lewis, did fall at this first hurdle.

The next stage starts immediately with candidates needing the backing of At least 3 affiliates (at least 2 of which shall be trade union affiliates) comprising 5 per cent of fully paid up affiliated membership or 5% of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) to nominate them. So far, Sir Keir Starmer is the only Candidate to receive a nomination (from one of the largest trade unions Unison)

Once candidates have received these nominations, which while 5% seems like a low bar that most expect all candidates to pass, it shouldn’t be discounted that some may fall at this stage. To make sure they receive the required number of nominations from CLPs or affiliates we can expect to see candidates traveling around the country, meeting members, local labour figures, and elected officials. We can expect this to focus mainly in the North East and West where labour lost many seats as well as the much talked about “Red Wall”.

The ground game will really start here with candidates further pushing their personal policies, beliefs as well as previous achievements.

The ballot of labour members, registered supporters, and affiliated supporters will begin on the 21st of February and the long contest will end on the 2nd April with the formal announcement being made a special conference on the 4th of April.

Rowena Mason at the Guardian has written a great profile of all 6 candidates who entered the race and you can read it here

The Labour Party is also running a parralel election for their deputy leader after Tom Watson Stood down before the General Election last year.

INews have profiled the candidates and you can read that here.


Cameron Ball is ERSA’s Public Affairs and Communications Officer ( Come and meet Cameron at the next Communications and Political Insights Network meeting on 22 January. This meeting will include post-election analysis and our collective voice for employment support. Register in advance here.