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Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election

Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Forthcoming Leadership Election

Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique to New Zealand politics but common overseas (see overleaf). Following closure of nominations on Tuesday 14th October, a clear majority of the thousands of participants will receive their ballot papers and vote electronically

There will be 14 hustings meetings for Party members featuring the nominees, with the first part of each meeting open to media :

Wellington Wednesday 22nd October, evening
Palmerston North Thursday 23rd October, evening
Nelson Tuesday 28th October, evening
Christchurch Wednesday 29th October, evening
Dunedin Thursday 30th October, evening
Invercargill Friday 31st October, evening
Hawkes Bay Monday 3rd November, evening
Tauranga Tuesday 4th November, evening
Hamilton Wednesday 5th November, evening
New Plymouth Thursday 6th November, evening
Whangarei Saturday 8th November
Auckland Isthmus Sunday 9th November
West Auckland Monday 10th November, evening
South Auckland Tuesday 11th November, evening

The elections are governed by rules which are available on Labour’s website, www.labourparty.org.nz. Once nominations are in a Code of Conduct for candidates will be finalised, and the Party will also be making clear its expectations about the behaviour of all Party members.

Tim Barnett, Labour General Secretary and Returning Officer for the process, said today:

“Our leadership election process is a wonderful expression of party democracy, involving all Party members, all 7 affiliates and all 32 Labour Members of Parliament. It is a rigorous test of leadership qualities. Its’ outcome will be crucial to our Party’s single-minded determination to learn from our election result and regroup for victory in 2017”.



Examples of other political parties using Electoral Colleges to elect their Leader

New Zealand Labour’s electoral college, which has extended the power to choose a leader to party members and affiliated bodies as well as to MPs, was modelled fairly closely on the procedures of the British Labour Party, and the Australian Labor Party has since adopted a similar model.

UK Labour Party

• Each nomination for leader must be supported by 12.5 per cent of the Labour MPs in the House of Commons.

• There are three groups of voters:

1. Labour members of the House of Commons and the European Parliament

2. Individual members of the party

3. Individual members of affiliated organisations, such as trade unions and socialist societies.

• Each of the groups or sections contributes one third (33.33 per cent) of the total votes and were counted using the Alternative Vote system.

Over the next 5 years, this system will be reformed so that all eligible voters will be members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters.[1]

UK Conservatives

They have a two stage process. A leadership contest can be initiated either by the incumbent leader resigning or by the Parliamentary Party passing a vote of no confidence in the present leader. Either way a leadership election is called and the incumbent is barred from standing in it.

If two candidates stand, then the election immediately proceeds to a ballot of all members of the party. If more than two candidates stand, then MPs first hold a series of ballots to reduce the number to two.

Australian Labor Party

Eligible members and Federal Parliamentary Caucus members all have a vote, with each grouping constituting 50% of the voting strength of the College,

Canadian Conservative Party

The leader is selected by a system in which each of the party's riding/electorate associations was allocated 100 points, which were allocated among candidates in proportion to the votes that he or she received.

Canadian Liberal Party

Since 2009 leadership elections have been conducted according to a weighted One Member One Vote system in which all party members and registered sympathisers/supporters cast ballots but in which they would be counted so that each riding/electorate had equal weight.

[1] The Collins Review in to Labour Party Reform, Feb 2014

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